Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shakira at Paris

Shakira live at the Bercy, Paris, 6.12.2010

concert report / review

As I take every conceivable excuse to travel to Paris, and as I can’t do the London gig of the current tour because it falls in the school hols and I have kids to look after, I went down to the Bercy to see the Sale El Sol Tour for the second time (first time was Lyon, see here).

The queuing was slightly less mad than in Lyon (which was the first concert in Europe and has therefore surely attracted a few hundred hardcore front row people from across the continent), but still quite crazy. I joined the end of a very long and winding queue at 6pm, when the doors opened, and it was 7 before I got in.

This time I heeded my own advice which I gave out after the last concert, and went for a place close to the “end of the pier”, with just four or five rows between me and the synapse of the stage axon (I like this neurological terminology for the stage layout, will stick with it!). It’s not just that much of the show is actually happening there, it’s also that you don’t have to crane your neck back and forth when the action moves from the main stage to the synapse and back. And the view of the main stage is still good from this distance, plus one gets an impression of the whole light show as it is intended to be seen. So, best standing place in the house, really.

Just after “Bonsoir Paris” I noticed she actually addressed the criticism I expressed after the Lyon concert, switching her “tonight I’m all yours” introduction into French. Later on she also spoke more French during the bellydance course with four girls from the audience. Sweet. My other criticism after Lyon was that the DJ was a bit rubbish and blatantly only there to artificially pump up the adrenaline, and wouldn’t it be better to give a new act the chance to play to a big audience. As the announcement in Lyon said the DJ was booked for the entire European tour (and he was still there in Paris), I am now officially spooked to hear that at the Manchester Gig (14.12.) he has been replaced with a girl group called Parade. Damn I should have gone to Manchester as well.

So, next on my wishlist is a full-length recording of the Arabic song A'tini al-Nay. Oh, and another MTV unplugged concert.

Where were we? Oh yes, Paris. So, from my vantage point at the end of the axon the whole show made a lot more sense, and I really loved the little unplugged session at the synapse.

Some random observations that I hadn’t noticed or recorded last time:
The Sale El Sol announcement already confused me at Lyon. She started with something along the lines of “over the last few months I’ve been feeling a bit different” which seemed to lead very clearly towards something involving eggs and sperms, except that it didn’t. Identical text in Paris, but still no baby at the end of it.

I really loved the violin intro for Ojos Asi. I think the violinist who also plays a range of other instruments is a great addition to the band. Still have to find out her name. I think she was introduced as British in Lyon but as Irish in Paris. Never mind.

I’m not a huge fan of Gipsy but loved the dance intro and the acoustic version of that, and the throwaway line at the end: “soy gitana de ciudad”.

Two days after Paris I was due to see the show again at Frankfurt, but come 9pm (and after the DJ had already played 30 mins too long and in a suspiciously calm mood) it was announced that due to the inclement weather conditions her plane couldn’t land at Frankfurt, so the show had to be postponed. Oh well. Next time take the train – I really enjoyed my train rides through the snow from Paris to Frankfurt and back. Now I hope that the replacement show in Frankfurt will be Monday –Wednesday during term time, hope that can be arranged … Oh, and don’t forget A'tini al-Nay.

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