by Sebastien

Here is a feature mixing the article on www.aha-fr.com and the review of Sebastien, one moderator on the same site.

Concert play list and timeline

The concert kicks off at 9pm after five songs played by the support band, Kensington.

1 – Celice (Morten let his microphone slip while singing)
2 – Move to memphis (21:05)
3 – Stay on these roads (Morten at his maximum, strong, soaring voice – 21:11)
4 – The weight of the wind (21:17)
5 – Living a boy’s adventure tale (Morten asks the crowd gathered at the bottom of the scene to start the song instead of him – 21:22)
6 – Cosy prisons (Magne introduces the song with a speech on the events in the French suburbs and politicians – 21:27)
7 – Crying in the rain (21:33)
8 – Manhattan Skyline (21:39)
9 – Scoundrel days (21:45)
10 – Keeper of the Flame (Paul is playing the piano – 21:52)
11 – Hunting high and low (the audience started singing along before they were asked to do so, and then couldn’t stop singing! 21:56)
12 – Take on me (Morten crouched down at the edge of the scene, the crowd gets mad and their screams are impressive – 22 :00 )
13 – I’ve been losing you (22:06)
14 – Holyground + introduction of the crew (22:11)
Failure of the first surprise organized (to sing Angel after Holyground) – the song has not been picked up and sung by the audience, maybe due to this hard song and the short time between songs)
15 – I call your name (22:17)
16 – The living daylights (Magne and Morten were playing a lot with the audience and make them sing for the chorus, they notably out their microphone as clse as possible of the audience to make their voices louder. Very good complicity between Magne and Morten !- 22 :21)
a-ha exits the stage, the audience scream for them to come back.

Encore:
17 – Analogue (22 :30)
Balloon surprise is a success! All the balloons were blown and waved in the venue! Amazing visual impact!!!!!!!!!!
18 – The sun always shines on TV (22:35)
19 – Summer moved on (Morten magnificiently held the long note for 21 seconds with ease – 22:42)
20 – Dark is the night for all (22:47)
A-ha waved good night a long time to the audience.. Which is not happy that they leave and make it known!
The Paris concert is a huge success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By www.aha-fr.com

Fan review

This concert in Paris, Grand Rex, is the second for me (the first one was at the Casino de Paris in 2002).

First, I would like to draw attention on the points I found a bit disappointing at this concert…

The light effects, although simple and generally nice, were sometimes a bit violent – a pain for the visual comfort…

The venue’s sound quality was great but not as good as at the Casino de Paris, as Morten’s voice was sometimes barely audible.

Then, some issues particular to the concert rather than regrets… Morten was in another world at the beginning of the show (he let the microphone slip during Celice, forgot lyrics, had issues with his ear piece, was out of sync notably on “Living a boy’s adventure tale”…) On a positive note he involved the audience a lot – even though sometimes it was due to him losing his way in the songs. It makes him on the whole more human and it was great that he took all these mishaps good-naturedly.

But these negative points are very little compared to the amazing show later on!

It was a pleasure to see them back on stage. Three years after my first concert, I felt almost the same way. Almost, as my first concert will for ever be the first and it is a very dear memory to me… The Grand Rex is really a great venue, and I can figure out why so many artists love it. This small venue (but historic and impressive) was the perfect choice for a-ha’s reunion with their French fans.

Kensington, a Franco British band, opened up the evening – it was obvious the crowd was waiting for a-ha and not at all listening to the band’s music. However the band was duly applauded at the end of their set.

And then came the moment we were all gathered here for…

Total black-out in the venue… we can see some figures crossing the stage during Celice’s first notes that are barely audible due to the crowds’ thunderous applause! Everybody, but a few people, stood up all concert, it was impossible not to do so as the gig was so brilliant.

A fantastic rocking sound (gosh, I love it when the guys rock!), a reckless atmosphere (I reckon they guessed that we couldn’t wait for them any longer!), new behaviours (Paul talking for once in a gig), funny moments (Morten loding his microphone or Magne carrying Morten by the trousers at one point during Take On Me, or pretending to throw him into the crowd during The Living Daylights)… The band at one with the audience (Morten was perfect in this and Magne kept talking to us)…

The highlights of the concert? Tough question! Well, I might appear conservative, but the audience singing “Hunting High And Low” and “The Living Daylights” is each time a high point. At the Grand Rex, it was amazing as the audience was singing with their guts and you could feel it! I was voiceless the next day…

The new musical arrangements of some songs blew me away! A catchier Stay on The Roads, the beginning of I Call Your Name and Manhattan Skyline absolutely different from what we were used to… A wonderful Weight of The Wind… Once again, a-ha has pleasantly surprised me.

Regarding the surprises that we planned on the message board, only one succeeded (but then it was a great success!). The balloons were amazing visually. The fans sat at the mezzanine or the dress and upper circles must have had a wonderful view. I do not think we should have any regrets regarding the surprise song, it didn’t prevent us enjoying the evening – plus the band moved on quite fast after Holy Ground.

Everything went very fast… Too fast for everyone.. I just couldn’t bear to hear to first notes of Dark Is The Night… I wanted to stop time…

But everything has an end, and once again, it’s full of memories, happy ears and my head still at the Grand Rex that I wrote these few words tonight…

Thank you a-ha for this magical evening!!!

By Sébastien K.

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