The sixth annual Rock-en-Seine Festival at the Parc de Saint Cloud started last week, Wednesday August 20, with Rage Against the Machine headlining. The weather was perfect, slightly overcast but dry (after a very wet August) and there was a huge crowd despite the fact that it was a Wednesday night in the middle of the French holidays. There was a fabulous warmup by Mix Master Mike, who mixes *real* records so well it makes you want to cry (even in a town like Paris where there are supposedly some decent DJs).
Then Rage Against the Machine, who played their first song wearing orange prison suits and black bags over their heads, played for two hours to an unusually rambunctious crowd. I’ve been to Rock-en-Seine three years in a row, and have been to countless rock concerts in Paris, and it’s rare to see the crowd really get into it like they do in the States (even at the Nine Inch Nails concert at the Olympia the crowd was so mellow I thought the management were secretly pumping the concert hall full of opium). Do a little cruise around YouTube videos of the concerts and you’ll see that there are no steady camera shots from any distance (too much jumping around). Maybe we should all just give up on trying to record it for our friends back home and just get out there and have fun. 😉
Bummer about the trees in the Parc de Saint Cloud, which look “dead” because of a leaf miner disease has shriveled up all of the leaves.
Since the main part of the festival with three stages doesn’t start until today, there were only a few stands set up. I saw someone eating a pizza and wandered for a good half hour, getting distracted by the different art and photography exhibitions, that by the time I found the stand they were all gone. So I got a cheeseburger. No ketchup left, but I didn’t need any because in France even the festival burgers are only cooked “medium”, so it wasn’t dry like a lump of charcoal.
As usual, too many gentlemen (I use the term loosley) decided it was easier to pee up against any old fence then to walk to the toilets. Gross. Aside from that unfortunate festival fact, it was a great evening. There are still tickets for tonight and tomorrow’s mega-lineup of stars (c’mon, you sooooooo wanna know if Amy Winehouse shows up, and if she does, it may be the last time we see her alive, er, I mean live).
St Cloud is on the southwestern edge of Paris, at the end of metro line 10. Headliners include REM, Amy Winehouse, Tricky,
The Raconteurs, The Streets, The Roots, John Spencer Blues Explosion, and Justice. You
can get either a one-day pass for €45 or two days for €75. Get your
tickets through FNAC for just €65. Those with 2-day passes can also
sign up for the campsite (lots of fun if you don’t need sleep). Also
new this year is Mini Rock-en-Seine for the kids (basically day camp
with kids entertainment). Also new this year, reusable mugs (to cut
down on plastic cup waste) that you “rent” for €2. As usual, you’re not
supposed to bring in your own drinks, cameras, or recorders, and there
are no cash machines on site, so be prepared.
See last year’s write-up here.