Friday, March 18, 2011

Elliot Murphy

AOG, Paris

Last night I was in Paris, a city I love. My partner took me to a birthday party. It was Elliot Murphy's. To celebrate it, he held a concert in a small venue in Paris, New Morning

I confess that I'd never been to see him before, and that, although my partner loves his music, I did too, but less. However, that changed after last night. 

We arrived at the Rue des Petits Ecuries under the rain, and waited in line for about 40 minutes or so. It was handy that a local supermarket was still open. 

I bought some bananas to keep me going (you see, we arrived Friday morning on the first flight and hadn't really rested much throughout the day). I needed carbs to make it through the night.

We went in and the first thing I noticed was everyone's age. Mr. Murphy's French fans are not teenagers. 

There were people my age, and over. Many approaching Mr. Murphy's age, whatever that may be. There was also a funny moment when I saw a man whom I thought was Mr. Murphy but, in fact, was a fan who dressed like him.

It reminded me of teenagers who dressed like Madonna or Lady Gaga when they went to the concerts. I just never thought that that particular homage would transcend into adulthood bordering on retirement age.

But then again, why not? We don't allow old people any creativity or individuality.

We made it through the crowd and quickly found seating right next to the side of the stage. For a small venue, this can be one of the better spots. And it turned out to be just that. We could see everyone really well.

I don't really know how well known Mr. Murphy is, but I do know he has played with Bruce Springsteen, and I am not surprised.

Finally, when the music started, I could see what all the fuss was about. It is hard to describe him as anything other than a star, regardless of the venue, the public, the location.

Elliot Murphy was very much the center of attention at all times, the exception being when the amazing guitarist Olivier Durand played. And even then...
His voice is warm, he moves not much but with aplomb.

Although I would not say there is a lot of sex appeal coming from him (though perhaps many would disagree),  he certainly has his own brand of musical masculinity down pat.

He and the band were a joy to listen to and to watch. And the audience loved them.
He would speak in French with his American accent, and explain that "I am now Parisian" because he likes  to drive on the Place de la Concorde on his Vespa (motorcycle).

He never sang off key and he played the guitar constantly well. Although about 95% of the songs were new to me, I gladly admit that they all had that certain something which makes you want to listen and enjoy what you are listening to.

And he shone throughout the evening. I guess that is the closest I've been to someone who exudes star quality. He was confident, sure of himself and of his music.  Unfazed throught the concert.

There were many encores and lots of playing with the audience, getting to know a little about them. Not by asking anything, but by acknowledging them and their interest in him continuously.

Afterwards, he took the time to chat to his groupies and sign their CDs.
All in all it was great.

We left the venue and went for crepes just across the street, then headed for the Marais for a drink.

I have to say that last night he made a fan out of me. If you like Bruce Springsteen, then I strongly recommend you give him a try. You won't be disappointed.
Here's a link to his website, to wet your appetite a little.

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