Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica Tour

08.10.2016 Barclaycard Arena Birmingham

It isn’t the norm that a gig is stunning sound-wise (first class sound) and visually (the lighting effects were out of this world) and when you add an artist that has been around for 4 decades and doesn’t write sub-par material EVER (in my humble opinion) then what you have is a perfect night out.

And that is exactly what that was – a perfect night out, a perfect concert, genius level.

‘Electronica’ and ‘Electronica 2’, Jean-Michel Jarre’s last two albums, underline the fact that he is one of the godfathers of electronic music and that he has inspired millions of musicians around the globe and that the world’s best feel honoured and humbled to be on an album with him. 

The Electronica albums impressively show his versatility and clear timelessness in his approach to music.

68 years old Jean-Michel proofed a tour de force on stage and said that he is very happy to have started his tour in the UK and that the UK is his second home ‘with or without Brexit’.

Having recorded with the crème de la crème of the electronic music scene on the two Electronica albums, he performs very early into the show his collaboration with Erasure’s Vince Clarke and plays the track he recorded with the Pet Shop Boys a little later in the show as well as performing ‘Exit’, a collaboration with Edward Snowdon, who can be seen on a massive video screen. 

In fact, there were numerous video screens that could be combined to create a stage-wide canvas and there wasn’t a moment in the show (that unfortunately is less than two hours long) where the visual senses weren’t awed.

The real highlights of the show undoubtedly were the tracks from the ‘Equinoxe’ and ‘Oxygen’ albums and even more amazingly December 2nd marks ‘Oxygene’s 40th anniversary and a brand-new album ‘Oxygene 3’ will be released on December 2nd 2016.

We were very fortunate that a brand-new song from the album, namely ‘Oxygen 17’ was performed by Jean-Michel and his two stage musicians, who added some synths and a hell of a lot of drums and percussion to proceedings.

What was interesting about the Jarre gig was that nothing felt ‘retro’ or dated and out of place or out of touch.

And, luckily, his laser harp, long a trademark of his, did work as well.

The audience could have been a bit wilder and Jarre himself asked security to relax a little and to allow people to get up and dance.

From where I was sitting it felt that ‘Oxygene Pt. 4’ was the most appreciated track of the evening. That said, the crowd clearly loved what they heard and saw and showed their appreciation. 

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