Concerts Reviews

Amsterdam Concert: Review

Our friend Ecocharlie was so lucky to see the concert that Jean Michel Jarre performed in Amsterdam, in the Heineken Music Hall, last May 26. Here it is his review of the event:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

6:55. The clock rings, I open my eyes and I wake up quickly. Today, I’m going to see Jarre in concert, I say to myself.

I’m getting ready, I pick up my bag and my camera and I go to the airport.

8:50. The plane takes off destination Barcelona. A little stop there and then I’m in the plane to Amsterdam.

The fly lasts around two hours and above the Pirineos a mass of clouds appears joining us until 50 feet before landing at Amsterdam, and because of it, we couldn’t enjoy de panorama. The first image of the arrival was a very green fields, a speedway and one of the tracks of the airport, a grey sky, raining and fog… What an image!

After walking around the city, I go to the hotel. I got a wash, I change my clothes, take out my ticket, I pick up my little camera and some euros. I go to the Weesperplain underground station destination Gein and arrive to Bilmer Station Arena, with the Ajax Stadium at one side and the Heinekn Music Hall (HMH) at the other side.

I arrive at around 19:00, some one hour before the concert begins, and the gates are already open, but there are not many people around. They check my ticket, I go into the venue an the first that I can see is the merchandising area, I buy some material and I go to my seat.

I find the row 13, seat 52, and once find out, I go to have a walk around the venue and I realise that it is not separated in zones so, you can walk around the entire venue. The FOH zone (where the mixing desks are located) are not having walls or anything like that, and somebody could damage that desks; there were only one kind security guarde. I took some photos and nobody said anything to me.

I went to the front of stage but with the fog and low light I couldn’t see almost anything.

Then I went to the bar, and in the alley, there were my friend Karel. I met him in the Madrid concert and the two of us know that we are going to the concert, but we didn’t arrange a meeting there. It was a curious moment. We greeted each other, a little chat, photo and I continued my route across the HMH. Then I went to the bar to have one Heineken. I enjoyed my beer while walk to the tribune to see the stage from another perspective and I realise that in my seat I will see the show perfectly.

Then I see a very freak guy, a kind of “El Zorro” but without mask, Dressed with a kind of black cape, a black hat and very long hair… What a freak!! I didn’t take a photo of him, he was frightening!!

19:50, 10 minutes till the concert starts. I go to my seat and, for the moment, there is nobody at my side, but in that moment a couple, of around 50, appears, and in the other side there were a girl of my age. It seemed curious to me that a girl went alone to a Jarre concert, but a moment later her boyfriend appeared with two Heineken’s jars.

Slowly the empty chairs are filled. I think that the show was 95% sold out, a success because the lack of promotion, I couldn’t see any poster in Amsterdam promoting the show.

20:12. Some minutes late, Waiting for Cousteau is switched off and Industrial Revolution 2 starts, with the hand of Jarre appearing among the laser courtains.

The lighting effects were quite amazing but there were too much lasers there. The woman at my side spent half of the concert looking at the floor…

After the third track, Jarre spoke to the audience… He didn’t speak so much. The band was dressed in black, Perrier wearing the same black cap than in Marigny. Jarre was wearing black trousers and white short with a black Victoria or Converse!!

The concert continued and he played RV 3 without problems in the laser harp. The sound in Magnetic Fields 2 was ok, but different from the original.

Jarre was in great mood, I don’t know if because he was enjoying in the stage or he smoke something… but at the end of each track he jumped a little throwing his left arm… a little annoying.

The concert was going on with songs well played encouraging the crowd. What I didn’t like was an instrument very difficult to tune, very technical. The annoying cymbals were there too, at the sides of the keyboard, Jarre hitting them from time to time.

Then he played Oxygene 4. In that moment I realized that we are normal fans because there was a guy, fatty young guy, who was calmed the entire concert but when Oxygene 4 he started raving like a madman. I was laughing with his movements.

Jarre says good bye to the crowd and introduced the musicians, going out the stage. One minute later, they went into the stage again to play RV2. But in the laser harp part, the instrument fail down, and Jarre go to the keyboard to try to continue the melody…

They played Oxygene 4 again with all the audience clapping and standing up. Even with the live errors I don’t regret having paid the ticket or having see the concert.

Finaliza el concierto, vuelve a tocar el Oxygene IV y todo el publico aplaudiendo y en pie. Pese a los fallos comentados, me voy con buen sabor de boca, no me arrepiento de haber pagado la entrada.

While technicians and the crew are packing the instruments and material I saw Karel and a friends of him, and, together we talk about the concert.

Then I go out the venue and in the back door I met Francis Rimbert with a group o 7 or 9 people. I greet to Rimbert and the people with hem saying that I came from Spain, that I’m a member of the Fairlight Forum….A very kind guy, Mr Rimbert!!

A few people was there waiting if Jarre appears. I wait for a moment while four trailers are waiting to be packed with the tour’s material. Short after that one trailer, packed, starts the route destination Brussels.

Moments later I say good by to Karel and his friends, and I wait for a moment, but nobody appeared so I took my way to the underground station to have some dinner and go to sleep.

Please, allow me have a small recollection for the “Eco’s girl”. In this Jarre experience her memory was there, in my head, taking to my memories of our trip to Paris to see the Marigny Concert, the best trip ever made by us.

“Lils” I love you!!

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