Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam @ Bercy, Paris May 26 2011

Contact: irockinparis((@))yahoo(dot))fr
Updated may 31 with setlist

Cat Stevens
aka Yusuf Islam @ Bercy
Paris, May 26 2011
First concert in Paris for Yusuf Islam as he's calling himself now. We're gonna call him Cat Stevens if you don't mind.
We were lucky @ Rockerparis to attend the very first time he came back on a stage after converting to Islam, that was 10 years ago @ RAH in London for a charity gig , he only sung a couple of songs if I can remember well.

The Peace Train (far right)

This time it's different it's a real concert, his first in Paris for 35 years.
Strangely enough I've been told that tickets sold badly, they were VERY expensive, the promoter had to sell some of them on websites (Vente Privée to name it) with a 50% discount.
Considering that, I was a bit surprised when the show started ( a bit late @ 8:15 pm) to see that the, all seated, floor is full , the lower blocks in the stalls are full too, empty seats are on the upper blocks on the side and in the back. So I guess there was a bit more than 10 000 out of the 16500 capacity.
The 1st set started very slowly with Cat Stevens on his own on the acoustic guitar for a few songs then his musicians came in to play a mix of new and old stuff.
Cat Stevens played his Musical so he was introducing each song with the translation on the screens on each side of the stage.
Songs are good but talking before each song cuts the rhythm of the gig.
Good 1st set but it could have been better.

Official Setlist (check Here for official Pics from Paris)

After a 30 min intermission Cat & band came back on the stage to play more classics, a couple of times he played the first chords to "Wild World" stopping immediately and saying " Well , not Now !".
There's a huge screen in the back with some nice projections, strangely after a few songs Cat Stevens left the stage for a break and left the band play a song ( the one with Dolly Parton and Macca).
As the hits kept coming in the audience started to react and finally stood up for the last songs... at last.
Funny enough there were lots of pretty young girls in the audience some of them screaming " I Love you" several times which made him laugh and saying " My wife is here and I Love ONLY my wife... but there are different kinds of love...".
He didn't talk politics at all, just telling us the story when he wasn't welcomed in the USA a few years ago and was sent back to England. There was a funny cartoon relating this on the huge screen.
The show couldn't be complete without 'Wild World" of course but he DID NOT play " Lady D'Arbanville".

Good show overall.
Full setlist shortly, check this official website for more.
Peace Brothers & Sisters !

Merchandising & 2nd Poster

Last song of the show: