REVIEW: A truly spectacular display from Jean-Michel Jarre at the Brighton Centre

Jean-Michel Jarre at the Brighton Centre
Jean-Michel Jarre at the Brighton Centre

Jean-Michel Jarre, Brighton Centre, October 6

Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to see the one and only French Godfather of synth music, Jean Michel Jarre, three times before this Brighton Centre gig.

Jean-Michel Jarre at the Brighton Centre

Jean-Michel Jarre at the Brighton Centre

It’s been 30 years and one day (October 5, 1986) since I first joined 800,000 people for his home-town ‘Rendez-vous Lyon’ concert.

Then, two years and four days later (October 9, 1988), I stood in the rain with 200,000 soaked but happy people to watch his ‘Destination Docklands’ spectacular. I can remember waiting for the concert to start as Lady Di took her seat behind me.

Then, nine years later in June 1997, I saw him on his ‘Oxygène’ tour at Wembley Stadium and I can remember thinking that the venue was very small for him. But, three months later he played to 3.5 million people in Moscow.

So how would things feel in the Brighton Centre? I was shocked when the gig was announced and I couldn’t believe he was coming here.

First, I must say that at 68 years young, he looks terrific. This concert was sold-out and a mere 4,500 lucky punters experienced a concert that they’ll all remember for decades to come.

Jean Michel had to strip things down from my previous concerts, so there was just himself and his two buddies, Claude Samard and Stephane Gervais. But the giant leap in technology since he started making music let him do this. Tonight’s astounding lights, lasers, slides and films filled the building. It was spectacular and I can’t imagine anyone not being impressed.

On the music front, it wasn’t a greatest hits tour.

It was his 44-date Electronica World Tour in celebration of his two recent Electronica albums and this event was one of only four English gigs.

In under two hours we were dazzled by a pounding 20-song set made up of 12 tracks from the current two albums (the best of which were arguably ‘Exit’ and ‘Brick England’), six classic tracks and, amazingly, two unreleased compositions, one of which being ‘Oxygène 17’, which will be unleashed on December 3 as part of Jean’s ‘Oxygène 3’ seven-track platter.

As for the other unreleased track entitled ‘Web Spinner’, I’m not sure when that will see the light of day.

So, after 45 years of ‘synthing it’, there is still no sign of quitting – happy days!

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