L'Impératrice | An Ecstatic Performance at Outside Lands

Dancing to nu-disco in San Francisco

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Photos Courtesy of Alive Coverage.

This past weekend Outside Lands Music Festival held its 15th anniversary in San Francisco, putting on a three-day, sold-out celebration in Golden Gate Park. Along with the exciting line-up of up-and-coming and chart-topping artists was a selection of delectable food, wine, beer, and cannabis vendors to create an all-encompassing experience reflective of the beauty that The City by The Bay is famous for. 

Perhaps one of the most electric performances of the weekend was put on by the nu-disco French sextet, L’Impératrice. Creating pop-disco sounds by merging funk grooves, live bass lines, 70’s boogie, Eurodisco, synthesizers, and rock-electronic, their most recent single “Heartquake” features Cuco, and follows conceptual themes of Takotsubo, which is also the name of their latest album

Garnering a colossal audience at the Sutro stage, their Saturday set concluded their American tour. From the group’s coordinated outfits complete with lit-up beating hearts attached to their shirts to creatively choreographed dances, L’Impératrice held a contagious energy on stage that spread throughout the crowd, reminding everyone of the collective joy that live music brings. How six people can move a sea of thousands, though, might be thanks to lead singer Flore, who conducted a successful dancing experiment with the audience to move as weirdly as possible when performing “Voodoo?”

Named THE band to see at Outside Lands by the San Francisco Standard, FLAUNT had the opportunity to catch Flore Benguigui, Charles de Boisseguin, Achille Trocellier,  David Gaugué, Hagni Gwon, and Tom Daveau of L’Impératrice a few hours before their memorable performance.

How are you guys all feeling to be here at Outside Lands performing? 

Flore: Great. Yeah, we feel pretty great. It's the last show also of our summer American tour, so pretty excited. 

Tell me a bit about this tour and bringing Tako Tsubo to life, sharing it on stage.

Charles: It's the second time actually, we are sharing it. We had a huge American tour last year, with Coachella and so on. It’s always a pleasure to meet new fans and to be here. We feel like we are still on the wave.

Flore: We've been doing a lot of outdoor festivals this summer. The past few days we were in LA, and we arrived in San Francisco yesterday and we were doing club shows in small, small clubs. That was really fun to be very close to the fans, having a very sweaty, classy crowd.

Is there a difference between an American crowd and a French crowd?

Charles: Yeah, huge difference. A French audience, I mean French people are there to sing. They want to know the lyrics and all. I think American people, they are more into everything. The groove, the breaks with guitars, bass and drums. They can hear everything. And they react to everything. Every time. They cheer us up. Which is really amazing. I mean, that doesn't really exist in France. 

You recently released your single “Heartquake” featuring Cuco. How did that come to be? Why did you decide to bring Cuco on?

Flore: It was kind of by chance because we met him at Coachella last year. And also, he came to see our show in LA right after Coachella, and we saw his set at Coachella as well. So really, we love his music and he likes ours. So that was a really good match. We had a song that could match his vibe, and we sent him the song. Everything was done remotely. But it worked out pretty well. 

What does your creative process look like as a larger band? How do you handle creative differences? 

Charles: We all make music together. Everyone can bring an idea and we're going to work on it. If someone disagrees with an idea, we just drop it. 

Flore: It's very collective.

David: Yeah, it's a very democratic journey. 

What can you share about your set today? 

Flore: We heard that the stage was very beautiful. Quite excited to be on it. People should bring comfy shoes and just dance with us. It's the last show, so we're going to have loads of energy to share. 

Photographed by Alive Coverage

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Outside Lands, Music Festival, San Francisco, Franchesca Baratta, L'Impératrice, Tako Tsubo,