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Last night in Paris…. Christophe Mae

The singer embarked on an anniversary tour to celebrate 15 years since his debut album. The opportunity for a devilishly effective show!

He arrives alone, his shirt sticking out of his pants, a good student but not too much. And even before he grabs his guitar, Christophe Maé is given a standing ovation by an Olympia full of people, clearly ready to party. But Maé prefers to start gently and attacks “Mon paradis”, taken from his first album, which he celebrates 15 years. What a great idea to dive back into a record that sold 1.5 million copies at the time, which then triggered a Maé-Mania. Because the first part of the show will very quickly turn into a form of collective euphoria rarely seen in recent months. “Belle demoiselle” is entirely sung by a predominantly female audience and allows the three musicians to gradually join the hero of the evening. “On this first album, says the latter, I had put everything that had been close to my heart for twenty years. And of course he was also talking about my mom “he says to introduce” Mom “. But Maé and her band don’t just stick to the original. No, they like to stretch the titles, a bass solo here, another harmonica there, leaving as much space as possible for the music. “Go see elsewhere” also allows us to see the vocal path taken. If on the 2007 disc Maé applied himself to singing well, he is now an accomplished performer, knowing exactly how to make a room react, how to catch him by surprise – while physically going the distance.

A nod to Johnny

Christophe Maé on stage at the Olympia.

© Benjamin Locoge

Especially since the half hour ahead will simply turn the legs like the heads of the spectators. “It hurts”, “Because we never know”, “We get attached” and “It’s my land” – four of his biggest hits played in a row – allow both a leap into the past but also more than delightful moments of collective joy. Maé leaps, roars, harangues the room, struggles to make people forget for the space of an evening the two years of Covid and the chaos that surrounds us. Paris, in tune, leaves its seat and willingly lets itself be embarked on this nostalgic sequence in which slips a welcome nod to Johnny Hallyday.

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Maé has never been one to talk at length between titles, but tonight he can’t help but salute the pleasure of being with his musicians, a chorister and a pianist having joined them along the way. “My spiritual father” his first song written at 16, a tribute to Bob Marley, closes this first part of the concert gently.

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Inevitably, after bringing the room to its knees, we will have to go up the slope. But Christophe Maé loves this adversity. So he comes back with “My little guy” a slightly naive hymn to his first child. But it is “Bouquet of roses” that impresses the most. This simple piece, moving hymn to life, borrowed from melancholy – one of the peaks of his repertoire – moves Paris which is picked up by the stripping of an a-cappella finale. “Ballerina” is logically dedicated to his wife Nadège, present this evening, when “He is where happiness” allows him to descend into the room. Maé clearly likes to go “in touch”: he shakes hands, kisses children, poses for selfies – like in the world before. And then “y’a du soleil” his hit from last summer, allows him to make the crowd dance one last time. “Thank you for letting go,” he said moved to see the floor like the balcony follow him in his delirium. “you and I have remained kids” he swears before starting the final “last dance”.

As a reminder, “The Doll” – a rare social piece by the 46-year-old singer – performed in piano / voice makes the audience shiver. Before “I left” Christophe prides himself on greeting Ophelia, a little girl he met in the street during the day. He knows how important it is to make kids dream. He who for a long time clung to the idea that one day perhaps his name would be at the top of the bill. It’s been going on for 15 years now – thanks in particular to Dove Attia, thanked before “The end of summer”, extended to its maximum. Last night in Paris Christophe Maé could only be proud of the progress made. And can consider the next chapter with serenity: it is rumored that a new album could arrive by the end of the year. The afterlife therefore continues. Better.

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Setlist of May 13, 2022, Paris, L’Olympia

1/ My paradise
2/ Beautiful young lady
3/ Mom
4/ Look elsewhere
5/ It hurts
6/ Because you never know
7/ We get attached
8/ This is my land
9/ My spiritual father
10/ My little guy
11/ Bouquet of Roses
12/ Ballerina
13/ Where is happiness
14/ It’s sunny
15/ The last dance
16/ The doll
17/ I left
18/ The end of summer

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