Vidal transformed Roskilde into city of lights, pixies and magical melodies
One of the many charms of Roskilde Festival is being able to walk into any venue and discover new artists in a live scenario. I had never heard of Maïa Vidal before the festival but after seeing her perform at the Gloria stage, I can honestly say that I have become a fan.
Vidal is accurately described in the Roskilde programme as “playful and nostalgic”. Her performance was compelling, like an open invitation to dream and reminisce about anything that came to mind. It was organic and real and stimulated the mind almost as much as it did the ear.
Her voice was magical and delicate but capable of aggressive expression, creating a sea of emotions, most of them dark but not necessarily depressing. Her stage presence and charisma lifted the mood and the visuals that went with the concert completed the experience. The kaleidoscopic effects surrounding the stage created a powerful and dreamy atmosphere, allowing the audience to travel the world within the four walls of the Gloria stage.
It was very natural to picture different scenarios while Vidal and her two accompanying musicians performed. Her songs transported the audience to a sort of magic pixie-land, where anything seemed possible. At times, the music was so poignant and passionate it almost seemed fit for an epic funeral – a bitter-sweet celebration of a demised, larger than life character, perhaps even a cartoon or a magical being. Tim Burton might want to consider giving her a call for his next animated film.
Vidal’s melodies also evoked images of walks down the Seine, likely due to her choice of instruments, which included the accordion – played by Vidal herself throughout most of the concert – the xylophone, the violin and the glockenspiel, to name a few. Some of her songs were performed in French, another element that helped visualise the city of lights.
Vidal’s music is perfectly suited for concerts of a more intimate nature, making the Gloria stage the right venue for her. The crowd was feeling it, clapping cheerfully at every instrument change and sticking by Vidal throughout the entire concert. Someone in the crowd even threw her a yellow rose, which she accepted, claiming it was a very sweet though slightly scary gesture – the gift did fly towards her out of nowhere!
Vidal urges you to ponder life and its enigmas. Her songs seemed honest and heartfelt and her delivery was flawless. Not one moment was out of tune. She knows how to connect with the audience and comes off as a genuinely talented artist. Her music is not for everyone, however, as it can be quite out there, especially for those who expect the usual line-up of guitar, vocals, drums and bass.
She has her own vibe and is not afraid to be herself. Her performance was refreshing and inspiring, an experience all in itself.