|Woodkid on stage in Rome|
Before releasing his first album The Golden Age earlier this year, Lemoine was already well-known as a music video director for stars such as Lana del Rey, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. His alter ego Woodkid's project is not surprisingly, therefore, far more than just a showcase for his music, and is instead an expertly choreographed theatrical production combining strobe lights and dramatic cinematic projections, as befitting the operatic scale of many of the songs. Slated for a 9.00 pm start, it was half an hour later before the concert got underway – as dusk finally turned to dark, the lights dimmed and the foghorn-like blasts of the brass section of Woodkid's excellent band brought an awed hush to the Cavea, signalling the beginning of the concert. After the instrumental prologue, the first song, Baltimore's Fireflies, an exquisitely lovely track from his 2011 EP Iron, sung with a voice that held me enthralled for the rest of the evening - a rich velvety baritone, with a touch of gritty vibrato, like Nick Cave with a dash of Antony Hegarty - gently eased us into Woodkid's world, as the background screens took us into huge cathedral-like spaces. After the intensity of this opening track it was a delight to see Woodkid break into a huge smile at the deafening cheers of approval at the end, and the easy rapport this charismatic performer instantly created with the audience.
Utterly amazing – miss him at your peril!