Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You Can Comment Now!

(PS: Since writing this post I have republished the Polnareff piece, but I'm keeping this one on here in case anyone has comments about my comment problem with Blogger!)
OK, I knew that not everybody would be as excited about my seeing Michel Polnareff in concert as I was. But to the point of having NO COMMENTS?

That surprised me a little. Then I realized that for some reason, Blogger had not enabled comments for the posts I wrote last weekend. It seems to be working now -- strange!

Oh yes, and as wcs put it:

Love me, please love me...

Je suis fou-ou-ou de vous...

All right, I know in my case it's "folle." Hope to hear from you soon!


Betty C. said...

Just me checking if the comment function is working on this post!

Will said...

Hi, Betty -- I don't know you, and just happened to stumble across this post. My fiancee and I live in New Jersey, but booked a trip to Paris just to see Polnareff at Bercy. (OK, we did other things, too, but the concert was the reason we scheduled the trip when we did.) We're huge Polnareff fans (I used to live in France when I was younger), and I think some of the fans seated near us were perplexed that a couple of Americans had taken such interest in the show. Anyway, it was an amazing, transcendant experience. For me, seeing Polnareff was like seeing the Beatles. I'm not kidding. I agree that the best bits featured him alone, or with sparse accompanyment, at the piano (e.g. "L'homme qui pleurait des larmes de verre"). Plus, it was such a scene! Definitely an experience I will never forget.

Betty C. said...

Hey, Will, blogs are meant for commenting to people you don't know! I think I may have to move my original post so it can be comment-enabled...anyway, thanks so much for dropping by.

I have to agree with the Beatles reference. My daughters knew, too, that they were seeing someone legendary.

The audience was maybe a little more calm at the beginning of the show at Clermont than at Bercy but it was still a great audience.

Is it true there were no encores at Bercy after "On ira tous...?"

Thanks for dropping by and if you come back, send me an email, we can exchange more impressions of the concert!

Will said...

Betty --

I'd read some reviews that he ended the first (and perhaps the second) Bercy show with "On ira tous au paradis," but when we saw him (on May 9, the sixth Bercy concert), he came back for a solo performance of "Ame caline," one of my favorites and, for me, probably the highlight of the entire show. I trust he did the same at the show you saw?

I could have done without some of the '80s numbers ("Tam Tam," "Je t'aime"), and we both thought his new song, "Positions," was dreadful. "Ophelie flagrant des lits" is OK, but kind of a throwaway. Overall, though, I thought he hit most of the "grands tubes" that you'd expect to hear, with a few semi-obscure album tracks thrown in to please hardcore fans.

Anyway, our neighbors at the concert asked us if Polnareff is well-known in the U.S., given that we'd traveled so far to see him, and that he lives in California. "Not really," we said. "We just have good taste!"

Glad to see that you do, too!
W. (e-mail: wlamb76@earthlink.net)

Gina said...

Hi, Betty! I'm Will's fiancee. :)

Since our return from Paris, I've been telling people that the Polnareff show we saw at Bercy is the best thing I've ever seen on stage. And I mean it. I had never been to a concert that was so emotional and moving and downright exciting...it was magic.


P.S. There wasn't an encore after "On ira tous" at Bercy.

Betty C. said...

I thought the 80s songs came off pretty well in concert--he kind of had an 80s-style band, didn't he? At least a band conducive to that type of song.

At Clermont, his encore was also solo; Ame Caline and then (you'll be jealous) a segue into L'Homme Qui Pleurait..., which he had performed earlier in the show. Total silence in the audience, it was a beautiful moment.

We're with you --"Positions" is a terrible song, probably the worst one of the concert. Ophelie was OK, I thought it came off pretty well live. Generally the selection of songs was great, though. I think if the above two are any indication, we can be happy he wasn't trying to pitch a whole new album.

Which song would you have liked to hear the most? I would have loved to hear "Ballade pour toi" but was pretty content to have gotten "Sous quelle étoile..."

Will said...

OK, I'm probably in the minority on those '80s hits. They were HUGE crowd-pleasers, but they just don't do anything for me. I took advantage of "Tam Tam" to duck into the lobby for a T-shirt.

I'd have loved it if he'd played "Le prince en otage." Of course, I'd have been thrilled if he'd played a few more of my faves from the early years ("Miss Blue Jeans," "Les grands sentiments humains," "Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta," "Un train ce soir," "Le desert n'est plus en Afrique"), but I was satisfied with the setlist overall. I did like what he did with "Sous quelle etoille ... " and was genuinely surprised to hear "Hey You Woman." Overall, it seemed like the right mix. I even enjoyed "Y'a qu'un cheveu," which was a lot of fun live even though it has never been among my favorites.

It had been a long time since I'd seen a concert in France, and I noticed a couple of differences. For one, people stayed in their seats for the most part, save for the requisite standing Os at the end of the main set and after the encore. I'd think an American audience would have stood and danced its way at least through the first few numbers and the last ones. Second, U.S. audiences get antsy, and tend to roam around during the show to visit the restrooms, or buy beer. At this show, no one moved. I went out to buy a T-shirt (the lines were too long before the show) and I was the *only* one roaming around out there, save for a few security guards and souvenir vendors.


Which isn't to say the audience wasn't into it. They were clearly thrilled and, at points, genuinely moved. They knew almost every word to every song.

I throught it was awesome when Polnareff ad-libbed a "toujours" in "L'amour avec toi": "Moi, je me fous ... toujours ... de la societe." Awesome.

Betty C. said...

Yes, I noticed the "toujours" too, so I guess it wasn't totally improvised -- but fit in well.

I'm surprised people stayed seated at Bercy! I rather thought even in Clermont that everybody would be on their feet from the get-go, especially considering the first four or five songs he did which included some big hits. There was huge enthusiasm at the end, though. But maybe some of it has to do with the age of the audience. My husband is in his early 50s and a LOT of people there were definitely older than him.

Of course there were people of all ages, but as I said, my kids were a little surprised at the proportion of people old enough to be their grandparents. For me it was kind of nice to feel young at a concert again, LOL!

I guess I have to remember that Polnareff left France well over thirty years ago...

Gina said...

Oops. Will's right about that encore at Bercy. My memory seems to be addled by the events of that day, which included getting engaged. :)

Were you showered with sunglasses-shaped confetti in Clermont?


Betty C. said...

We were in the upper seats but saw the confetti, so I suppose it was the same stuff.

I was wondering about the encore, because in the French media it was all over the news that there was no encore, but as your fiancé said, I guess he changed his mind after a few concerts. We weren't necessarily expecting one, so it was a real treat.

Paula said...

Michel Polnareff is amazing....words simply cannot express the emotion evoked. Paula

Ken Broadhurst said...

I remember Polnareff's songs and publicity posters from the early 70s, when I lived in Aix and then in Rouen. He was pretty outrageous then, and his music was distinctive, for sure. I can see why you wanted to go see him live. Wish I had had that change.

Betty C. said...

Typo or Freudian slip, Ken? It's funny because for our family , the experience was something of a "change" -- it motivated us to get out and see more music together, also to communicate to each other more about music.