OohLaL.A. Music Festival Day 1 presents Nouvelle Vague
The French musical collective Nouvelle Vague opened the OohLaL.A. festival at the El Rey theatre last night with a very original musical directed by a well-known designer, Jean Charles de Castelbajac.
The duo of Mareva Galanter and Liset Alea, accompanied by their six musicians on stage, performed "Dawn of Innocence" with lots of emotions and energy. Their performance confirmed the creativity, talent, and uniqueness of Nouvelle Vague in their oldies interpretations.
Under the direction of musicians Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, Nouvelle Vague is known for revisiting favorite punk and new wave songs, usually mixed with smooth '60s boss nova style soundbites. However, last night, the group unveiled a tribute to French 80's music, adding their personal signature to famous classics of the time.
Liset Alea embraced each of the tunes she sang, and gave voice to a different character every time she came back on stage. Her performance of "Bela Legosi's Dead" by Bahaus woke up the entire theatre and moved the audience's feet on the sound of her powerful voice, along with the string bass player.
Jean Charles de Castelbajac's mise-en-scene and costumes played a significant role in the show. Mareva Galanter sang an interesting version of "Enola Gay" in a one-in-a-kind costume. The top of her strapless dress looked like two hands holding her breasts, while the bottom of it was a beautiful design of the back of a woman on a green background, who turned out to be the front of a cello. Genius!
"I used Nouvelle Vague as a time machine to take me back to the pop colors and the darker tones of the '80s, a decade that was both glamorous and somber at the same time," De Castelbajac said. It was done with such humor and taste that even the two dresses in the theme of super heroes, labeled with De Castelbajac's initials, never looked tacky.
Nouvelle Vague included great hits such as "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, or "A Forest" by the infamous Cure, but they did not forget to share some of their newest tunes with their fan base. Throughout the show, the artists incorporated songs coming from their latest album, "Couleurs sur Paris", such as "Putain, Putain" and "Je Suis Deja Partie," which are both great revivals.
OohLaL.A. Festival's first day offered an interesting selection and shows that the festival has something for everyone whether you are French or not.
More of Neon Tommy's coverage of the OohlaL.A. Festival below:
Reach Staff Reporter Rebecca Obadia here.
Reach Graphics Editor Monica Nguyen here.