Last weekend I visited Arras, France to attend the Main Square Festival. I was able to catch M, Gomez, Ben Harper and Pearl Jam. M was a terrible French band for a lame type of hipster. Not recommended.
Gomez was surprisingly good. The band really tried to get the crowd going, and introduce the French crowd to their music (even though I read they have been around since 1996!). As much as they tried, they were not too succesful as the crowd was atypical of a concert crowd… Maybe too mellow? In any case, some people did recognize their hit song “How We Operate” and sang along. All and all, I thought they were a solid act. See below below for a picture from my phone:
Then we saw Ben Harper! What a great show! I had not seen Ben Harper before, but he did really well. He performed mostly newer stuff, with a bluesy feel to it. I was hoping for some of his work with the Blind Boys of Alabama, but it was great nonetheless.
Finally, we saw Pearl Jam! I have seen them before in NYC, but not in Europe. They performed mostly from their new album, and a series of greatest hits songs including Porch, Black, Alive and Jeremy. The set plus one encore was only 90 minutes, which seemed short for Pearl Jam. I noticed that they had their typical two encores at the Werchter Festival in Belgium the next day, so they may have been playing to French sensibilities… See some pictures below:
All and all a great show, and Arras was actually a nice looking town. I hope to catch more concerts soon!
As a newcomer to living in Europe, I am looking for possible venues to catch Pearl Jam at one of their stops during their European tour this summer. I seem to have already missed the window for the concert in Berlin but I am now trying to catch them somewhere else in Europe. My current options are: the Arras Festival in France, the Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium or the BBK Live Festival in Bilbao (I could also see them in the UK or in Italy, but the dates don’t work for me).
The Arras Festival seems like a good option given that it is relatively close by to Paris, so I could access it via train easily. The biggest plus is that Pearl Jam is playing with Ben Harper, so it would be a great opportunity to catch them both.
Rock Wechter is the closest to Germany and offers the opportunity to catch other bands and also spend some time in Belgium. It would be great to check out some chocolateries and breweries! I also haven’t been to Belgium in a while, and it would be good to visit, especially Ghent and Brugges!
Finally, the BBK Live Festival in Bilbao has its unique plus and minuses. The plus is that I could get to spend some days before and/or after the show in Bilbao and really spend the time learning about Basque culture. There is some great art and architecture, like the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Gehry, and of course excellent food! The minus is that it would be more expensive to get to Spain.
I’ll try to make my decision this week, so I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted and eventually share pictures and insights from wherever I decide to go!