Blur in concert tonight – recorded this past Sunday at The Zenith in Paris to a sold-out house. After taking a few years off, Blur got back together and have, not only gotten a welcome return, they’ve gotten a whole new batch of fans, just as excited about them now as the first wave of audiences did in 1988 when they first arrived.
One of my perennial favorite bands since the beginning, curiously labeled Brit-Pop, and objects of a publicity-manufactured rivalry with Oasis, Blur have managed to rise above the mainstream press antics and revealed themselves to be one of the best bands to come out of that very productive period of the 90s and beyond.
That they’ve maintained a freshness about their work is a testimony to just how good they’ve always been – and after various projects (from Gorillaz to The Good, The Bad and The Queen), Damon Albarn still infuses even the oldies with a timeless sense of energy and conviction.
This concert marks the first time in 15 years since Blur played Paris, and the audience is suitably ecstatic over the prospects of this return to the French stage.
And with their first release in 12 years, Magic Whip once again proves Blur haven’t lost their touch, with universal acclaim from critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Reviews, such as Rolling Stone’s David Fricke described Blur’s latest as “a dark, seductive set, cementing a legacy” and “Blur have returned with inspiration to spare”, give some idea of just how much Blur have been missed, during that five year stretch, from 2003-2008.
If you’ve missed them during the current set of tours this year, have a listen to this show – they are in top form and the sound mix is excellent. If you’re just getting acquainted with the music of Blur, check this one out, but dig through their amazing catalog of albums – lots of great music to be had.
And play this one loud. Blur live at The Zenith in Paris, recorded on December 20th.