This weekend I was lucky enough to enjoy two lovely nights of music in Paris.
The first: a massive benefit concert with celebrity A-list hosts, over 3,000 people in attendance and a wide variety of musical acts. The second: a much smaller venue in the Oberkampf
area of Paris, with free admission and standing room only. This post will focus on the first event, but more to come in the next few weeks on the second (pending a potential interview with one of the performers).
Thanks to a friend of a friend (although I now like to think that we're friends in our own right -- he's tagged in at least nine of my Facebook photos), a small group of us got discounted tickets to attend the Peace One Day concert
at Le Zenith
this past Friday.
According to their website, Peace One Day
is an organization "working to institutionalize Peace Day [September 21st], making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known."
Oh, and even better than world peace, did I mention that the event was hosted by Jude Law
and Sharon Stone
??? Yes ladies, from what I could see Jude is just as handsome in person. Sadly I didn't make it backstage to check for any sightings of Sienna Miller (or the nanny
The line up for the evening was pretty eclectic: the concert opened with French singer Yodelice
, then a short but enjoyable set from Vanessa Paradis
(sadly, Johnny Depp
was a no-show). The first act closed with Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour
and his backing band. N'Dour was by far the most dynamic act of the evening, and kept the crowd on their feet for most of his set.
After about a 20-minute intermission it was already past 10pm, so the second act seemed to drag a bit. But popular French singer "M
" (who is essentially attempting to harness Hendrix and Prince simultaneously), opened the second half and kept my full attention for most of his set (even though I had no clue who he was).
After giving Nigerian-German singer-songwriter Ayo.
a chance to show her stuff, Patti Smith
belted out a few tunes, and was the first act of the night to play a song I actually knew
(although Paradis did perform a lovely rendition of "Hallelujah"
, which I'm also familiar with).
I have to admit, I left about one minute into the closing act to avoid insane metro traffic. English performer Charlie Winston
is apparently not that popular in his home country, but massive in France. Needless to say, 0ur group of four Anglophones had no problem walking out, leaving the French masses to revel in unoriginal pop riffs and cheesy lyrics.
I will continue to discuss highlights and my overall perspective about this event in my next post. For now, feel free to check out additional photos I took at the concert. It was a bit tough to get nice shots with that massive crane in the way. But I did my best!