Fête de la musique

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

(FYI: The videos below are not the best quality and the sound can be a bit loud.)

Every year France opens its streets to musicians of all sorts for one full Saturday. Streets get jam-packed full of pedestrians, and at every corner a new genre of music envelops the block. After being comatose for a few hours in the early afternoon, we met up with some friends and headed out to the heart of Paris where we planned to catch some Rugby then follow the crowds towards the sounds of drums, amped-up guitars and synthesizers.

The first show we happened upon was drawing all kinds of foot traffic. It was some sort of orchestra-ish act, complete with trumpets, tubas, and other various instruments that had the street up in a roar. (I somehow only snapped video of the beginning/tamest part of the show.)

Moving along, we found ourselves in between two shows - one heavy metal act that was far too loud and totally unappealing to me and a strange, funky, not-sure-what-kind-of-music duo who had a more "mature" crowd engaged. Too bad the music from the "thrashers" across the street was trickling into the other band's show.

On our way to see a friend's band perform, we stopped to listen to a bit of jazz. It was meh.

The highlight of the fête was the last show we caught with an amazing singer (who we found out later is SIX months pregnant...and barely even showing!) and a band that included a very cool violinist, too (sorry, the clip sucks).

It was such a cool experience, and the fact that all of France opens its doors to showcase its talent is the most amazing thing. Sure, there are negative consequences to having so many people take over the streets of a major city...

... (and by the end of the night, it was at least three times as bad - hey, at least people were trying) but, it promotes the artistic abilities of every citizen, and it's what makes Paris such a cosmopolitan city. Here are a few more snippets from our day in the heart of Paris.

We stopped for dinner and I had a steak with green butter...delish!

Lovely summer light on the first day of summer.

The singer (Margot) and the bassist/violinist. He was very good!

Our friends, Adrien and Aurelie

I tried to get a good shot of all the people in the streets as we were leaving, but it came out blurry. The streets were packed!

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