Christine and the Queens Preach Self-Acceptance at Sold-Out L.A. Show
After becoming one to watch over the summer at various music festivals, Christine and the Queens has embarked on her first headlining tour in the U.S. Christine, stage name for the triple threat that is French singer, songwriter and dancer Héloïse Letissier, performed at a sold-out Ace Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 15.
The show comes on the heels of an exciting month for the artist. She made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform her song “Tilted” on Oct. 13 and most notably appeared on the cover of Time magazine as “The Voice of a Different Generation.”
The singer, who identifies as genderfluid and pansexual, brings her self-proclaimed “freak pop,” otherworldly dance moves and self-confidence Stateside to the fans who may also identify with her queerness and admire her otherworldliness. Her stage outfit typically consists of slacks and a button-up shirt, a rather androgynous choice compared to the extravagant costumes that other artists may opt for.
The stage name of Christine and the Queens comes from the drag queens that she confided in the night she ventured out to London and ended up in a burlesque club to distract herself from a bad breakup. Those “queens” were what helped form the persona -- and ultimately the confidence -- of Christine, a version of herself that is larger than life despite her petite frame.
She opened the show with the entrancing “Starshipper” from her 2013 EP, Nuit 17 À 52, before going into songs from her self-titled debut album, including “Half Ladies,” “No Harm Is Done,” “Here” and “Saint Claude.”
Christine introduced the poppy, space-age song “Science Fiction” by welcoming the audience to a "French discotheque” and stated that “French people can dance too,” before taking the stage with the male dancers who accompanied her throughout the rest of the show.
A newer addition to her usual set list is her much-talked-about cover of Beyonce’s power anthem “Sorry,” that she originally premiered in the BBC Live Lounge earlier this month. The singer puts her own twist on the song giving it more of a funky disco feel than the original.
She then went into the bilingual “Paradis Perdus,” in which Christine sings lyrics from Kanye West’s “Heartless” in English and the rest of the song in French.
Self-acceptance was a theme throughout the evening. “I was trying to fit into the shapes that were given to me … then I stopped caring,” Christine said, adding that she rejected the labels that were given to her and the boxes she would be forced into which led to her being happy and led to her focusing her time elsewhere. “I have time to read!” she exclaimed.
At one point, after a moment of suspense, she announced proudly, “RuPaul tweeted me!”
@RuPaul I just dropped everything I was doing to run in circles with a high pitched cooing. I love you --— Christine--theQueens (@QueensChristine) October 6, 2016
The singer then started gushing about the drag queen and quoted one of his famous sayings: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
"RuPaul is everything and everything is RuPaul,” said Christine.
After a few more songs and a goodbye, she came back to close out the night with a performance of “Nuit 17 À 52,” during which the audience raised lighters and turned on the flashlights on their phones.
Christine and the Queens finishes her tour Wednesday in Seattle before returning to tour in the U.K.