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Photo Highlights: Stromae at Mawazine in Morocco

posted by Marjana Jaidi on June 03, 2014

  • Rabat, Morocco -- Last night, Stromae shattered Festival Mawazine's attendance records, playing to a crowd of 183,000 people.

    Looking dapper in shorts, a tuxedo shirt, and a cardigan (with matching knee-high socks), the Belgian artist wowed the crowd with a high-energy performance, his lanky body moving across the stage with a cat-like agility. His dance moves were endearingly organic, and at times, choreographed to match the visuals displayed on the large screens behind him.

    This was the first Francophone artist I've witnessed at Mawazine, and it made a huge difference in audience engagement and participation. Not only could the crowd actually understand Stromae, allowing them to react accordingly and loudly sing along, the artist also made an effort to learn a handful of Arabic words, thanking the audience in arabic (shukran), and sprinkling arabic phrases into his banter throughout the performance.

    Towards the end of the set, Stromae asked, "Mawazine, est ce que tu chtah?" (the arabic word for "dance"), before launching into his worldwide hit, "Alors On Danse." Incorporating "chtah" into the lyrics was a nod to his 2012 appearance at the Festival De Rire in Marrakech, in which he and comedian Djamel Debbouze coined the phrase "alors on chtah" in a performance backed by a Moroccan orchestra.

    Watch the video from the 2012 edition of the Festival de Rire below, and click through our gallery for more photos from last night's set.

  • The traffic on the way to the OLM Souissi stage was insane.

  • See Also:

    Photo Highlights: Justin Timberlake at Mawazine in Morocco
    Photo Highlights: Jason Derulo + Boi Fresh at Mawazine in Morocco
    An Afternoon Exploring Rabat, Morocco