La Défense, 1990

Paris La Défense (Mega-concert, July 14, 1990)

Paris-La Défense, une ville en Concert
Concert on the Quais de Saône (Out-door)
Entrance Free
Date July 14, 1990
Length 11 songs
Crew 10 musicians, 1 choir, a classic arabian Orchestra, the Amaco Renegades
Audience 2.500.000 (new record)
Notes: Jarre making poetry into Paris business district in one his finest concerts

As Jarre was put away from the Bicentenary of Bastille Day, he would take his revenge with a bigger show than ever, one month after the release of his new album concerning ecology, Waiting for Cousteau with the 14th of July 1990. For this show, Jarre erected a metallical pyramid as the stage and displayed giant screens all the way down the Avenue de la Grande Armée to the Pont de Neuilly, down Avenue Charles de Gaulle, and leading to the Arc-de-triomphe (opposite side of the Champs-Elysées, to the north-west). Sound is 2.500 kilowatts and wires are a total of 300 kilometers long. To insure the fundings, the Mairie de Paris and private investors (some of which own the buildings of La Défense business center) give much money.

For the show, Jarre hires Peter Marshall to put his giant puppets on stage (which notably include praying mantis). The teams of Daniel Azancot get on top of the buildings to display fireworks, and several giant screen are fixed by alpinists.

For the music part, Jarre has got Frédérick Rousseau back (he was in Jarre’s china tour in 1981) who designes new bridges between the songs to create a continuum (e.g. Ethnicolor and Zoolookologie). The core of Jarres’ keyboardist are all rounded up: Michel Geiss, Sylvain Durand, Dominique Perrier, Francis Rimbert and Frédéric Rousseau. The musicians often joke with one another. For instance: some sing in their headset and mics to fool around, Sylvain bouncing while they are playing. It’s pure fun and the Amoco play so loud that the synth musicians have to get extra-concentration to play the difficult parts of Calypso 1 while the partitions scroll on the computer screens.

Jarre has been engineered a new laser harp special for that concert, and a whole new set of instruments is provided, too. The tracks are set to be a sort of fast-forward of Jarre’s best tunes in chronological order : Oxygène, Equinoxe, Magnetic Fields, etc. A new version of Revolution called “Revolution, revolutions” is played by an arabian orchestra instead of a turkish flute.

At the end of the concert, the first part of Calypso is played again. The audience is really huge… Nothing less than 2.5 million people attend the concert. And since it started a bit later than expected (half an hour of negociations with firemen to maintain the fireworks), Metro had already closed its doors at the end of the concert. Only 2.200 people were injured (mostly losses of consciousness) during the concert, which is very, very few under the circumstances.

  • Waiting For Cousteau (pre-concert tape recording)
  • Paris La Defense (intro to Oxygène 4)
  • Oxygene 4
  • Equinoxe 4
  • Equinoxe 5
  • Souvenir of China
  • Magnetic Fields II
  • Ethnicolor
  • Zoolookologie
  • Revolution, Revolutions
  • Second Rendez-Vous
  • Calypso 2
  • Calypso 3 – Fin De Siècle
  • Calypso
  • Fourth Rendez-Vous
  • Calypso (encore)

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