Author Topic: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris  (Read 470 times)

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Offline The Curious Orange

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12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:02:13 PM »
With apologies for having taken so long to write this up, the reason for the delay will be explained...

So the idea was a simple one - Could I get to Paris to see DT as quickly and cheaply as going to Leeds? On paper, yes - the Eurostar is considerably cheaper, (£114 to Leeds, I found a ticket to Paris for £59) and only 20 minutes longer. Plus the ticket price was half what they're charging for Hammersmith. Passport updated, Paris here I come!

Problems with engineering works to Kings Cross aside, the trip was pretty smooth. Le Zenith is an odd venue, from the outside, it's just an ugly box in the middle of a park, and the queuing arrangements leave a lot to be desired,but inside its a great space with a great atmosphere.

Seven o'clock on the dot, the lights go down and the band come on stage to The Dark Eternal Night. Not the opener many of us would have chosen, but it works well, and was a stunning statement of intent. I've NEVER seen James engage with the crowd like this before - it was like he'd been taking lessons. There was just so much energy here! New keyboard sounds, a great keytar solo, and a great interplay between JP and MM changing up the tempo at the end of the song made it clear - no click track, no effects, no gimmicks - this was almost an apology for The Astonishing. By the end of the first song, the band could have walked off stage and this would already be the best DT show I've seen for many a year.

The first set was stunning, The Bigger Picture worked well, Hell's Kitchen was a delight. The 2 Astonishing songs weren't the 2 I'd have chosen, but they worked incredibly well live, and they went down well with the French audience - for that matter everything did, this was a great crowd, and they gave the show tremendous energy throughout.

The second set opened with Pull Me Under, and the crowd went mad. JLB struggled with the "Unbroken Spirit" verse of Take The Time, but not so you'd notice. The French audience went utterly insane for Metropolis - really, you had to have been there! The high F on Learning to Live was more of a scream, but JLB hit it fine.

And the encore? A Change of Seasons! Words fail me!

For everyone who's ever said DT aren't as good as they used to be - Well, they are now! This was an amazing show, beg, borrow or steal tickets to this tour, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!!

So why did this take me 10 days to write up? Well, I tripped and broke my leg at Gare du Nord going home. So yes, you can go and see Dream Theater in Paris cheaper than in Leeds, but you probably shouldn't!

"And if love remains, though everything is lost,
We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost..."

Offline CB

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 01:11:41 PM »
That must have been a nightmare to remember, breaking a leg, and in a foreign country :o (Do you speak french? Did they speak english?) I hope you got home safe and your leg is getting better. (Of course you could have broken your leg in Leeds as well ...)

I agree this show is a must, my experience in Hamburg (2 days after Paris) was a lot like yours. I guess the band was frustrated about the lack of audience response in TA and now they're making up for it (especially JLB, he was totally on fire in Hamburg as well, despite still being ill). To my own surprise I loved TDEN as the opener, the whole "and beyond" part is chosen very well. The only songs that sounded out of place to me were the TA songs, but that's probably because I've seen TA 3 times and for me these songs just belong in TA.

The band must be very happy about the undivided positive fan response to this tour. They wanted to unite the fans and they did 100%. I'm actually thinking about seeing I&W a 3rd time, after Düsseldorf and Hamburg. Lingen in May would be easy to arrange because it's a weekend. I wonder if they will keep the setlist or change the "and beyond" part for the 2nd european leg.

Offline The Curious Orange

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2017, 07:01:48 AM »
I agree this show is a must, my experience in Hamburg (2 days after Paris) was a lot like yours. I guess the band was frustrated about the lack of audience response in TA and now they're making up for it (especially JLB, he was totally on fire in Hamburg as well, despite still being ill).

Yeah, James came out and it was like they had a totally new singer - I was thinking "Who is this guy and what have they done with JLB?" The leg is doing fine, thanks, currently in plaster and I'm hobbling around on crutches. Hopefully should be better by Hammersmith!
"And if love remains, though everything is lost,
We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost..."

Offline CharlesPL

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 05:33:37 PM »

Offline the keyboard wizard

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 02:41:50 AM »
I didn't want to create a thread as I thought there would be just a few members reading it. But since the thread is created, here we go:
as a manager of the French fan club, this date was so special for me, mixed with incertainty, stress, excitement and joy.
Thanks to Kim and a dozen of persons, I was able to set a fan meeting. But the participants did not know it was to take place inside the venue, with a Q&A with John and Jordan (which turned to be a Q&A with Mike and Jordan) and with great great gifts to be won among them: aftershow passes, rare fan club CDs (like the Stream of Consciousness contest, 4 Degrees of Radio Edits, A Sort of Homecoming, A Walk Beside the Band) and rare stuff (a Elements of Persuasion tour tshirt, the tribute Voices). They were all given too the fan club CD : Images and Words 15th Anniversary and the DVD Romavarium. They had a difficult quiz to complete (so difficult that the highest mark was 5.5/15 !).
The Q&A was great, even if it was a bit complicated for me to manage everything but we did it and the interview is available there : https://blog.yourmajesty.net/2017/02/15/interview-in-english-mike-mangini-and-jordan-rudess-12th-february-2017-paris/
Our pastry cook made a great cake (you can see it on the instragram of DT World) intitled: Cake the Time ;) Mike and Jordan seemed to appreciate. He even made a second cake for the whole crew.

After the meeting and the Q&A, I just wandered near the venue giving free guitar picks (some were from the Awake tour!). Indeed we had a game: those who could recognize me and would say to me "hey is it you the greatest fan club manager ever?" would get a free guitar pick.
I had a great seat (golden circle, second row) just before the pit thanks to a fan club member who was attending the meet and greet and who kept a seat for me.
The gig was great, not the best in my life but I found that the band was united and was freer than ever. You could see they had fun playing together, a thing that was not visible during the Astonishing tour. It reminded me of the Octavarium tour. James struggled to hit some notes but it was during that gig that I realized that Images and Words is a hard album to sing. Learning to Live and ACOS were the greatest songs of the evening as I had never had the chance to see them live. The first set was not that great as it was the fourth time in five concerts that I saw Breaking all Illusions.

End of the show, we met with the fan club managers and the winners of the aftershow passes near the stage and we waited for the aftershow to begin. It was a strange aftershow: we were in the hall, not backstage, the lights were dimmed so it was not perfect for those who wanted to take pictures. Suprisingly, John Myung came first and was really talkative, then Jordan and John came but they wanted the aftershow to end early. I didn't mind as I had already attended an aftershow a year before. All I wanted was to see them and thank them for what they do for the fan club and get my pics signed. I didn't mind not seeing Mike as I saw him during the Q&A and I can understand that James didn't want to show up: he was sick.

What I like with the fact of being a fan club manager is that when I go to a Dream Theater concert, the experience starts at noon and ends at 11PM. It's an entire day dedicated to Dream Theater, meeting the band, meeting the fans and attending the gig. It's intense, exhausting but so rewarding!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 02:47:20 AM by the keyboard wizard »
Admin and staff member of the French Fan Club : Your Majesty (the first fan club of Dream Theater)
Communications officer and translator for the fan club.

The gif is my daughter listening for the first time to: The Gift of Music. Rock on!

Offline CB

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 05:44:00 PM »
Great Q&A, thanx for posting it!
I attended the show the day before Paris and two days after Paris, loved the solos and improvisations.

MM's reaction to not being on the cake :laugh:

Offline the keyboard wizard

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Re: 12 Feb 2017 - Le Zenith, Paris
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 04:04:08 AM »
Mike was really kind. I love the way he talked to the 7 years old boy, in a slow and distinctive manner. You can see he is a teacher and everything he says is always clear and easy to understand. Such a nice guy!
Admin and staff member of the French Fan Club : Your Majesty (the first fan club of Dream Theater)
Communications officer and translator for the fan club.

The gif is my daughter listening for the first time to: The Gift of Music. Rock on!