The People's Opera

Paris Rocks

DSC07602 In between organ, orchestra, and opera events, there's plenty of time on the agenda to check out the nightlife here in Paris. Last night, I ventured out to La Flèche D'Or ("The Golden Arrow"): a rock venue on the far east end of town, situated in an old rail station. They've outfitted the place with stage lights and a velvet red curtain, to go with the gold framed mirror backing the stage. I saw two bands - one from Scotland, the other from France, neither particularly memorable - for no cover and just slightly overpriced drinks. The crowd was a mix of hipster and tourist, with a strange variance of age. Still, it was good fun for a Monday.

P5270054 Tonight, I stayed local, stumbling upon some nouveau chanson at L'Ogre à Plumes up the street. The place bears a striking resemblance to Barbès, with a free-flowing bar and a backroom space that hosts just-this-side-of-whatever. (Here, though, they have a basement outfitted with red theater chairs.) It was all over-the-top theatrical, with veteran chansonnier Pierre Chante Debaude playing off his twentysomething comrades like they've working together for decades. I couldn't make out most of what he was saying; it hardly mattered.

P5270060 I capped the night with a stroll on nearby Rue Oberkampf, where I found a crazy Dixie band filling Bar Berlimer with a raucous din. There were fewer patrons than band members, but everyone was having a blast. Just another Tuesday night in the City of Light.

Back to business tomorrow night, with Bellini`s Capulets et Montagues at the Bastille Opera, starring Matthew Polenzani, Joyce DiDonato and Anna Netrebko. It's a gala, so guess I'll have to clean myself up a bit. (More pics after the jump.)

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