Thursday, July 23, 2009

Madeleine Peyroux at Beiteddine, not to forgive and not to forget

When I went to Byblos a month ago to attend Loreena McKennitt's concert, although I love listening to her music and I find it very creative and rich, so is her amazing soprano voice, however I didn't enjoy my time that much, maybe I was far, maybe listening to all kinds of Celtic music live isn't as enjoyable as it is on your own radio on your own time and mood.

Nevertheless this is not the case with Madeleine Peyroux whom I saw yesterday in Beiteddine Palace. My first impression was that everything was extremely organized, we got there at 7:30pm, so the bus picked us up from the parking lot and took us to the venue. Before entering to the stage, there are 2 lines on both sides, full of coffee shops and mini-restaurants, drinks bars and others. If you walk up the road again, there is a small Saj Café, not very tasty though and a bit expensive. So my advice for you is to try and get something to eat in the region of Chouf, this way you will be sure to get a taste of the traditional.

Later on when we entered, on every two seats there was a magazine about Beirut being the world book capital for this year, and it was written in 4 languages for a change and not the 3 known ones in Lebanon, the 4th language was Spanish.

The stage wasn't very big, smaller than Byblos's stage. The part at the end of the stage contained a closed and inaccessible section of chairs. The stage looked very nice, nothing less can be expected in such a beautiful palace that was built in the early 19th century by Emir Bechir Chehab II.

The difference between this venue and others I've been to, was the familiarity and closeness between the people there, perhaps because it was not as crazily crowded, and perhaps it was because we were closer to the stage. Yet in summary, it was easier to be there, smoother.

When Madeleine Peyroux entered, she wasn't wearing anything fancy, a cute outfit, long jacket, jeans and boots. That is something we do not see Arab female artists do often. With artists such as Madeleine Peyroux, it is about the music, the lyrics, the voice and the cute in between jokes.

If you have never heard Madeleine Peyroux before, and you are a fan of Jazz & Blues, I highly recommend that you listen to her, although when you do, you will love her, and when you do, you will regret not having attended her concert yesterday. Her voice live was even better than when it's recorded in the studio. Why would you attend a concert and not listen to a CD? The main reason is the experience. The artist should interact and offer you with something you don't hear on the CD. And that is what Madeleine Peyroux did.

When you listen to her, you don't feel you're in Beiteddine Palace or even in Lebanon anymore, you travel with her voice to wherever she wants you to, be it New Orleans or Paris.

One small disappointment was the drums, he was very good, but being a drums instrument fan, I was waiting for a breath-taking drums solo.

At the end, and as the tradition goes, they leave, we applaud for encores, they come back, but hey it's Madeleine, and she didn't cease to surprise us, she did a finale song by herself, solo, on her guitar with her famous hat on her head, the song was "La vie en rose". It was beautiful, lucky me, I was able to get close to her and take great close-ups with my useless cam, because I had forgotten my better one at home. No matter, the souvenir is what counts.

If she's back next year, I really advise you to come and enjoy her show.

In a nutshell, it was a "inolvidable". Just my way of practicing my Spanish.

2 comments:

  1. Liliane,
    Thanks for the pictures and the review. I was not able to attend this performance but I am a big fan who owns her 4 CD's and I had the pleasure of attending one of her live performances last year. She has risen to become one of the best singers of Jazz. Doesn't she sound , at times, just like Billie Holiday?

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  2. Thanks Ghassan for your comment, you're very right, I can't believe I forgot to mention this little detail :) she definitely sounds at times like Billie Holiday, I personally think she has THE voice :) hope she comes to Lebanon again.

    In which country did you see her performance? How was it

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