Monday, January 30, 2012

The Maxime Le Forestier Concert

Yesterday, not Friday as we had planned, Paul and I went to the Maxime Le Forestier concert at the Grand Rex in Paris. More about how I really screwed up later. 
The concert was wonderful. The first act was Daby Touré, a young singer with an absolutely crystal voice. He sang in French, in English, and in his own dialect. Listen to him! Then came Maxime le Forestier, who started out solo, with "Comme un arbre". I was already melting. His voice is just as clear and beautiful as it always was. Sometimes he sang solo, but most often he was joined on stage by young singers who either sang with him, or even solo. Even Adamo, who is by no means a newcomer, came out for a song. And Calogero sang "Les Jours Meilleurs" in duo, and "Mon Frère", solo. Beautiful! Daby Touré joined him for "Ambalaba" and "Né quelque part" and then started "San Francisco" in his own dialect, joined by Maxime and then the others, who all came out on stage. Of course there were other songs mixed in. There were some fantastic young women singers, too. 
I did something completely out of character for me. I was a fan. I printed a picture of S.G., from back in high school, before she became P.G. and wrote a letter explaining how we had a friend in common. We'll see if the production people actually give him the letter. I'm curious. In any case, as the audience sang "San Francisco", it felt funny singing the refrain. 
If any of you have a chance to catch this concert on tour, if it goes on tour, then go.
Now, for the story of how we almost missed it. 
Look at the date on the poster. January 27. It was announced as a one-night-only event. The kids gave us the tickets as a Christmas gift. You can imagine how excited I was. Paul, too, but not as much. In the seventies,  a newlywed in France, when I listened to the radio and Maxime Le Forestier was on all the time, especially "San Francisco", I was learning French. And he was one of the few singers I could understand. And as I understood, I liked the lyrics. My French is never going to be perfect, but Maxime Le Forestier played a big role in teaching it to me. So, the concert is on the 27th.
As soon as I got up, on the 27th, I went to look at the tickets to see what time the concert was. Shock. Our tickets were for the 26th! I was devastated. I wrote an apology to the kids. I moped all morning, through my art class. Aude suggested we go anyway and buy tickets from scalpers. I was ready to go with that idea, but when I got home, Emma told me she had been on the Internet and was waiting for an answer from someone who had posted his tickets, at cost. She also had found out there was another concert on Sunday, in case she didn't get a reply. Also, she'd be passing not far from the Rex and would inquire. Not long after she left, Claire called (from England) and said that she'd been on the phone with the head person at the Rex, Nanou, and had explained the situation. Nanou would be in touch with me if she could get us an exchange of tickets for Sunday. Then, Emma called from the Rex, a bit confused that Nanou was already aware of our predicament, but with the same message: Nanou was pretty sure she could get us in on Sunday. And if not, there were still seats for sale on Sunday. (Louis had also gotten in touch with his C.E. to see if there were still tickets available, and Anne was not yet aware of the situation because she hadn't seen the email, yet. )
Nanou called later and announced that the production company was sympathetic and would allow us to exchange seats. Yesterday, she led us to our new seats, way up in the upper balcony, with a perfect view of the stage. (I'm not posting pictures, because we were really too far away for that.)
My kids are the greatest. First for the wonderfully thoughtful gift and then for doing everything possible to correct my mistake.


wcs said...

Glad you got to go. I, too, learned a lot of French from Maxime back in the 80s.

A funny thing: I think I've been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I got a notice on my dashboard of a post. I completely missed the last two! Well, now I'm caught up. :)

Ellen said...

Yeah, Bogger is not really dependable for these notifications. Since you and Ken write every day, I don't need notifications; I just go straight to your blogs almost every morning right after dealing with emails.