Paul McCartney at the Paris La Défense Arena

The legendary Paul McCartney was playing the Paris La Défense Arena, formerly known as the U Arena – the largest concert hall in Europe, which hosted the Rolling Stones concerts in 2017 and Roger Waters gigs last June.

The Beatles were the 1st pop/rock band I listened to as a teenager, starting with their album “Revolver” – I won’t mention that a song like “Taxman” is as relevant as ever today…

I had not initially planned to attend the concert, being a fan of the Beatles but not a fan of Paul’s later output – not that I don’t like it but that I don’t know it, apart from a fistful of Wings or solo songs.

I made up my mind after checking the set lists of his recent concerts in Japan, and crossing my fingers hoping I would not be disappointed, knowing that Paul was not the Beatles and that he is 76!

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Elisabeth Leonskaja plays Schubert at the TCE

Soviet Union was undoubtedly the land which “produced” the largest number of first importance female pianists: Maria Yudina, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Viktoria Postnikova, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Eliso Virsaladze, Ludmila Berlinskaja to name but a few.

Leonskaja was in recital at the TCE in a program that was supposed to be Schubert only, but she had planned some surprises.

The first piece was Sonata No. 3 D. 459: it was a chance to hear such a great performer in one of the early sonatas which are far too neglected today.

She then addressed the audience explaining that she would play Arnold Schoenberg’s “6 Little Piano Pieces”, Op.19, and what a performance that was!

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Jethro Tull, 50th anniversary in Paris

Jethro Tull, with its leader and only permanent member, Ian Anderson, were celebrating the 50 years of the band in Paris, at the Salle Pleyel.

Jethro Tull’s music, which has been classified as blues rock, progressive rock, folk rock, hard rock and electronic rock, is nonetheless easy to identify with Anderson’s distinctive flute playing and singing.

It was my first live experience with them – watching videos of concerts surely does not count. Ian Anderson’s energy on stage is still clear, even though he is now 71.

In between some songs, the concert included short videos of interviews of some previous band members, friends or famous fans (Jeffrey Hammond, Mick Abrahams, Tony Iommi, Claude Nobs…) talking about the band, their favourite song or some anecdote. Anderson also introduced some songs and the different videos, with a great sense of humour.

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