My Paris, Olympia, Autumn 2013 festival : Pixies, 29th September – Trombone Shorty, 3rd October – MGMT, 8th October

By pure coincidence, the last three shows I attended happened to take place at the Olympia theatre in Paris. A bit of mixed feelings as always with this hall as although this is true that this is a truly historical place (The Beatles played there!), this is not the most rock’n’roll place ever and having hostesses taking you to your seat is always a bit weird…

Pixies - Olympia 2013

Watching again the Pixies on stage was not something I had expected to do but receiving the news that Kim Deal was definitely out of the picture and replaced by another Kim on bass was one first good reason to discover this new line-up, the other being a quite good new EP that had just been out since late summer.

Joey Santiago - Pixies - Olympia 2013

And indeed it looks like the band has been liberated and keener to play a wider range of songs, from obscure old ones, the usual winners and a few new ones. As always, the band did not do a great job in having contact with the audience but nothing new here. On the opposite, seeing Black Francis fitter and back to a reasonable weight was a pleasure ; his voice in particular was on top shape. The real star of the show however was Joey Santiago on guitar. Always difficult to understand how such a creative genius can only express his art through this band and literally disappear from the music scene when not playing with the Pixies. This is I guess the story of great collective adventures (greater than the sum of individualities as we say…).

Black Francis - Pixies - Olympia 2013

Overall an excellent show despite being a bit mechanical as always with this great band (number 55 in our TOP 100 list).

  • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, 3rd October

Trombone Shorty - Olympia 2013

From the typically indie America indie rock band to a complete different style of music, there is only one step ! Trombone Shorty is a soul/funky/jazz musician who happens to be a great singer as well. He has been hanging around for years in the New Orleans music scene, hence his “shorty” nickname as he started playing at a very early age. For the record, he acted in a few episodes of the series “Treme” from the same creator as “The Wire”.

Trombone Shorty - Olympia 2013 - singing

And what a show that was ! Amazing stage presence and tremendous band as well. This show was indeed quite the opposite of the first one described above as all the act of this band is based on interaction with the audience. In other words, the noisier and crazier the audience gets, the better the show will be. We had a few great moments during the show, when for instance Trombone Shorty went singing in the middle of the audience or when all the musicians switched their instruments (and were almost as good!).

Trombone Shorty - Olympia 2013

The records are very good but his shows are more than recommended so don’t miss the chance of seeing him live if he happens to play nearby.

MGMT Olympia 2013

One again, completely different style of music with MGMT. The duo of nerdy young Americans has recently published their third LP and thanks to Mr. G. who managed to get VIP tickets, this show was a good opportunity to check where the boys were musically speaking. In other words, after a few shows I found boring and a quite excited new LP, this tour was the perfect way for the band to show their impact on the current music landscape.

Andrew Wingarden - MGMT - Olympia 2013

As usual, the band was completed by musician friends on stage to honour their psychedelic sounds and songs. I must say however that despite the band being at 100% in the songs and despite the fact that the band has improved a lot live, something is missing… Difficult to know what : the fact that the songs are too complex and not emotional enough, the look of the band, them being too polite ? At the end of the day, I would really recommend MGMT’s records as they have something apart but must admit that they are not the most rockin’ band of all times.

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