Ivo Dimchev At The Hotel Cafe, Wednesday September 18th 2019
It’s a mystery to me, how did Ivo Dimchev find me? I got to see this international renown artist at the Hotel Cafe on Wednesday night after he sent me an invite and I really got impressed by his incredible performance. Ivo is a choreographer, a visual artist, a composer, and performer from Bulgaria, but last night, he was just a musician and singer although the rest of this fascinating and multifaceted persona was never too far away.
In front of a cheering and very enthusiastic crowd, he treated us with a taste of his art for more than an hour, singing his lyrical songs with an impressive vocal range. Standing in front of his keyboard, the blonde Bulgarian sang most of the time with an extremely high voice — he is gifted with the chords of a countertenor — while the songs were executed with a preciosity (and it was part of his act) that was reminiscent of an 18th-century chamber music singer. His golden voice has to be heard to be believed, but it wasn’t always staying on the same range, each new song was revealing a new prowess as the elasticity of this organ seemed to have no limit, adding insane tremolos here, guttural effects there, before reaching new heights like a reincarnation of Klaus Nomi.
A song about his favorite street in LA, Melrose, had the gravitas of a late summer drama, ‘Overrated’, maybe one of my favorites, had a melody exulting Slave melancholia, while another one was accelerating like an excited heartbeat or a horse’s gentle trot. But his voice was doing all the work, a crazy instrument exploring unexplored territories, that he was effortlessly pushing to the limits with his entire body while touching the crowd’s souls and bodies at the same time, ‘You’re a sexy beast!’ someone screamed.
Between songs, Ivo got very talkative, joking about his songs being ‘very cheesy’, and a cello player joined him on stage adding an emotive layer to his already very poignant tunes.
Ivo Dimchev is a very accomplished artist who has received numerous awards for his work in dance and theater in Europe. He was a resident artist at Kaaitheater in Brussels, gave master classes at the National Theater Academy of Budapest, at the Royal Conservatory of Belgian Dance in Antwerp, at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, Vienna’s DanceWeb, among many others. The last past years, he has also become a singer-songwriter and has released 2 albums ‘Songs from my shows’ and ‘Sculptures’, and was even an X Factor contestant in 2018,… However, he probably wants to try his chance in the US these days.
The songs were played on the piano, accompanied by a cello and an eventual extra cajón box, but other ones were sung above backing tracks, however executed with the same virtuosity and incredible agility. All night long, Ivo was blending pathos and humor with great ease, as his intense and melancholic music was always balanced with his little funny acts in between the singing parts.
It was such a delight to see an artist performing in front of such an adoring crowd, people were cheering and applauding, while each one of his body movements was following the extravaganza of his vocal prowess. One of his last songs, ‘Not An Angel’ was a real Euro-disco dancefloor, just followed by the incandescent ‘Travelling Light’ burning with an intense operatic momentum.
In the end, I would say that his performance sounded like Perfume Genius sang by Klaus Nomi with a few Brüno poses in the middle, something really unusual and remarkable… And there is certainly a popstar’s progeny who did notice, as Ivo told us that Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson’s own daughter, had accepted to share the late spot with him. She closed the night as the Soundflowers, a band she formed with her boyfriend, and gave a warm hug to Ivo at the end of this interesting night.