Music in Paris

My poor sense of direction and my commitment to walking as much as possible led me to Parc de la Villete, a park in Paris known for their free summer concerts. But the summer isn’t here yet, and neither were there any free concerts on Thursday night. As I was leaving I saw a river of people walking towards me, I asked a young french girl what was happening: “Rodrigo and… and…hmmm”, “Gabriela?” I asked. “Yes!”

I’ve wanted to see these guys for sometime so I asked one of the many indian men re-selling tickets how much he wanted. 60 euros, he said… ouch, and no way. After two minutes he was willing to let it go for the “official” price of 42. A different guy said 35, another 30. Okay… maybe?

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On my way to the ATM I remembered that I’m traveling on a tight budget and once you start doing the math the excitement from grand plans can fade quickly, I headed back to the metro. Andy, one of the resellers, recognized me: “how much would you pay?” he said, “what’s the issue?”, the issue was that I didn’t have any cash. “Here, I give it to you for free.” Voilà!

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Gabriela’s attempt to speak french was only cute and Rodrigo didn’t even try. When the crowd didn’t react to his intro in English he told the audience that it would be even less comprehensible if he spoke Spanish, which is funny considering that they are from Mexico. Yet, if the audience didn’t get into their talking people certainly responded well to the music; the french love Rodrigo and Gabriela and their intricate, rustic, layered guitars and amazing video presentation.

On Friday night, my incredibly cool couchsurfing host Benoit took me to Le Klub. Ben is amongst many other things the lead singer of post-rock band Sons of Frida. We went to see Dead, a post-punk band that he had wanted to see for some time.

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Dead rocked the house and since Ben knew vocalist Berne Evol (featured in the picture above) I was able to get hooked up with an interview. We went back stage and unfortunately my camera battery died almost immediately, but I was at least able to get a very short video with these guys who have only been playing for one year yet they bring tons of energy to the stage and put up a really solid show.

Paris is wonderful. The pastries are obviously unbelievable, the architecture is of course breathtaking and the music scene is also such a big part of the culture and it is present everywhere you go. From big venues to small joints, even house parties; you can plan your summer with a weekend festival, randomly walk into a big concert, or simply go to a night club and dance to amazing DJs. Who knows, maybe you get lucky and find yourself a free ticket to something amazing.

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