I’ve just returned from Paris and David Gilmour’s first Gig at the Palais des Congrès. It was also the first time I saw anyone of Pink Floyd live. But not the last time, thats for sure.The concert was not sold out, there were many empty seats in the front blocks -pretty expensive empty seats- but the cheaper seats were all filled with happy people,one of them being myself, sitting next to a guy with an MD recorder, which somehow gave me a feeling of being in the right place:-)
The support started at 9.00. I forgot the name again, but I thought they weren’t too good, although some songs had their moments. They finished at about 9.40, and some minutes later, David walked on stage. As there were no big changes in the setlist, I won’t do a review of every song except for the Highlights (at least to me):
Shine on pt.1
Wow.The crowd goes mad every time Dave strums another chord in the opening sequence. I’d thought they wouldn’t recognise the song until Syd’s Theme begins. Again, a beautiful, quiet version of the song, with a fine Blues-feeling, although he mixed up the text in the 2nd chorus. I think the saxophone player was not Dick Parry, but I couldn’t understand David when he introduced him to the audience- -he did most of the announcements in french, btw-and I was too far away to recognise him. Does anyone know who it was?
After Fat Old Sun he played Coming back to Life. He seemed to have problems singing it, his voice didn’t sound as clear as it should have, but that didn’t last for long.
There was nothing “new” to this version, but I was surprised that this song worked that great with the acoustic arrangement. The cello and Michael Kamen’s (clarinet?) are less pompous than the original full strings section and sound equally well. The choir sang the reprise afterwards.
That was the ultimate Highlight to me. Simply because I’d never thought that Rick would come along to Paris. The crowd was equally happy. When I heard that Rick would sing it,I was a bit sceptical at first: he doesn’ thave the best voice for lead vocals, and I was afraid that it could have become worse with time. And I was proven completely wrong. IMO that version was far better than the album version, and Rick sang it VERY good. His voice sounded much better than on the original, more relaxed in some way. Maybe he’s been practising in front of the mirror:-)
This was followed by Wish You Were Here
I’m glad the crowd stopped clapping during the very first solo;-)You could hear many people sing along, but very quietly, and it was just beautiful. What else can you say about this song?
“What the f*** ist that???” That’s what I thought during the cool intro on Doublebass,and then David was kind enough to start singing so I could recognise it. I like that versionalot. A straight Blues version with a very nice intro.
Shine On pt.2
Again, I just couldn’t believe the acoustic arrangement would work so fine until I heard it. Doublebass and guitar provide the OotD-like bassline while David playsthe slideguitar. And again, the cello works very good with the song.
These were just a few notes based on nothing but my memory. After the concert, at about midnight, me and a buddy of mine who was with me went around the hall to see if we could get an autograph when David leaves. We went down to the parking lots where some other fans were already waiting. I could only think that I was behaving pretty childish, just like a 16-year old fanboy, which I’m not. I’m a 20-year old fanboy, so dammit, I’ve gone so far, so I won’t leave before I’ve seen someone from the band.After a while some nice security people politely told us to piss off. So we waited outside. Somehow we managed to miss Gilmour’s Limousine when it left between 1.00 and 2.00, but it was followed by Michael Kamen’s Limousine.By then, only three of the fans were left: The two of us and a guy from Paris, who immediately jumped to the Limousine and Michael Kamen opened the window to talk a bit. He was very nice and gave us our autographs, talking about his projects and telling us to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games, for which he has written the music.That was definitely worth the waiting. Then Rick’s Limousine followed, but he didn’t stop. He looked pretty tired and didn’t seem to be in the mood for an After-midnight-chatter, so I think I’ll forgive him;-)
So we happily went to the hotel with our Autographs from Michael Kamen. And we only had to spend 2 hours in the nasty cold wind and rain of Paris! But it was definitely worth it.
And now, while I’m writing this, the second show in Paris hast just finished, and in about 1 1/2 hours, David Gilmour will leave the building, followed by Michael Kamen and Richard Wright.
Damn, I should have bought tickets for the second night, 🙁
With thanks to Gerald Haffke