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Thursday 28th, May 2009
Jean-Michel Jarre World Arena Tour, Amsterdam

For the (hopefully not too many!) people that have no idea who Jean-Michel Jarre is, a little introduction first. Jean-Michel Jarre (August 14, 1948 – Lyon) is a French composer, live performer and music producer. He is regarded as a pioneer in electronic, synth-pop, ambient and new age genres. Furthermore he’s an organiser of many huge outdoor spectacles of his music, which feature lights, laser displays and fireworks. This is including his 1997 Guinness Book Of Records entry for the biggest concert ever with 3,5 million watching at Moscow’s 850th anniversary. In 1976 he released the legendary album “Oxygene”. During the years Jean-Michel Jarre has sold an estimated 80 million albums and singles worldwide.

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

On Tuesday May 26 Jean-Michel Jarre came to The Netherlands for his World Arena Tour in the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. Lots of people wanted to see the 60 year old legend and it was no surprise that the concert got sold out pretty soon after the pre-sale started.
As soon as I heard about this concert, I wanted to be there. In 2008 Jean-Michel Jarre also came to Amsterdam (Carré Theater) for a concert, but unfortunately I missed that one. I still remember that when I was about 14 or 15 years old I went to the local record store to buy cassette tapes (!!!) with “Synthesizer Greatest”. A nice collection of synthesizer tracks that had many Jarre hits on them as well. My personal favorite tracks were (of course) “Oxygene Part 4”, “Equinoxe Part 4”, “Equinoxe Part 5”, “Chronologie Part 4”, “Souvenir De Chine”, “Magnetic Fields 2” and “Quatrième Rendez-vous”. A whole list, yes I know! So I just HAD to see him live.

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

On my way to the concert I listened to “The Essential Jean-Michel Jarre” collection from 2004. After a little traffic jam I arrived still nice on time in Amsterdam, I parked my car and met up with a friend of mine. First we had a drink and then we walked to the Heineken Music Hall. This place is build especially for big events and concerts, so perfect sound! The tickets we had were seats, a bit strange maybe for some people, but oh well, we were going to see Jean-Michel Jarre, so who cares! Plus we had seats that were not too far from the stage, so not bad at all! The audience was very different from what you would normally see at a trance event, lots of older people, but there were also a few younger ones. And… we spotted no one else then Armin van Buuren together with Benno de Goeij from Rank 1 in the audience as well!

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

The concert started at 20:05 and when Jean-Michel Jarre came up, he was “hiding” behind a big laser, but we could see his hand above the laser. Bonjour! But slowly we could see more and more from him and after a while he walked through the laser and he started with the first song: “Industrial Revolutions 2”. When there was some more light we had a better view over the whole stage and there were a bunch of analogue synthesizers on stage! Plus he had his “band” there as well: Claude Samard, Francis Rimbert and Dominique Perrier.

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

The whole lasers (lots of different colors!) were just amazing and the light and smoke effects were awesome as well! The sound was perfect as well, but I already expected that, since in the HMH it is always like that. During the concert Jarre played on some very special instruments such as the theremin. Wikipedia says this about the Theremin: The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without contact from the player. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control oscillator(s) for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. So while moving his hand up and down Jarre was playing music with this instrument! Pretty cool!

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

Another famous instrument that he used during the show was the legendary laser harp. Sorry, again time for a Wikipedia explanation here: A laser harp is an electronic musical instrument consisting of several laser beams to be blocked, in analogy with the plucking of the strings of a harp, in order to produce sounds. And really, this was amazing to see! He just played melodies with the lasers! Super cool!

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009

It was great to see Jarre having so much fun and jumping up and down! You would almost forget that he is 60 years already! What a legend! Of course he played all his big hits such as “Oxygene 5”, “Equinoxe 4”, “Calypso”, “Rendez-Vous 2” and “Souvenir Of China”. At the end of the concert the audience finally stood up and started moving a bit more. Jarre came back twice for an encore and at the very end he played “Oxygene 4”, super cool! In total he played for almost 2 hours, really an amazing experience! He is still touring, so if you have the chance, make sure you don't miss this opportunity!

Jean-Michel Jarre World Tour Amsterdam 2009


Playlist:
Industrial Revolutions 2
Magnetic Fields 1
Equinoxe 7
Oxygene 2
Rendez-Vous 3
Oxygene 12
Souvenir Of China
Magnetic Fields 2
Oxygene 5
Variation 3
Equinoxe 4
Equinoxe 5
Chronologie 6
Chronologie 2
Oxygene 4
Calypso 3
Rendez-Vous 2
Industrial Revolutions 2 (edit)
Oxygene 4


Some handy links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_harp


Written by:
Twan van Loon

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