Fête de la musique – le 21 juin, 2014

Saturday the 21st was Fête de la Musique, and there were free concerts all over the city.

This is a huge event in Paris every year and I was so happy to take part in it!

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My classmate Robert told me to go to the concert at the Invalides Metro station, because it would be all Canadian bands. The weather was spectacular and I walked past four other concert venues on my way to the “Nuit Boreale” Stage (aka, the Canadian stage), including a military band performing at the south end of the park at the Eiffel Tower.

The first group of the night was Marijosee (marijosee.com), a woman from Manitoba with a wicked voice and awesome band! When I arrived she was just killing it with crazy high notes and an amazing stage presence.

There were lots of people standing in front of the stage, and dozens more sitting on the grass in the huge field off to the side. There also some really adorable kids dancing their faces off just in front of me – they really had some great moves! 🙂 In between each of the 5 acts that night there was also a DJ from Toronto (Skratch Bastid), who was truly the very best DJ I have ever seen, and watching him is uber entertaining because you an tell he obviously loves what he does!  He will be in Calgary July 19th at The Marquee! Go see him! (skratchbastid.com)

The next group at our stage was a rock band called Mise En Scene, another Manitoba group (an English band with a French name). I ended up hanging out with Marijosee and her rockin’ drummer Kathryn for the changeover into the next band’s performance and we had our own sort of dance party during the DJ’s tunes. Marijosee told me that they had also been at a festival in Switzerland before Paris and were heading back to Canada the next day. Sounds pretty good to me!

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The next group was called Klô Pelgag, with a fantastic lead singer/piano player and a crazy band including violin, viola, cello, upright bass, and drums. The costumes really were the cherry on top, with the three female string players in bridal gowns and baseball caps, the drummer in a speedo and bathing cap and sporting a fake mustache, the bassist in a speedo, bathing cap, cape and flashlight spectacles, and the lead singer in a skeleton jumpsuit. They clearly have a lot of fun, and the lead singer has a great sense of humor and rapport with the audience. And in the middle of one song, the bassist did a magic trick centre stage. Yup, they are the whole package. (klopelgag.com) 🙂

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I ran into my friend Robert by the stage, which was great, and we enjoyed grooving to Franklin Electric -the next group. They were from Montreal, and were phenomenal. The lead singer started the first song wailing brilliantly on a trumpet. I was delighted to realize that I had made my way to the very front and had an awesome view of the stage for the rest of the night. (I promptly went home and bought their latest cd on iTunes.)

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The last group was a punk bank (Dracula Legs), and the crowd at this point was mostly made up of highschool/university students and they got a little crazy. A mosh pit was created, and several kids tried crowd surfing but didn’t get very far. It was a bit much by the end (yes, I am too old for this).

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I ended up chatting with another ‘solo’ Parisian attendee, and we left at the same time and ended up walking up and down the Seine talking in French for about an hour, before walking home. Since the concert ended at about 1:00am, and we took the long way, it turned into about a two and a half hour stroll so I got home just before the sun came up. Haven’t done that in a very long while. What a night. 🙂

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