The Chemical Brothers Live, Rock En Seine, France, Friday 27th October 2004, by Ludovic Charles
Rock en Seine is a new festival which appeared last year. There was Massive Attack, PJ Harvey and others greats musicians. This year, the lineup was particularly attractive : The Roots, Sonic Youth, The White Stripes and at the end, The Chemical Brothers. That was for the Friday. On Saturday, you could see Muse, Archive or Buck 65.
To be honest one of my best friend & me, specially came for the Chemical Brothers. We missed them in 2002. But last year, in October they came for a wonderful DJ set at the Queen , in Paris. So it was our first concert.
During all the journey, the excitation came up slowly but certainly. The Roots was a really good moment. Good musicians (specially the bassist) but too short. Sonic Youth was really nice. You understand why they influenced Nirvana. Then, 30 minutes later came the White Stripes. Good, but i was little disappointed. The audience was stupid (to much people who wanted to be smashed in the air, supported by the hand of other people) and the performance shorter than it was announced on the program. But in fact, it gives the Chems 1 hour and 30 minutes fantastic performance...
When the White Stripes left the scene I went to drink water. Immediately I came back to the front of the scene (a place where you can dance, see the visuals and where the sound is really good. perfect !). During 25 minutes, the technicians was preparing the scene. Suddenly, out came all Chems stuff : samplers, synthétizer etc. All the people screamed " yeahhhhhhh" and whistled . You could feel the excitation. So arrived THE moment that my friend (and others) was waiting for.
Junior Parker's version of "Tomorrow Never knows" from the Beatles started slowly. The calm before the storm...
Then appeared Tom & Ed. Tom came near the audience to test their acclamation. Ed was at the left side of the sound stuff, rising up his arm. the melody slow down and they slowed the volume, to let appear a celebrate sound: "viiimmmmmmmm" all people recognized it. it was "Hey boy hey girl" I looked to my friend and told him : "let's go" . so we scream with all the crowd (which was pretty huge) "hey girl hey boy superstar dj's here we go". Even it's not my favorite track, it's really exciting to dance on it. The sound was enormous but it's a pleasure.
After "Hey Boy Hey Girl" there was "Music: Response" and "Block Rockin' Beats", then "Song To The Siren". It was different. Next up was "Get Yourself High". Live, with the lights, it's totally crazy. The bassline is powerful and came into tour body like a "booooooom" through you. Nice! Then came "Music : Response" . The link between this two tracks, with breakbeat and the bass is really pretty. When it really started, "Music: Response", the black curtain which protect (or hide) the screen of the visuals, fell. So appeared little men dancing, shooting with a pistol etc..FANTASTIC VISUALS. It put the crowd in a new excitation. People were dancing with more implication. After came "Block Rockin's Beats". A powerful version (they only use the second party of the synthetizer scream, not the first just after "back with another of those bloc rockin' beats") with visuals really appropriated. It was block of walls. after, it wasn't "Song to the Siren". It was the beats of "Song to the Siren" but they add the guitar of "Leave Home". I screamed (alone) "yeahhhh !!!!!!!!!" because i heard a link between "Block Rockin' Beats" and "leave home" (it was a live at San Francisco) and it is really good !! But the rhythm was slowed down and you can heard a psychedelic sound. It was the synth of "Under the Influence" the song came slowly with the volume. then the bass "voouuuuummmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMM - was "Under the Influence" rang and all the crowd was crazy. There was robots on the visuals. then came FANTASTIC NEW MATERIAL. a kind of metal record. Loud bass, loud rhythm, loud high-pitching sound. It was new but me and the crowd really LOVED IT. I hope it will feature on the next album. after came a little version of "It Doesn't Matter" just to assure the link with "Out of Control"
Everybody was excited. The pink light, indeterminate visuals and the voice of Bernard Sumner really disturbed (with a kind of "pschiiiitit" after each "may be i feel out of control" ). The sound was pure and you can heard each sound effect. A really good moment. After came "Temptation / Star Guitar". One of my friend is really fan of this version. "Star Guitar" was a moment of peace. I took the hand of an other man (i didn't know him) and we were crazy when the sound of "Temptation" (a song by New Order) was rising up high-pitched. The came the real "ta-tata-ta-tata". Because "Star Guitar" is a house dancing track (you know, dance on it, look like dance on a house record) it was a moment of peace and tranquility. The Chems left the scene.
I believed it was finished... but not. Houra ! The second part of the show was new material. They began with one, which is a trance record. I didn't really liked it. But the introduction is FANTASTIC. after, the sound was too bassy. not really the Chems... After that I don't really remember what came. There was a lot of new material. They played "Hoops" which is like the DVD "Singles 93-03" a song which live is totally psychedelic and exciting. one of the best moment. The visuals were different than the DVD, but it was an amazing light show !! After came more new material. A hardcore sound which give to the crowd a lesson of loud techno. The visual was a cortex like "sliders" (TV series) . Then came "Acid Children". The visual was a clown saying "you're all my children now". I didn't really remember.
I'm not sure but after, came "Setting Sun". Nothing to say except that the techno version is amazing. It takes you another place. You can't think to anything. You're here to dance and the voice of Noel Gallagher, sampling in different ways is strange but wonderful. Then came "The Golden Path. I don't' like this track, but it give me the opportunity to see people dance and take some strength before "The Private Psychedelic Reel". The last moment and a amazing PSYCHEDELIC SCREAMING OF THE BASS. The visuals are totally crazy, the sound powerful ! I know the live version, beat by beat, sound by sound. People was looking at me because I know the live version. Wth my friend, when we dance on Chemical Brothers it's an another world. we're totally crazy. Closed eyes, like dolls without articulations. We love "mix", you know, do an imitation of the DJ's. It was that during "The Private Psychedelic reel" A wonderful moment of trance attitude and happiness. The Chems played 1hour and 30 min. But this moment is forever in my memory.
I just want to present my apologizes to Planet Dust readers with my dirty English. I hope it wasn't to boring to read. See you soon!