Live Review: From festivals to Paradise, Christine and the Queens’ reign is divine

Back in May, Christine and the Queens performed to a scattered crowd at City Hall Plaza, as part of spring’s Boston Calling Music Festival.

Before and after their set, Christine and the Queens’ ringleader, songwriter, vocalist and lead dancer Héloïse Letissier was nervous, shy, and smiling-yet-elusive whenever in front of the cameras and without a microphone in her hand. Quite lovely to talk to, but still reserved.

Onstage, Letissier’s Christine was a different person entirely. To those who had been following Christine and the Queens since they first gained traction a year prior, still rooted in France but showing up more and more on American Spotify playlists, she morphed into the true definition of star. Her vocals never wavered, despite the aerobic rigor of the choreography, and her feet sailed across the stage like a smooth criminal — only there to steal our hearts.

For the clusters of people who saw Christine and the Queens perform that day, we knew she was going places.

Cut to last Wednesday’s (October 12) sold-out show at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, and …oh, the places Christine has gone! She just embarked on her first American tour. She played “Tilted” on Fallon. TIME magazine appointed Christine as “The Voice of a Different Generation”, based on her Trojan Horse-approach to pop music: hook ‘em with melodies, then maybe, just maybe, leave a lasting impact with thought-provoking lyrics, albeit sometimes in French.

Her method of musical subversion has worked. Christine has been heralded by TIME as not just a next generation leader, but someone who has entirely paved her own way with her own “queerness.” Imagine RuPaul, whom Christine adores, but with a French accent, radio-friendly jams, and choreography that mirrors only the King of Pop. It’s no coincidence Christine has become so beloved, so quickly.

On Wednesday night, we were the latest to see Christine’s star on the rise. Boston welcomed Christine and her equally impressive male dancers to the Commonwealth Avenue club, a stage much too small for such a big presence. Her performance was equal parts celebration and clarion call to love oneself, proving why we love her — and why, if you’re one of the few who don’t yet, you will.

Her message wasn’t cheese; she didn’t pander. Instead, Christine held court before a packed house of die-hard fans, self-assured in who she is and what brought her back to Boston again, as if to say, This is Me, and You are You. Let’s celebrate us. That’s all.

For a performer who used to be camera shy, this inner strength shone brighter than any stage lights ever could. It’s difficult to imagine that this was the same Christine from five months ago — nervous, shy, and elusive. At the ‘Dise, it felt like this Christine was ever-present, and Boston was her second home.

This queen’s reign is just beginning.

Christine and the Queens last night, one of the best gigs I've been to!???? @christineandthequeens

A video posted by Darren Byrne ???????? (@darrenpatrick) on