Cameras in the pit, cameras in hand and a camera on stage revolving around Rosalía. Motomami It’s more than an album, it’s a concept that has reached the tour that started this summer and will take it to Spain, America and some European countries next winter.
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The singer is in perpetual metamorphosis, her message is different and the way of communicating it too, even on stage. This didn’t sit well with all the attendees, some of whom accuse him of paying more attention to the production of the live videos than to the audience.
“It’s fantastic to have a front row ticket to see Rosalía’s cameraman,” complained one of the Andalusian fans. The staging of the tour Motomami It consists of a horizontal screen located in the center and two vertical screens on the sides, like a smart phones giants. There’s no corner of the stands or the track where you can’t see what’s going on in the middle, and that’s thanks to the cameras. The difference with the usual use made by other artists is that the Catalan naturally interacts with them as she would with her mobile phone. And not everyone liked it.
It amazes me that he turns a stage, the temple of live music, into a private TikTok set
— music critic
“The star element of the staging is the cameraman who chases Rosalía throughout the show. We didn’t just see karaoke, but TV karaoke,” music critic Fernando Neira wrote on Twitter, who attended the first of the concerts that the artist gave in Madrid. Some criticized him for the harshness of his words, but he remains firm: “I am stunned that he transforms a stage, the temple of live music, into a private TikTok set”, he says again in a conversation with elDiario.es.
Neira thinks of the participants who paid almost 100 euros to see “how she interacts with a man who is on stage”, which generates in her a “deep unease”. Álvaro Luna, video scenographer for concerts, theater and opera, thinks just the opposite: “The audience is not only the first ten rows. She looks at the camera and plays with it, but she speaks to her fans. The expert says video is a central part of the show, something some of the more veteran performers have been doing for years.
“The first pivots were U2 and Pink Floyd. The difference is that Rosalía uses a very current language and does so from the point of view of gender democratization. He designs it as if it were a social media platform,” says Luna. And she is not the only one to have chosen to make the stage a small film set. The most recent and closest example is that of C. Tangana, whose concerts are a two-hour film in which actors, extras and guest singers appear united by a production of the highest level. The price to pay is the same: instead of having only men and instruments, cranes, cameras and a lot of equipment slip into the scene.
according to the project
Rosalía is a visual and sound artist. Neither his songs are complete without the music video nor his character fully understood without the social media exposure. It has been demonstrated during the gestation of Motomami, which was advanced by TikTok pills in which she appeared sitting at the keyboard, on a chairlift singing to her lover or dancing in a hotel room in a tracksuit and without makeup. This symbiosis with social networks was sealed in March with the presentation of the album through a concert on TikTok, in horizontal format and with exactly the same performance that now accompanies it twice in its concerts.
The decision to see the cameras at all times is something conscientious, according to Álvaro Luna. “She wants us to see that someone is recording her. There is no integration of the equipment, which is a very current and unprofessional technology at the same time”, explains the designer, who according to him gives him “a lot of visual freshness.” On the other hand, Fernando Neira believes that “if technological tools are great for making his work known”, it is a “camorous error to bring them to life”.
“He speaks little to the public and speaks to say two obvious things without any kind of grace, charisma, speech or ingenuity,” he says of what he defines as a missed opportunity. “I don’t understand why he misses such a favorable situation and with such a dedicated audience in advance to do this,” he insists. Luna contradicts him: “The visual composition of Motomami It’s been about putting his message and his speech through a screen from the start, and he maintains that consistency in the concerts.”
This is why on the circuit there is no plane like the previous one. The zoom on his face in the ballad like a G contrast with The Versace Jumpsuit, where the dancers take a kind of GoPro and pass it from hand to hand as if they were at a party. “All of this is designed upstream, it is produced and executed in a very clear click with slight moments of improvisation”, reveals the designer. “More and more artists are breaking away from the idea that concert visuals are just a rebroadcast of the singer,” he says, pointing this out as good news.
Does the video replace the instrument?
Another criticism of Rosalía’s live performance is the disappearance of live instruments in favor of video cameras. “How is it possible that a concert without a single musician, in a noble place like WiZink in Madrid, sounds so bad?”, complained Fernando Neira. Álvaro Luna explains it by saying that “the power of the instrument is dead”. “You go to a concert and there are very few musicians on stage, which is why you have to dress it in other more multimedia artistic expressions. It seems brave on the part of new singers, ”says the video scenographer.
However, C. Tangana’s concert is proof that instruments and video do not oppose each other in the same space. “El Madrileño” takes choristers, trumpeters, pianists, dancers and singers as giant cranes fly overhead with cameras as choreographed as those in a film production.
In Rosalie’s case, Motomami It has a very simple score but with a lot of digital dressing in the form of layers. For this reason, his strong point on stage is his voice, dance and video production. In other cases – it’s unclear if this one too – the cameras have an ulterior commercial intent: to launch a documentary about a specific tour, concert or singer with fragments of their live performances.
People don’t go to a concert to listen, they go to see and feel
— video scenographer
Rosalía’s show is meticulous. Also if a camera leans back, offers a nadir shot, or is passed from hand to hand. “Rock is different and gives you the freedom to create different artistic proposals every day,” says Álvaro Luna, responsible for video art during the farewell tour of Rosendo and some festivals. For him, “this resource is part of theater and dramaturgy” and generates “a much more attractive package in a large space”.
“The screens not only amplify the little person who acts, but they sift through the artistic vision of the video”, he defends himself. Concert screens have long since moved from showing the static image of the singer or musicians to offering their own narrative. At that time, they weren’t too fond of psychedelic resources either because they “distracted from the music”. The creator compares this criticism to that which the choreographies also received when they began to be included in concerts: “People said that it was a thing for television and music videos, and now some live performances do not not understand without them”.
Fernando Neira agrees that “we are all grateful for the giant screens” and clarifies that “when a curmudgeon like Bob Dylan refuses to put them on, you feel like a bad regular”. “It’s a wonderful resource and it can be used as an audiovisual medium,” he points out. But Rosalía’s is still not to his liking. “It’s a matter of taste,” Luna understands, but adds that “people don’t go to a concert just to listen, they go to see and feel. And when, in addition to the decorations, they offer them a concept, as in the case of Motomami, cool stuff comes out,” he concludes.