29 March 2007
Yesterday I was one of 128 lucky fans to witness a private showcase of Jean-Michel Jarre's new album 'Teo & Tea'. The event took place in a TV studio in Lint, about an hour's train ride from Brussels. Going out on the first Eurostar and returning on the last made for a long day, but it was fantastic. Docklands in '88 was the first concert I went to, and Zoolook and Rendez-Vous were the first albums I bought. I got Revolutions, Cousteau, Chronologie and Metamorphoses on the day of issue and they have soundtracked my life. I still dip into them all today.
I've seen JMJ three times in concert, but never like this. Usually it's a massive spectacular, or at least an arena gig. There were only a couple of hundred people at this gig and JMJ was able to get in among the crowd and really interact with them.
I had only heard the album twice before the show. It didn't strike me at first (I was probably too distracted trying to work out where Kontich station was), but it has a subtle beauty as well as some stomping rhythms. It's all the more special now that it reminds me of the gig. After seven relatively quiet years, it's good to have JMJ back.
We were allowed to take photos, provided no flash was used, which I thought was an enlightened attitude. I wonder whether bands are realising that the benefits of having their photos all over the internet and sustaining a buzz among fans far outweigh the risk that some might end up on unauthorised merchandise.
You can see my photos and review here. Please leave any feedback in the comments below.
Greetings from Glenn
Nice to read about your experiences of the showcase. Glad to see you had a good time.
Glenn: you must have travelled a fair bit to see all those shows. I would have liked to have seen the Cousteau shows around 1990 particularly.
Pepe: It was nice to meet you in Lint. One of the best things about the day was the friendly atmosphere among the fans, and the organisers of the day come to that. I hope to see some familiar faces at the next JMJ event I go to.
Many thanks for the review and pictures! As a Belgian and huge fan, I feel I've missed a unique opportunity. It is only by accident I stumbled upon this. I work too many hours and didn't follow anything about Jarre or any other musician I appreciate.
In the past I saw Jarre in Paris, La Défense (twice), in Zermatt (Switserland) a concert for Swatch (truly a unique concert back in '92!) and twice in Brussels. Ahh those memories...
A quick correction if you don't mind. It is true, Jarre holds the Guinness World Record for the largest live concert audience, but it was the concert in Paris on 14th July, 1990 with an audience of +/- 2.5 million(!) people. I was 16y/o and found a way to sneak into the VIP's, the best spot on earth on that day! I made pictures, unfortunately they all failed but one, the one I took during day-time from the stage...
He's giving 10 concerts next month in Paris. Thinking about going, but it will be hard with my crazy schedule.
Thanks for your comment. It looks like Jarre's repeatedly smashed his own record in the Guinness Book, including the one I mentioned in my article. According to Wikipedia, he even beat his 1990 performance in Moscow in 1997. I'll fix it in my article.
I was lucky enough to see the Docklands show (my first concert ever), Chronologie tour, Oxygene tour (1997) and Teo & Tea showcase. I'll be going to one of the Paris shows.
You've got to go to Paris if it's possible for you. You know you'll remember it for a lifetime if you do...
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