Flashback: Vienne

Le Progrès, 31 July 2006Two years to the day, David and the band were in France for what proved to be a very special concert at Vienne’s remarkable Théâtre Antique.

Of the 12 bonus live tracks which compliment the ‘Live in Gdańsk’ album, on CD and free to download, four are from this concert: ‘The Blue’, ‘This Heaven’, ‘A Pocketful of Stones’ and ‘Where We Start’.

A great night for the new numbers, clearly, but what of the older ones? If you were there, which did you like best? We’d love to share your memories with you.

There are a couple of newspaper reviews from the French press to mark the occasion today. Please click the image for those. You’ll see Le Progrès and Le Dauphiné Libéré, as well as all future press items, marked as ‘new’ for your convenience.

The Blog is taking a short break tomorrow, so will be closed, save for the Flashback posts, over the weekend. Back on Monday.

Whatever you do over the weekend, have a good one.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

37 thoughts on “Flashback: Vienne”

  1. Hi everyone,

    Enjoy your ‘break’ Fed. Thanks again for keeping ‘us’ informed of all the goings on in DG land.

    Keen to get to Anfield are we Fed? I bet my cotton socks you are.

    Best wishes.

    [Always keen, Martin. Trying to get to Ibrox this weekend, though. – FEd]

  2. Part 1 – Before the concert.

    We arrived in Vienne the day before the concert, to visit the ancient Roman town. What a joy!

    At our hotel, there were newspaper articles about David’s forthcoming concert (nice reading!).

    In the morning – such a nice surprise – the amphitheatre was not yet closed and we were allowed to visit it. Of course, I thought of Pompeii! Very nice. Those old stones may have been restored (as David says in the RTN documentary), but we feel they are full of soul and history.

    We could also admire the stage built in the arena, where technicians were very busy. I noticed the big bell for High Hopes and big boxes where Wireman logo and “Pink Floyd world tour” were cohabiting! (funny…)

    In the afternoon, the weather became stormy, it rained cats and dogs! Ouch! We feared for the concert.

    In the evening, as we arrived very early – like many people – we heard the band rehearsing ‘Arnold Layne’ and all people sang and applauded outside the venue, wow!

  3. Part 2 – The concert.

    Stone seats were not numbered. We chose them on the first level. What a fantastic view/atmosphere!

    The concert was a complete sensorial experience!:

    The band, on fire; the acoustics, exceptional; the weather, perfect (no rain at all, but a beautiful stormy, surreal sky); the audience, enthusiastic but very respectful.

    David’s magical guitar, wow!, sometimes so powerful and wild (‘Take A Breath’ – ‘Fat Old Sun’ solo), sometimes so delicate and tender (‘Where We Start’ – the beautiful outro of ‘High Hopes’), what sensitivity!

    As for Echoes, the old amphitheatre just seemed so appropriate for it, 25 minutes (yes!) of pure happiness!

    David, sure, enjoyed himself very much, he was very friendly and talkative to us, spoke not only fluent French, but often joked (“j’espère que vous n’aurez pas trop mal aux fesses!” = “I hope that your bottom won’t feel sore” – LOL! – ‘On a besoin d’un peu de Beaujolais et de silence’…)

    A wonderful, magical show!

  4. Part 3 – After the concert.

    We drove all night to Brussels airport, we were on our little cloud, in seventh heaven, I don’t even remember if there was traffic jam! Hard to come back to reality, sometimes…

    The Paris shows had been great in March, but the Vienne show was far better! Unforgettable!

    A ‘something’ happened in Vienne that night, I can’t explain, I just could feel it, something very special, maybe the total osmosis (alchemy? chemistry? I don’t know how to say in English) between David, his audience and the venue… a surreal moment, just like a dream…

    Two years later, it is as if it had happened yesterday, I can still feel the warm atmosphere, the complicity in the band, my head is full of ‘flashes’ (Rick jumping during Echoes)…

    I sometimes wonder what David thought about this magic night…I will never know, and it’s OK.

    David!!! If you are reading… “A un de ces jours!” – Oh! I’m just quoting you that day!

    Thank you so much!


  5. Hi Fed,

    I think out of all the concerts that David did on his tour this would be the one I would have loved to have attended.

    I suppose the main reason for this is my love for the PF at Pompeii concert and the fact that this was in a similar venue. My being an archaeology major probably doesn’t hurt either :-))))

    I would love David or PF to revisit the Pompeii theme of doing a concert with no audience. I always thought that was such a novel concept..typical PF…

    Cheers, Howard

  6. Michele’s description of this show is incredible. I can tell that this night meant something for her. As an actor from way back, I know that sometimes a live performance will “gel” (all elements come together and magic happens, creating a chemistry between performers and audience) and sometimes it won’t. At those times when it does, everyone comes away feeling transformed by the experience.

    From what Michele wrote, it seems that everyone felt the magic in Vienne. This almost makes me wish the upcoming live album were from this night.

    Nice pic in the newspaper article: David playing his Black Strat. I can’t wait to read Phil Taylor’s book.

  7. A lovely review from Michèle. I now see why ‘Vienne’ was so special to those that attended. Thank you very much!

    Enjoy your holiday!

    [Thanks very much, Nate. – FEd]

  8. Listening to Echoes as I read Mich’s great review. There must have been something magical to it. I hate to have missed it.

    Enjoy your break FEd, et bonnes vacances Mich. 😉


    [Where’s my ‘thumbs up’ icon? I need it here, as well as the chatroom. – FEd]

  9. Where We Start is brilliant live, great tone and playing from Mr Gilmour.

    Many thanks for that review, Michele!

    Have a nice weekend.


  10. [We drove all night to Brussels airport, we were on our little cloud, in seventh heaven, I don’t even remember if there was traffic jam! Hard to come back to reality, sometimes… – Michèle]

    Boy, can I relate to this! We drove all night from London. It was a great ride and we were so happy, we were buzzing!

  11. [From what Michele wrote, it seems that everyone felt the magic in Vienne. This almost makes me wish the upcoming live album were from this night. – NewYorkDan]

    I agree with you NYD. A DVD of this would be magical…not to quibble with what is coming out Fed. ;-)))

    Cheers, Howard

    Enjoy the looong weekend Fed. It is one here in Ontario as well..lucky us…

  12. Great review Michele, it has set the mood for me today.

    I felt there were a few places in your memoirs where you could have used out little pink ‘wub’ emoticon.

    Have a great weekend everyone, and Fed have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.

  13. [A ‘something’ happened in Vienne that night, I can’t explain, I just could feel it, something very special, maybe the total osmosis (alchemy? chemistry? I don’t know how to say in English) between David, his audience and the venue… a surreal moment, just like a dream… – Michèle]

    Thank you Michèle. What else is there to say? I have felt it the entire day that day and one full year from that day.

    Good to know I’m not crazy.

  14. I know it’s already been said but Michele’s review was so moving even magical. I now feel some of her joy and passion……….. what an experience that night must have been, could this be the new Lourdes?

    Happy weekend all. Merci Michele.


  15. Great show of course! Better than the RAH in London! Magic! Powerful!

    I think that gig should have been chosen for the live CD!

  16. Michèle is right–something really magical did take place that night. I’d seen both shows in New York, which were exceptional, but the show in Vienne was beyond compare. There was something so relaxed, so wonderful, about that performance.

    I’d arrived early, landed a wonderfully close spot on the lower stones, and saw Richard Wright hanging out at the rear edge of the stage. It’s hard to describe, but when the show started the band seemed to be having so much fun…

    I can’t wait for this new CD. The version of Blue at Vienne was incredible. As for older stuff, Echoes amazed us all. Arnold Layne just rocked. And Comfortably Numb, of course.

    But the opening of the show with Shine On, with the band playing the wine glasses, even David playing them a bit before scampering back to center stage to play the most beautiful, stirring, restrained notes of that song’s gorgeous guitar!

    Oh, what a night!

  17. Michele:

    What a beautiful review. I wish I could have been there. Your description helped me imagine what it might have been like for what sounds a special night.

    FE’d: enjoy your break. You know, of course, we miss you when you are gone.


    [You’re a sweetheart, Jan. Thank you. – FEd]

  18. Hi everybody !

    Michèle, I feel the same today. Your review just could be mine. 😉

    Personally I drove all afternoon from my home town near Paris to Vienne, joining my friend Guillaume around 6pm.

    The venue was fantastic, overlooking the old town and the Valley of Rhône, under a strange and stormy sky. David and the band made me dream like 12 years ago in Bordeaux, during the “Division Bell Tour 94”.

    I saw a David Gilmour honoring music and giving to the audience one of his best show, as being at the top of his art!! The interpretation of the “On an Island” album was very good & I really enjoyed once again David’s very good & friendly French.

    Concerning the second half of the show: MAGISTRAL Mr GILMOUR !!! Nothing wrong, all perfect. I discovered that night “Fat Old sun” (and what a version with its powerful guitar solo). It was incredible hearing “Echoes” for the first time “LIVE”. Ending with “Numb” was magical.

    A very great “Souvenir” FOREVER & EVER !

  19. Michèle, thank you for the review. I could almost imagine being there with you!

    I just can’t wait for the live CD to come out. Four tracks from this concert proves that is must have been a very special night.

    Have a good weekend and enjoy your break, FEd!

  20. Hi there,

    Saw the On an Island concert. “Outstanding” to say the least….

    When are you gonna get up to the M.E.N in Manchester? I’ll bet it’s gonna be a sell out. Come on David, would love to have you here. Let us know in good time so we can get tickets.

    Your debut stuff is just what I expected. Well above par on the Floyd. But hey, a good combo of the two would be immense.


  21. Hi Michele

    That was a wonderful recollection. I enjoyed reading your memories. They are just wonderful things, memories.

    Have a nice break, FEd.

    Best regards.


  22. It sounds like Vienne was a particularly good concert. How far through the tour have we got with these flashbacks?

    Have a good weekend and trip Fed. Ibrox is Rangers’ stadium isn’t it?

    [It is (and there are just three left after this: Florence, Venice and Gdańsk). – FEd]

  23. This concert was magnificent in many ways that have been mentioned, but I think, for me, what made it such a great experience was the setting: outdoors, seating, and a cultivated audience.

    There is something about David’s (and Pink Floyd’s) music that is very connected with nature and the great outdoors; indoors it sounds great of course, but listening to it outdoors, live, on a warm summer night it takes on another dimension.

    I would definitely recommend considering similar venues should David embark on a tour again. Which we, of course, hope that he will. 🙂

  24. Michele, next time you question your English, maybe you should go back and read that review … to be “correct” is one thing … to impart the magic and communicate it so well to us all …. c’est magnifique et tres belle.

    I remember Michele expressed doubts about whether she could manage the logistics of attending the show, one day before departing on a family holiday….

    Facetiously (what me?), I told her on the blog that we English (being the romantic kings of Europe of course) would move all obstacles to enable her to attend … and then I find out that her husband has already done just that !!

    So a beautiful night all round and one of the shows I really do wish I had seen.

  25. Thanks Michele for your memories, they sound amazing and well said.

    I wish I could have been there.

    Have a safe trip Fed.

  26. Totally off-topic so sorry about it..

    Fender have announced the prices of the DG Strat.. $4800 for the Relic version and $4000 for the New Old Stock!! That ought to put a lot of people in a bad mood….

    What about you FEd? Will you be picking one up?

    [No, I won’t. Even if I played the guitar, I still think it’s far too expensive. Please continue this discussion over at ‘The DG Strat’. Click your name, or the link on the right (under RECENT POSTS). The Blog’s now closed until Monday, but all closed topics will re-open soon. – FEd]

  27. Many people love Pink Floyd in France, and many would like another David Gilmour concert in Paris. =)

    Hi from France ^^

  28. Hi!

    I love your On an Island CD & Remember That Night.

    I am only 11. My favorite song is Smile because when I was having an operation I sung that song and it made me feel better!

    [That’s very good to hear, Miranda. – FEd]

  29. Espèce de chanceuse, va. Tu l’as vu 2 fois en plus!!! Le théatre de Vienne me semble si magnifique.

    Si David revenait au Canada, je lui suggérerait Québec, qui est devenu LA ville a visiter (c’est superbe et Paul Mc Cartney y a joué, il y a 2 semaines!!!)

  30. I had attended both Paris show earlier that year but the gig in Vienne was like a big “whoua”.

    Incredible performance, especially Rick on fire during “Echoes” – my personal fave on that night.

    Really a great night I will remember for years – as we say here “La Claque”…

    This one is easily in my top 5 fave shows I attended by any artist to date.

  31. Hi Fed,

    I too feel that Michele’s description of the night was a perfect account. I too thought ‘Echoes’ was magical.

    We were sitting stage right with a view of the surroundings & the stormy sky, as well of course as the stage.

    The day before had been spent at Goodwood in Sussex celebrating/commiserating my partner’s 50th. We set out early to fly to Geneva, spent the day in the Alps before driving to Vienne. Small world, I saw someone who had been allocated the same seats as us on the Geneva flight at the concert!

    We were floating when the concert was over & went for a coffee (but apparently could only have alcohol that late!). It was after midnight but Vienne was alive with a fantastic atmosphere. It kept us going for the 4hr drive back to the Alps. I felt elated, that feeling remains with me still.

  32. Is that Black Strat for 4000 – 4800 U.S. or Pounds? Just kidding of course.

    Ouch! I’d love one, but…?

  33. Dear Michele and Bloggers,

    you’ve shared magical moments and memories and everyone so lucky to have enjoyed a concert of this fantastic 2006 DG’s tour can understand your flashback very well.

    In fact everyone, by our side, lived the personal own experience following two ways: in our souls, discovering our deepest feelings and on our skin with the real shivers coming by hearing that music that we love so much.

    You’ve touched me, thank you.

    Take care and bye.

    ciao Fed

  34. Hello,

    First of all, I’m sorry about my English but as you probably know, the French are very bad to teach English to their people… and I hate the fact that the voices in the movies or news are directly translated into French without subtitles, but it’s like that. 😉

    I am 26, and I saw the first time David Gilmour in Paris at Le Grand Rex theater… it was amazing!

    I was looking forward the next show in the Olympia the evening after and it was better!!! Especially the Great Gig in The Sky and Shine On!

    But Vienne was the best!!! Really!!!!!!! The best place to be, good weather, and a great atmosphere between the band and us… the short part in the documentary inside the last DVD is good proof of that.

    I’m so happy to see that I can hear some tracks soon from this show! About the old songs, my favorite (and that of all of my friends I saw there) was without any doubt Echoes! But I have also good memories of Shine On with the wine glasses, High Hopes or Fat Old Sun with the electric part !

    A few days after this concert I was in West Bengal working as a medical student in some villages in the south of Calcutta… the daily routine included walking a lot between different places and I remembered clearly singing often the lyrics of Dominoes during the travel… so I think I kept this song in my head until India. 🙂

    Thank you for the music.

    Thomas (from St Etienne, France)

    [Great memories, Thomas. Thank you for sharing them (in fine English, by the way). – FEd]

  35. Just back from Samos (native island of Pythagoras, wow!).

    Thank you all for your kind comments.

    And a special big thanks to FEd for posting my memories while I was away.

    Super boulot, FEd (comme toujours). Et bon weekend!


    [No problem… and welcome back. – FEd]

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