LadyDot Review: Parov Stelar Gig Report

 Report From The Parov Stelar Gig In Warsaw, Stodoła Club (Poland)

On the 21st of February I had the opportunity to attend an amazing concert. It was a show that I will remember for a very long time and that only made me more convinced that I have continuously loved Parov Stelar‘s work for the last 15 years and this will probably never change. When I saw at the end of 2023 that Parov Stelar would be playing as many as two gigs in Poland as part of the 2024 Theater Tour, I knew I simply had to be there to tell you about my impressions, emotions, feelings. If you are a fan of Electro Swing, then believe that it is really worth buying tickets for the Theater Tour! I’ve prepared a report from the gig, which took place in Warsaw’s Stodoła club, and I’ll also mention my visit backstage, because I also took part in the meet & greet after the show. My dear readers, it is my pleasure to present to you the 95th article in the LadyDot Review series, which is also an account of the Parov Stelar concert!

Parov Stelar – Music To Suit Every Fan’s Taste

I’ve always found that the feeling of listening to the music you love is completely different when you’re enjoying it at home compared to when you’re attending a live performance. When you see all these great artists and musicians, when you feel their emotions, then you have the opportunity not only to have a great time to the rhythm of your favourite hits, but also to experience the energy of the music, to be a real participant in the show and to meet people who love Electro Swing just like you. Parov Stelar never disappoints, always surprises and delivers all the power of musical satisfaction to his fans. This was also the case this time.

As well as playing some previously unreleased tracks (which are really great and catchy!), Parov Stelar put together an incredibly varied setlist. I expected it to be an amalgamation of songs from various albums, but I didn’t expect it to be a real musical journey through the different periods of this great artist’s career. It seems to me that this was the key to creating Theater Tour 2024 – a variety that will appeal to every Parov Stelar fan. The gig did not lack Electro Swing bangers such as “Booty Swing” and “All Night”, which certainly satisfied everyone who, like me, has been listening to his music for several years. I was personally totally surprised that ‘Matilda’ (I love that song!) and a few singles, such as the fantastic ‘Mambo Rap’, were added to the setlist. I don’t want to give you too much detail so that you’ll have a surprise at the concert, so I’ll just say that you can expect both new releases and songs released between 2006 and 2022.

Parov Stelar And His Masterful Musicians – Brass And Rhythm Section

It’s a fact, Parov Stelar is a fantastic visionary and produces great songs, but I can’t help but mention all those brilliant musicians who accompany him on tour. Experiencing his music while listening to live instruments is even more exciting! The brass section, i.e. saxophone (Sebastian Grimus), trumpet (Alex Valdés) and trombone (Jakob Mayr) totally enchanted me with their perfect synchronisation, great contact with the audience and unique energy. The solos were so brilliant, I had the impression that I had never heard the brass section play so well in my life. And on top of that, the musicians were going crazy on stage, it was wonderful! This time my heart was stolen by Alex, who, in addition to his wonderful trumpet playing skills, displayed his comedic abilities and made the audience laugh with his performance. P.S. Alex also plays at the Deladap band’s live shows, so I think we’ll see him again sometime. 😉

Guitarist and bassist, Michael Wittner, is, in my opinion, a grandmaster of playing these two instruments (if you remember the song “La Calatrava” by the Parov Stelar Trio, then know that he is the one who has caught up with the guitar parts there, which are totally delightful and enchanting!). The bass solo during ‘Catgroove’ stuck with me the most – it was something so amazing, so unique and so very funky, a bit in the style of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers! You won’t hear it anywhere else – you simply have to go to a Parov Stelar concert to experience it for yourself.
The rhythm section would not be complete without Hans Juergen Barth aka Willie Larsson Jr. – drummer. He perfectly enriched the sound of the electronic beats, and I must admit that although many Electro Swing artists do not invite drummers to their concerts, I am very glad that in this case it was different. Willie’s swinging drum sound fitted the show perfectly, adding a little bit of classical pattern to it.

Parov Stelar And His Masterful Vocalists

Two vocalists on one stage, two beautiful people, two perfectly complementary voices, two completely different personalities… I have no idea where Parov Stelar got the idea of having two vocalists performing with him on tour, but in my opinion it’s a hit! Elena Karafizi joined Parov Stelar’s band in 2019, and although I love the previous singer, Cleo Panther, I can’t compare them to each other, because each of these singers is totally different and brings a completely different and unique energy to the band. She is a complete artist: she has a wonderful voice, looks gorgeous on stage, and has a great connection with the audience and really rocked the whole event! I really liked that she added the lyrics to ‘Catgroove’, which was incredibly original, as everyone knows this banger very well, but only in the instrumental version.

Anduze… I’m not exaggerating if I say that this is one of the best male vocals in the world. He simply enchants the audience with his voice and he has a whole lot of energy, which you could already feel from him the moment he entered the stage. His soul-funk vocals fit in perfectly with the Electro Swing vibe!

Parov Stelar himself also joined the vocalists for a moment. Yes, I’m not crazy! He sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for one of his fans when it turned out to be his birthday. It was super-sweet and really very nice. And it made me understand even more that these are not people who just think ‘okay, we’ll play, sing and say goodbye’. They really put a lot of effort into making the show as successful as possible and they take care of that unique, family atmosphere.

Parov Stelar – Meet & Greet On The Backstage

Attending the concert was something totally wonderful for me. Even more so, I didn’t expect to have the opportunity that evening to fulfil yet another dream of mine – to simply shake hands with Parov Stelar and his wonderful musicians and vocalists and tell them how grateful I am for every song of theirs, every show I’ve had the chance to attend and, of course, for the interview I did for Electro Swing Thing (you can read it HERE). We got autographed posters and T-shirts, and I managed to talk for a long while with Sebastian Grimus (the best saxophonist in the world, who has been performing with Parov Stelar for 9 years now) and Anduze (a singer who enchanted me with his voice already in 2013, when he released the amazing song “Josephine” together with Parov Stelar). I also had the chance to meet the lovely and very kind em.delacrem, the world’s best Electro Swing dancer, who I’m sure you know from the videos we share on our social media. It was smashing, totally laid-back and that’s when I felt that being an Electro Swing journalist gave me a whole lot of opportunities to make my dreams come true and meet fantastic members of the Electro Swing community.

I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t also appreciate the managers at Parov Stelar – they are wonderful, open-minded and willing to help. It was thanks to them that I was able to enter the backstage and take part in the meet & greet. Special thanks to Mark, who is a professional in his field, and to Patrick, who at the last minute agreed to let Magdalena (@em.delacrem) on backstage as well. Thanks to you, the evening was even more unforgettable!

Summary – Parov Stelar And His Electro Swing Family

Electro Swing in its purest form, lots of bass, a wonderful house vibe, some blues and even… elements of ska! Combined with lighting effects, a warm atmosphere and a wonderful reception by the audience and, of course, music at the highest level, this show is sure to be remembered by the whole audience for a long time. If you, too, want to be part of the Theater Tour 2024, I strongly encourage you to buy tickets HERE.

Finally, I must mention the words of Elena, the vocalist. “Parov Stelar and his fans are one big family. So if you have been his fans for a long time, be aware that we are family. And if you have only recently become acquainted with his music, I wanted to tell you: welcome to our family!”.

And you know what? I completely agree with this statement. It is absolutely impossible to describe in words (although I really tried hard) what an atmosphere accompanies every one of his gigs. You cannot imagine how many people in the crowd were shouting “Parov Stelar, we love you, the Poles love you”. And how touched I was by the fact that Electro Swing, despite having been established a dozen years ago, is still growing in popularity. And that one man, Marcus Füreder, had so much courage and creativity in himself to create such a musical genre that enchants the whole world and makes his concerts a real musical feast. One that no one will ever forget.

Written & reviewed by LadyDot; Date: 2024-03-04

Bio – LadyDot

Anna (LadyDot) was born in ’94, but always felt she came from the Golden Twenties. “Polka” in Polish means “girl from Poland”, so she’s “Polka in polka dots”. She loves vintage style and spontaneous travels around Europe. But her greatest love is of course music, especially Electro Swing, Funk, Swing Hop and French Electronic Music.

Anna works at Electro Swing Thing as A&R & Content Manager, so if you want to collaborate with our label, you can write to her and we guarantee you’ll be in the best hands: anna@electroswingthing.com.

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