50 Boulevard Voltaire, 11th
M° Oberkampf/Filles de Calvaire
Tel: 01 43 14 00 30
Review by Aileen O’Riordan
Le Bataclan is pretty much an institution in Paris for live gigs. Situated in an old theatre dating back to 1864, it has an elegant, if shabby, interior with seating upstairs of well-worn rows of red velvet seats. Downstairs consists mainly of the sound stage with a bar to the back and a standing room area in front of the stage.
A small venue, it has an incredible atmosphere, however, it is lacking the acoustics that you would expect in the standing area so I’d advise you to grab a perch either by the bar, where there’s an elevated view and some great speakers (also with the added bonus of being strategically located for a demi) or upstairs.
Located just downstairs is the cosy Bataclan café, where you can pick up a croque before a live gig or lay out the Sunday papers and lounge with buckets of café au lait listening to the eclectic sounds that will depend on the staff’s mood on the day. The terrace is particularly pleasant during the summer for some pre-gig people watching.
Le Bataclan hosts a variety of musicians and the genres vary greatly. In 2008, the Beastie Boys held an acoustic session following their sold out stadium tour and I’m still gutted to this day that I didn’t get a ticket for the show. A painful reminder to to keep an eye on the web site for up and coming gigs. Avishai Cohen, a beautiful jazz pianist is there in April 2009 and Beirut and PJ Harvey are lined up for May 2009. Get your tickets.