Tuesday, March 24

Slight return on the Lyon and Lille concerts

(pic - courtesy of k4rl)
A slight return on two of the French shows provided by Fabien for Lyon and by JC for Lille. Thanks to them for sharing their impressions and let me put them on the :JojoBlog: ...

I sort of freaked out thinking that the gig might have been cancelled as I reached the venue in Villeurbanne, no cars on the surrounding sidewalks as is usually the case when there is an event at the Transbordeur. And the parking lot was definitely not full. The concert was scheduled for 8pm with a German singer (Suzanne Piesker) as opening act. Having listened to her songs before and being not really a fan of Goethe’s language, I had decided to skip this part and showed up at 8:30 pm, a last puff on the ciggie and in I went to find out that Jojo had already started. Fortunately it was only the beginning of his first song, “Springtime in NY”. He was playing the club
room not the large hall, which was far better. But only 200 people there to attend his first concert in Lyon since 1984, I think so. Adds for the gig had been dramatically missing, a pal of mine even called me the next day because he had just realized there had been a Jonathan concert the night before. !!! Another reason is the ridiculously expensive price charged for tickets in Lyon compared to other towns, not mentionning what you are paying in the US. In Lyon, a ticket costed 28 Euros ( about $ 40 ).

Jonathan and Tommy are on the left of the stage and songs are nicely flowing, "Silence alors, silence", then a song in Spanish, another one in Italian. Then a classic, "Egyptian reggae". Then , many songs in Spanish, and some more in French like "Le printemps des amoureux est venu". More classics are entangled in between like "Pablo Picasso", "I was dancing in a lesbian bar" (the audience is choir singing the chorus), or else "Let her go into the darkness". Personnally, I really missed “Give Paris one more chance” and some other songs from my recent favourite albums like "I'm so confused" or "Her majesty...". It ended with a terrific ovation followed by a very short encore and eventually a second run of “Egyptian reggae”. Jonathan came back again one more time for an a capella song in French. After the strongest possible requests from such a small audience, Jonathan showed up one last time on stage after a few minutes but just to wave his hand.

Jojo is still his usual self, singing and playing his guitar out of the microphone range, getting close to the edge of the stage, putting his guitar down to dance on 2 or 3 songs (well, you know what I mean !!). As for Tommy Larkins, as always he is one expressive and smiling guy (ahahah).

I am missing the Jonathan from the past who was bringing more craziness on stage. But it was such a thrill to see him again. This was the shared feeling of all those I met at the end of the concert and who are not that keen on the spanish and french part of the repertoire. All in all, a perfect evening which I would like to relive more often. But I am afraid it is unlikely to happen soon in the “capitale des Gaules” (Lyon).


Ten months after the last Paris concert, the Lille concert was quite similar. A club type of place, as in Lyon, which was full with a new younger audience compared to the pre YouTube/mp3 generation which composed Jonathan’s audience usually.The playlist was roughly the same (though he did not sing “You can have a cellphone”) as last year, no new title, but as in Lyon the last encore was a short a cappella rendition of Charles Trenet’s “Coin de la rue” and it was very emotional.

Jonathan and Tommy’s performance was really good but the concert was disturbed by a couple of characters who spoilt a bit the show.


What JC told me reminded me of the infamous "ring of fire for Sweden" episode during the London December 1989 concert (hello Bob!).

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