Following the long-awaited release of his West Africa-infused, self-titled comeback album, French house innovator, St. Germain, embarked alongside an eight-piece band his first tour in over ten years. Eventually, the group landed in Paris for their first gig in the city in just as long a hiatus. The show took place November 12, 2015, at The Bataclan, one night before tragic terrorist attacks erupted inside the venue during a concert by The Eagles of Death Metal.
In addition to presenting a live-clip of St. Germain's (real name Ludovic Navarre) set inside the venue, we got a chance to talk to the artist a bit about what it means to have performed at The Bataclan in Paris a mere night before such terrible events plagued both the venue and city he calls home.
THUMP: Describe the emotions leading up to your first Paris gig in over a decade.
St. Germain: I was already on tour for 10 days at that point, and the day before we played in Belgium.The Paris audience was happy, cheerful and really friendly. I had time after the show to see people that I haven't seen in a long time, and had a drink outside before going back home.
Did a lot of your friends and family come out?
My mother, father, some old friends, and the families of the musicians and the technicians on the tour, all came out. The show was sold out, so I had the feeling that the audience was really happy to see St. Germain on stage. I was happy as well.
Why did you choose to Bataclan as the venue to play in the city?
Alias—my tour agent since 2000—is the Bataclan's manager, so it was like playing at home.
What was the aftermath to those events like for you personally?
We were in Zurich on Friday, November 13, when we heard this terrible news at the end of the show. We felt incomprehension and sadness. We were also very worried for all the people we love in Paris. After that, we continued the tour in Switzerland, in London and all over Europe. The tour ended in early December. The entire European music world has been horrified and saddened by the events.
How do you think music help people cope with such disaster and heartbreak?
My answer is my favorite sentence: "Music is for the soul."
Have you played in the city since, and would you return to the Bataclan for gigs down the line?
Not yet, but of course I will play again at the Bataclan. The venue should re-open by the end of the year, I hope.
How has the rest of the tour been going so fa?
It's been really exciting. I'm really enjoying playing with new musicians and performing new songs from the last albums like "Rose Rouge,' "So Flute," and "Sure Thing" from Tourist. Being able to mix those songs with different instrumentation has been really amazing. I'd like to thank the public for coming out to see these gigs and taking a soft pause from this hectic/crazy world.
St. Germain tour dates:
April 2 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
April 4 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
April 5 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial De Quebec
April 6 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
April 7 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
April 9 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
April 10 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater
April 11 - St. Paul, MN - Fitzgerald Theater
April 13 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
April 15 - Indio, CA - Coachella
April 16 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
April 18 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
April 19 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
April 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
April 22 - Indio, CA - Coachella