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Home arrow David Gilmour 2006 arrow March 16th - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS, FRANCE
March 16th - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS, FRANCE Print E-mail

L'Olympia, Paris
Ticket scans - thanks to
Bruno & Geo George
Concert starts: 8:30pm

Address of venue: 28, Boulevard des Capucines 75009 PARIS. MAP.


FIRST HALF: Castellorizon, On An Island, The Blue, Great Gig In The Sky (guest vocal: Sam Brown), Red Sky At Night, This Heaven, Then I Close My Eyes, Smile, Take A Breath, A Pocketful Of Stones, Where We Start.

SECOND HALF: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wot's... The Deal, Wearing The Inside Out, Fat Old Sun, Breathe/Time/Breathe Reprise, High Hopes, Echoes.

ENCORE: Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.


After the previous night's enthusiastic welcome into the Parisian heart, this evening's second show in the city, at the Olympia, was bound to be special. With a reputation as the finest music hall theatre in France, the biggest names all try to play on its stage.

With wide, sweeping curves, and lashings of red everywhere, it is a visually striking theatre, albeit with a tiny entrance from the street. Acoustically it is reckoned to be one of the best venues in Paris. A shame that the seats are so tightly packed and uncomfortable though!

With a shallower stage than the Rex, the band were really close to the audience, and there seemed to be a much better interaction or connection with the audience. With David seemingly relaxed, there were plenty of comments made by him between songs (practically all in fluent French), and, indeed, even during a technical fault that caused Shine On to be aborted a reasonable way through the song, to be resumed all the way from the start - to great applause!

However, the surprises started early on, with the lovely Sam Brown taking to the stage after The Blue had finished. In the city for a show that evening with Jools Holland (who also performs on the On An Island album), she was talked into a guest spot, performing a lovely Great Gig In The Sky.

The rest of the first half was unchanged, with a (slightly out of sequence) run through of the new album. For those unsure of the new songs, the opinion really seems to be that they come alive during the show, from talking with fans afterwards. Very few remain unconvinced having heard them live - especially with the order of the songs changed (presumably to balance the sonic peaks).

After the intermission, another change to the norm was looming. Some familiar guitar notes rang out after Wearing The Inside Out... surely it couldn't be? Yes, indeed it was - a full rendition of Fat Old Sun, much as it was performed back in the early seventies! Taking the place for the evening of Syd's Dominoes, it fitted into the set well, nestling in the company of other "oldies" such as Wot's...The Deal and Echoes.

Echoes... ah. Well! Another masterful performance, marred ever so slightly in our section of the audience with some whoopers and clappers. It proved a very small distraction from a truly mesmerising reading of the track. Hearing it - FEELING the music pound through you - in an intimate setting such as this is an incredible experience, and I feel truly fortunate to have heard it. A personal highlight of the show...

To the encores, and with security on one side of the venue being stricter, the stampede to the edge of the stage was very lopsided. A curious sight! Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb were played - say no more - and the audience lapped it up. One fan somehow managed to clamber on stage to ask for an autograph at the conclusion of Numb - unsurprisingly his wishes were not met, with David appearing slightly bemused by the whole experience!

Another great performance; obvious visual signs within the band of illness never affected the quality of the playing (although David's voice was struggling in places). A raptuous reception on both nights for David and co., and a guarantee of a warm reception should they ever return!


By Iain Sale

Have just returned from a blistering set performed in Paris last night. Half way through the first half he inserted Great Gig in the Sky. This was after the audience sang a belated Happy Birthday which was received well by David – “Vous etes tres genti”. He then told the audience that he would give them a “cadeaue” (present) and proceeded to play the sax. Most of the first half he spoke in French with humour underlying every utterance. It was great to see.

The second half started eventfully which saw David stopping Shine on seven minutes in because of a feedback problem. He then restarted from the beginning again but playing it completely differently at the start – faster and more Hendrix like. Dominoes was dropped in favour of Fat Old Sun which unlike the Festival Hall version had the full fantastic guitar solo at the end.

With the first note of Echoes the crowd went mad. This was really fantastic and was a song that I never believed I would here him play live despite now seeing all three of his solo tours.

Really magic!


By Henri

Great show from David and the guys at the Olympia last night, pretty much the same set list than the two German gigs, with a bonus rendition of The Great Gig In The Sky during the 1st part, featuring a great looking and singing Sam Brown! "She didn't want to do this, but I convinced her" David said.

The 2nd part opened with Shine on you Crazy Diamond, unfortunately, a reminiscing feedback caused David to stop singing! That was quite annoying for me, but he seemed to take this quite humorously, as did the audience, he just waited for the sound man to fix the thing, and started up the song again...

Echoes was greeted with an endless standing ovation which lasted through the fake exit into the encores (Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb) which the audience sung along quite enthusiastically!

The band was fantastic, Guy Pratt spent the whole gig with a large smile across his face! Jon Carin was simply amazing, he played a lot of steel guitar on top of his keyboard work, each note right in place and his support vocals were essential. Richard's keyboard playing was solid and enjoyable, but he was a bit limited, vocally...Manzanera's guitar was a bit loud for my taste, sometimes covering David's, probably because I was seated on his side, very near his stage amp...

The audience was quite surprisingly young, not just parents and children , but rather mid twenties to mid thirties couples.


By Sebastien Mazurkiewicz

I’m used to attend a lot of concerts in Paris, France. Rock’n’Roll above all. I attended REM, David Bowie, Radiohead, Pink Floyd (in 1994 at Chantilly) and a lot of other ones (Interpol, Archive, The Rapture, The white stripes and so on). A normal concert lasts 1h30 maximum (except PF in 1994 but I was much younger). This concert lasted about 2h45...who can give such a concert nowadays? Nobody I guess...

The first part lasted 1 hour. David appeared and a magnificient stand ovation welcomed him. Everybody knew that one can’t see him every day...and everybody was happy to be here, in this beautiful auditorium (l’Olympia is really huge one). The brand new album of David, not bad at all. It began with Castellorizon and On a island. My favourite songs on this album. Good feeling, David seemed to be happy playing his own songs. When it stopped, he began talking French, quite good in fact! He told the audience that a surprise would happen. In fact, he played “A great gig in the sky” 10 minutes afterwards, which was in my point of view the first height of the concert (maybe because I play piano, and I would have been happy to be on stage playing this tune with David). The hour was quite good, a good moment. “Happy birthday to you David” sang the audience in the middle of the first part, nice!

A break of 20 minutes, and I did as advised on this website : I did not read the comments of the people of Germany... it was hard, but I was happy to have resisted...

“Shine on” began. A good moment. Not the usual piece. He tried to improve it, to do it his own song. Quite good. He did a mistake before “you were caught in crossfire”. Big laugh, he was he did it once again! Shine on another time!!! Wonderful...after, a surprise, “Wot’s... uh the deal”, that I play also on piano, so I was happy. Songs of Division Bell (Wearing the Inside Out, High hopes) quite good, and a “DSOTM” moment, with “Speak to me”, “Breathe”, “Time” and “Breathe reprise”. This is my favourite record, so I was swimming in happiness.

BUT...but...but...I was not prepared for what was coming. This was one of my wishes - ask a magician for doing a time travel, get back in 70’s, and attending a concert with “Echoes” on stage. In fact, this wish was satisfied; this was the top of the concert, the most beautiful moment of this beautiful moment. I was “sur le cul”, totally amazed. It reminded me of “Live at Pompéi”, it reminded me of all the moments of listening to this song - I was satellized around The heart, launched in the Echoes rocket. So, I lack words to describe my feelings, but you can trust was amazing.

Last two songs, beautiful, WYWH and Comfortably numb. But I was far far away in my dreams, and I can't help thinking of these 20 minutes of happiness...Echoes, live, played by David and Richard...well, my life is fulfilled!


By Frédéric Régent

I had already seen David Gilmour with Pink Floyd on the "Division Bell" tour, in 1994, and I had been pretty disappointed not to see him on his solo date in le Palais des Congrès in 2002, which was even more frustrating for me when I saw the Meltdown DVD two years later.

Needless to say I was very enthusiastic to learn from both of these concerts in Paris. Unfortunately, my financial situation allowed me to see only of the two and I decided to buy a ticket for Le Grand Rex, which has cheaper seats than in l'Olympia (on the upper floor), but with a rather miserable view.

Then came just a few days before a serious problem for me: I had a very important job to do on the evening of the Grand Rex gig, but thanks to one of my contacts, I could get an invitation to l'Olympia at the last minute. So, I sold my ticket for Le Grand Rex to a friend of mine, which couldn't get one at the time when they were put on sale. He rang me the morning after to thank me and to tell me a little about the concert, which he really enjoyed.

In l'Olympia, I had a very good seat, on the upper floor, but not too far, and right behind the soundboard. I saw mikes on every side of this board: recording live material? What a good idea... Like everyone else, I felt very excited when I saw David arriving on this stage, a rather tiny stage for someone who played in so many giant arenas around the world.

The "On An Island" performance was great, but unspectacular: I didn't know the album at all, so I discovered it live. The songs themselves didn't really impress me: "Take A Breath" sounds too much like "Learning To Fly" or "The Dogs Of War" for me, the rest is OK, very-floydish ("Castellorizon"), but not breathtaking.

I didn't recognize Sam Brown when she showed up: her "surprise"-rendition of "The Great Gig In The Sky" could have been better, the formula with the 3 background singers on the previous Floyd tours was more efficient on this track.

David seemed to have problems with his voice and I even think he had a kind of the flu (blew his nose on one occasion), but he overcame these problems really well. I think he's a very underrated singer, with such a soft and delicate voice, he has a very complete range... On the saxophone, David did a good impression, but Parry is of course a master of Arts in this area. I must say the young fellow on the skins and toms has a powerful style, but I missed Nick's simple and efficient drumming on a few occasions.

Second half: Overall, an absolute pleasure. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was a very good mix of David's acoustic solo version and of the usual Floyd "classic" version. Too bad about this sudden technical fuck-up ("Kekçékça?") which stopped the song after five minutes, but David did a really great job when he re-started it, especially with the intro, shortened, but very effective. And what a pleasure to hear to Nick's vintage 70's synth sounds on some parts of the track...

As a Barrett fan, I really hoped I would hear Syd's "Dominoes", but David skipped this one: what a pity for me! The very bluesy "Wot's Uh The Deal" was a good surprize, even if it's not David's greatest song. "Fat Old Sun" was also pleasant to hear. As a "Division Bell"-fan, I was delighted to hear "High Hopes", but Rick's vocals on the beginning of "Wearing The Inside Out" were a bit too rough: fortunately, he was better at the end. The "Dark Side" songs were also perfectly performed, and well received.

Like everyone else, I must say that "Echoes" was the absolute highlight of the show, a wonderful version from beginning to end, with a very prominent Guy Pratt on bass, but David was simply a God on this track, and Rick did a much better job with his vocals. Perfect interaction between every musician: five stars for this one, boys!

Very predictable encores: "Wish You Were Here" was good, Phil Manzanera's guitar playing works well with David's, either acoustic or electric. Then, it was rather surprizing to hear Rick singing Roger's parts on "Comfortably Numb", but the effect was great, and David once again blew my mind on it, although I prefer Floyd's versions from the 94-era and of course, the definitive Live 8 version. Once again, he shortened the solo, but nevermind...

I don't know if I'll see Roger and Nick for "The Dark Side Of The Moon" on Bastille Day this year, but I don't regret to have seen David and Rick. So, please, guys: don't do 50% of the Floyd on your side any more; even for a last one-off, come back, we want the four of you, and in France, because we always supported and loved you.

Merci, David. Et bon anniversaire.



From the back of the Olympia, under the balcony, this time the stage looked like a 2:35 format wide cinema screen, and Phil Manzanera's guitar was audible from the regular mix. But the sound was still clear, the bass was a bit too loud at first but from the second song this was corrected.

After Castellorizon, David announced that there will be some surprises, then some people sang Happy Birthday to him (10 days late...).

We didn't have to wait too long, just one track and then A Great Gig In the Sky was performed with guest solo vocal by Sam Brown. I had wished that she would come back for the latter part of the show but it was her only appearance [She was performing at Jools Holland show the same evening - Matt].

The overall impression about the solo album was a bit better, "Take A Breath" still being my favourite track. And the light show was more easy to look at with this reduced view.

Then the Floyd set.

To begin, a new surprise but this time for David: during his solo part singing SOYCD, the sound went wrong and he stopped. After a minute or two, the problem was fixed, and David performed it again from the start.

Fat Old Sun was performed (instead of Dominoes I think) and tonight David was much more talkative. The rest of the set was identical to the previous night.

I must admit that I enjoyed the Olympia show better than the show at Le Grand Rex.


By Dominique Gouby

Arrivé à Paris dans l’après-midi, un petit tour par l’Olympia histoire de prendre quelques photos. Retour une heure et demie avant le concert.

Aux abords de l’Olympia, je rencontre Phil Manzanera qui me signe gentiment un autographe. Les portes sont ouvertes environ une heure avant le spectacle. Le temps de bien sentir ce lieu si particulier. C’est vraiment un privilège de pouvoir assister à un concert de David Gilmour dans cette salle.

Un public de quadras, quinquas, passionnés, authentiques connaisseurs s’installe tranquillement. Les lumières s’éteignent et les premières notes de Castellorizon retentissent. C’est parti pour trois heures de concert et quel concert !

David Gilmour est visiblement heureux d’être ici. Lui qui d’habitude s’en tient à un seul Thank you very much indeed. Good night!,va plaisanter en français pendant tout le concert.

« Nous allons joué le nouvel album et il y aura une petite surprise nous dit-il ». Tiens tiens !

On an Island, The Blue, puis Sam Brown entre timidement en scène juste devant les claviers de Richard Wright. David à la pedal steel pour un magnifique The Great Gig in the Sky. David visiblement très content, embrasse Sam Brown et serre les poings voulant dire Yes we did it ! « Je l’ai persuadée nous dit-il ».

David toujours en français : « Maintenant un petit cadeau pour vous » et il empoigne son saxo pour Red Sy At Night. This Heaven, Then I Close My Eyes, Smile, Take a Breath (meilleur live), et les deux petits bijoux de l’album que sont A Pocketful Of Stones et Where We Start et qui deviendront sûrement des «classiques ».

Entracte de 20 minutes.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, un larsen persistant oblige David à s’arrêter. Mais qu’est-ce qu’il y a ? dit-il en regardant Rick et Jon. Un spectateur crie: tu n’as qu’à la refaire! David s’exécute, trafique sa pédale, nous fait une version accélérée de la partie acoustique puis se raccorde magistralement avec les claviers. Maîtrise!

Dick Parry magistral comme d’habitude.

« Maintenant une vieille chanson tirée du film La Vallée » :Wot’s Uh the deal. Wearing The Inside Out. Le volume du micro de Rick un peu faible au début, puis vite réglé. Deux titres magnifiquement interprétés que j’ai redécouvert.

David a une petite discussion avec Richard (apparemment sur le choix du morceau). David d’un air décidé attaque Fat Old Sun. J’avoue avoir eu à ce moment une petite inquiétude de voir la setlist chamboulée et ne pas avoir droit à Echoes, Time, etc. Breathe, Time sur un tempo enlevé, Breathe Reprise, High Hopes: magnifiquement joué. Je peux me tromper mais il me semble qu’à la fin du solo à la pedal steel, David a échappé son médiator (échange de regards complices avec Phil Manzanera) et terminé à la guitare acoustique en arpèges un peu à la manière d’un guitariste classique rendant la fin du morceau encore plus belle.

Echoes:Jamais je n’aurais pensé entendre ce morceau live. Les voix de David et Richard comme aux plus beaux jours. Sublimissime.

Bis: Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb: superbe, mais pour moi la version du Live 8 reste la version de référence.

Que dire de plus, vraiment un concert inoubliable.

L’ambiance particulière de cette salle, les jeux de lumières sobres mais efficaces, le son excellent, Sam Brown, cette setlist de rêve.

David Gilmour plaisantant en français et trois heures durant alternant entre guitares électrique, acoustiques, pedal steel, saxo, chant, direction d’orchestre. Quel boulot et quelle mémoire à 60 ans! Vraiment un grand musicien.

Chapeau l’artiste.

Merci et revenez quand vous voulez.

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