16 October 2003, L'Olympia, Paris, France

The Paris gig was fantastic! I'd felt a little apprehension before the show, realising that I'd be hearing more or less the same setlist for the 6th time this year, wondering whether I'd enjoy it as much as I had before. What a crazy thought that turned out to be! The show was so good and intense, and each song given such flavour and energy, that I never had even the slightest feeling of déjà-vu. Damon was at his best, with a beautiful smile on his face most of the time, obviously happy to be in Paris again. He wore his brown corduroy suit and a black shirt. The audience, for its part, was lively and responsive.

I don't remember much about the first five songs of the show. I was in the photographers' pit for the first three of them. The bad thing about being in the photographers' pit is that you miss much of the music because you're busy concentrating on taking pictures. The good thing is that you can get even closer to the band and with luck go home with some decent photos. During the fourth number, I managed to make it back to my original position in the front row between Virginie (Two's A Crowd) and Soline. Once there, it only took me one more song to get completely back into the show and then, well... Gee!!.... What a night!

The highlights: Good Song and Tender with the backing vocalists standing center-stage; the beautiful Caravan, performed with Damon sitting on an amp; an excellent acoustic guitar solo from Damon on Out Of Time; an exhilarating Girls & Boys, with Damon leaning over the audience; an excellent Brothers & Sisters, with Dave and the percussionist swapping seats on the outro, which got Damon extemporizing incomprehensible words through the vocoder and the audience singing the chorus over and over again; the spectacular high and crazy jumps from Damon on Song 2, the most entertaining I've seen since the Q Club gig (1998); the French words from the audience on To the End, which visibly delighted Damon; a vibrant rendition of This Is A Low, with Damon's eyes sparkling with emotion and filling with water by the end of the song; Damon expressing his love for France during the "I Love You" part of On The Way To The Club. He said such things as "I love France. I love your fast trains. I love your food. I love your railroads.....". And the rest of the set was the best ever heard.

My personal highlight: As soon as Damon saw me in the photographers' pit, his eyes went "Hey!" and he stepped forward and bent down to give me a handshake. How kind of him!

maryse@laloux.nom.fr

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