Les Arènes de Nîmes / The Amphitheatre of Nîmes
David Gilmour - Nimes, France, 2016 concert ticket

Capacity: 10,000

Concert starts: 9pm

Address of venue: 4 Boulevard des Arènes, 30000 Nîmes, France. MAP

Website: www.arenes-nimes.com



Another interesting venue for David's Rattle That Lock tour, an incredibly well preserved Roman amphitheatre, situated in the French city of Nîmes. Built around AD 70, it was remodelled in 1863 to serve as a bullring. With an oval-shaped arena floor, the pair of shows here will be in front of 10,000 each night.

Tickets for this concert went on sale on Friday, February 5th, at 10am CET. Tickets are restricted to 4 per person. You can order tickets through GDP.fr, or via the ticket hotline which is +33 892 392 192 (France only) or +33 149 975 191 (International).

Our thanks to Terje Aukland for sending in the ticket scan shown to the right - to see the ticket in more detail, just click on the thumbnail.

SET LIST - highlight the following with your mouse to read...
FIRST HALF: 5am, Rattle That Lock, Faces Of Stone, What Do You Want From Me, The Blue, The Great Gig In The Sky, A Boat Lies Waiting, Wish You Were Here, Money, In Any Tongue, High Hopes.
One Of These Days, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Fat Old Sun, Coming Back To Life, On An Island, The Girl In The Yellow Dress, Today, Sorrow, Run Like Hell ENCORE: Time / Breathe (reprise), Comfortably Numb.


Do not read on if you don't want surprises to be spoilt, regarding what the band played!

Another city on David's Rattle That Lock tour, and another spectacular venue. Top marks to his team for scoping out and booking such wonderful venues - wherever possible - over the course of the tour.

Last night's show was held in the Roman Amphitheatre in the French city of Nimes. Surviving since around 70AD, little has been done to change the fabric of the building - stone steps are in an "interesting" condition, and the large perimeter ring at the top of the building has absolutely nothing to stop people walking along it, and falling to a very unpleasant end. There are a few signs dotted along, but signs do nothing. For the concert itself, security guards were dotted along this quite vertiginous part of the venue. Particularly when the concert lighting went atmospherically dark, it must have been quite a nerve racking thing to be positioned up there, with no fences, rails or restraining ropes or harnesses.

We arrived in the city early in the morning of the show. Arriving at the railway station, it was a short walk to the arena (our hotel was a similar distance in the same northerly direction from the venue) to find that activity was in full flow. The Redburn trucks were in position and an procession of flight cases were unloaded from the vehicles, some containing instruments (two of the largest ones were marked "double bass" and "wind machine"!), some containing equipment, some containing goodness only knows what. All of them were labelled so that the waiting stage manager could direct accordingly to the relevant position inside.

With the concert forming part of the Festival de Nimes, the main part of the stage was already in position, meaning David's team were only required to add "their bits" and get things ready for the afternoon soundcheck.

As with many of these historic venues in Europe, they are open to the public to tour irrespective of any concerts taking place in the evening. A notice was posted at the entrances advising that it would be closing earlier for the show to do their final preparations, so having paid our entrance fee we wandered in and around the arena, taking in the impressive nature of the ancient construction.

One of the first things we saw was a "guest book" which a prankster had put a message in from a "David and Polly Gilmour, UK" thanking the venue for "being such good hosts". At that stage it was entirely possible that the pair hadn't even stepped anywhere near the building, let alone been in a position to write a message in such a place! 

In the heat and strong sunlight, the majesty of the arena was clear. Incredibly well preserved, it did still however provide some interesting moments with precarious drops and very steep steps to negotiate. Most of the seating area was open, so it was possible to wander around and take in the staging in some detail. Going to the side and behind the stage, one could look in detail at all the activity normally hidden at the sides of the stage, and the amount of flight cases and other equipment behind the stage. Rarely, too, the rear of Mr Screen was in full view, and what a complicated beast he is! Long gone are the days when Mr Screen was just a recipient of projected images - it is a full LED screen made up of multiple interconnecting units.

As part of our early afternoon wandering around the venue, we were suddenly treated to a quick screen test. Seeing the video material for Money, in the broad daylight, in a completely silent arena, was a strange moment...

Once the arena had closed, the important matter of the soundcheck took place. Whilst it is never quite the same as when an audience is present, it gives a good basis for Colin Norfield to work his magic.  

As expected, security was thorough - but efficient - and it didn't take long for people to get into position, either on the floor of the venue, or on the rather old wooden planks (for those with pricier tickets) or stone steps, rising right to the top and the virtiginous summit. As the audience settled, a surprising number of smokers (of all kinds) started building the heavy fug. I've been to quite a number of concerts over the years but have never known so many people to smoke, and to smoke quite so much. With everyone so tightly packed in, it made for an uncomfortable experience at times.

As the light fell, and evening came on, a very well respected one minute silence took place for the victims of the Nice attack, and then the concert began.

I don't quite know how they do it, but the current line up of the band seem to be just getting better and better with each performance. Having last seen the show in Pompeii for the pair of shows there, I had a tiny bit of concern over how the Nimes shows would compare. I had no need to be concerned. Whilst the unique nature of the Italian venue gave those shows their incredible and unforgettable spirit, the shows in Nimes were superb in their own way.

With outdoor concerts, there's always a concern over what Mother Nature will bring. Some shows have had the fading evening light hit the staging and Mr Screen - no worries on that front here, but things seemed to be taking a potentially soggy direction in the first half. Some precipitation started to make itself known during the first half, causing some well organised coverage to be quickly sorted out for Messrs Norfield and Brickman, as well as the follow spot operators. The increasing rain was picked out well in their lights during a blistering In Any Tongue, but thankfully it receeded and left us in piece for the rest of the show. 

Visually, it was more of a standard show, with normal staging and no fireworks to conclude the show, but musically, if anything, the band had kicked it up a notch. The interplay between Chester Kamen and David is a joy, and becoming more and more nuanced and intuitive. Money, for example, has become quite an experimental jam, with everything you expect in it, and a large section with nothing that you expect!

The performance throughout the night was more than we could hope for, with only Great Gig showing a slight wobble in performance but then, the harmonisation must be difficult. It's hard to nit-pick such a quality performance from all involved.

Seemingly all too quickly, Comfortably Numb brought the show to its conclusion, with a thrilled crowd baying for even more. That would come, but the following night... 

That's our view, but we'd love to know in more detail how the concert went from people in the best position to report back. So, did you go? Let us know what YOU thought!


Le Concert de Nimes s'est révélé au delà de mes attentes. Le site est bien sur magnifique et Mr Screen y trônait majestueusement.

La set-list etait la mème qu'à Chantilly mais les surprises ont été nombreuses. La voix de David Gilmour, claire et puissante et son jeu de guitare qui indéniablement manque aux shows de Roger Waters.

One of these days est somptueux, extraordinaire. Les enchainements entre les morceaux Solos et ceux choisis de Pink floyd parfaits!

Mes moments préférés resteront ensuite The girl in the Yellow Dress, In Any Tongue, Money éblouissant. Run Like Hell, Time, Comfortably Numb... presque tout en fait!

Le show etait extraordinaire, la pluie s'est retenue comme pour ne pas gâcher l'instant!

CONCERT PICTURES by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Guino Patrice "Rockerparis"

Rockerparis has contributed concert pictures previously here on Brain Damage, and here's a nice selection of shots from the Arenes de Nimes concert on this night...

David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016 David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016
David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016 David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016
David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016 David Gilmour - Arenes de Nimes, France, 20th July 2016

YOUR HELP NEEDED! We want to cover David's concerts the best we can, to share the experience with everyone, especially those who won't be able to attend the shows. We'd love to see ANY pictures, tickets scans, reviews, newspaper reports, and anything else you come across for this show - we look forward to hearing from you!

Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 August 2016 )