Paris,Bataclan 6/15/05

Review by Hélios Marzal (Switch to

I'm a french TR fan since I discovered his back catalogue after listening to The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect at the beginning of the 80s. Since then, he is my favorite recording artist though i never went to any of his gigs ( in fact i never went to any live music gig at all, since i'm basically not a fan of live music and i don't really like to be in the middle of a crowd ) until yesterday. So the yesterday gig was altogether my first live concert and my first TR live concert.

I had a date before it with another great TR fan, Etsuko, who made me (and also two other french fans) a truly great favor and surprise with introducing us to the great man. In fact i didn't know it at the beginning so let's start with my impressions about the show.

Ethel : interesting, enthusiast people to say the less. They deserve to be seen and listen to. Great contribution to the three or four last songs of the show ( a JJackson song, the magnificent STOOD UP, and While my Guitar...)

J.Jackson : great artist, great setlist, gives you the feeling you already knew the songs you're actually listening to for the very first time. Very good piano player, powerful voice and good use of it.Overall, talented professional, very respectul of his audience ( majority of Jackson fans yesterday, in my opinion). He deserves the love his fans showed him yesterday. Minor complaint, well, in fact it's not a real complaint, since it was delightful, just a thought that came to my mind at the end of his set : it's always the same kind of hooks, same kind of chorus writing. But I repeat it : very very effective.

Then Todd : I liked it. Apart from his guitar player skills ( good to say the least ), one thing came to my mind as an evidence : you got to have "balls" to take just one guitar and put yourself in the front scene, just here in the very center of it and start to give rather stripped down versions ( how could it be different with just a guitar ? ) of excellent songs ( Lysistrata, Love of the..., Cliche ...) but evidently unknown to the main part of the crowd ( JJackson fans ).We, the TR fans of course appreciated it : those renditions were impassioned, and his voice was very good. The following result is that I now admire him even more than i did before. I already knew it but yesterday I could see it with my very own eyes : the guy has "big balls".

Then he gave up the guitar for a moment and gave us good renditions of Compassion, Hello... Of course his piano player skills are not as impressive as those JJackson displayed a few minutes before but we all know he's a not classical piano trained man. His "major chords" were enough for me to get the pleasure i was here for.

After that, splendid Pretending to care with Ethel, GLORIOUS STOOD UP ( even Jackson fans got into this one ...) and perfect rendition of While my guitar...

At that point of the show, i already was knowing the 3 hours train trip ( I hated that ) I did that very afternoon was actually worth doing. I then went to see Etsuko. She told me to stay with her, gave me a backstage pass ( Thank her again! ) and after a few minutes Etsuko, her husband, two other french fans she had invited to stay ( one of them with his daughter) and myself are in TR's dressing room ! The man is here, just in front of me, I'm shaking his hand ! We stayed with him something like 20 minutes !

Very very sweet guy ! We asked him plenty of questions ( I could have stayed 2 hours asking him questions ) witch he answered very patiently ( Patronet, his sons, Utopia, next record ...oh, and here's a scoop : possible collaboration with ...chrissie Hynde ).

Well, I let you imagine the whole thing... For us , a kind of dream come true. Could'nt be better.

Thank you TR, Thank you Etsuko.

PS : sorry for the mistakes, I learnt english only to read about TR and yesterday was the very fist time I spoke ( He understood every single question I came to ask him and I did understand every single word he said : I'm very proud of myself ! ).

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06/15/2005 - Bataclan - Paris, France

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