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  • Writer's pictureIndal

We played at l'Olympia!

We had dreamed of it... we did it! We played on June 26 at the Olympia opening for the great Gary Clark Jr. A "suspended" moment for us. A cloud from which we still haven't really come down! Alexis tells you all about the day.

8:00 a.m. The day started early for me as I was traveling from Lille. 2 hours of commute and an arrival without too many traffic jams in Paris. A miracle!

12:00 p.m. We rent a van and then load the equipment from our rehearsal room in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

2:30 p.m. We arrive in front of the mythical Parisian venue, we are pleasantly surprised to discover our name above that of Gary Clark Jr... with a nice spelling mistake: a pretty E that was apparently "invited" and which no one was able to remove that day... too bad!

Quite moving and impressive to drive our little van into this huge Olympia car park to unload our gear... Can you tell the difference between our vehicle and Gary's?

3:00 p.m. The day continues with our arrival in the venue from backstage while Gary is doing his soundchecks. The sound is powerful and you realize the size of the room, especially empty, without its 3000 spectators. Hadrien and I got an earful and take lessons (photo below).

4:30 p.m. Time for our soundchecks. One hour flat to set everything up, to check everything one last time and make sure we'll have the best sound possible for this unique event. And it is to our FOH Engineer Hadrien Coupechoux that we take our hat off because the sound was exceptional on this set and, as usual for the 9 years now that we have been working with him, the stage sound felt so comfortable.

Antoine and Loris are also super focused. We are all both relaxed and tense at the same time. It's quite difficult to express. Relaxed because we're confident, we're used to all that, soundchecks and gigs. Tense because what is at stake is important and this legendary place and these walls seem to have memories. And we're playing tonight in front of almost 3,000 people anyway!

5:30 p.m. Doors open. The public walk in the room, we leave. Last break before the show that starts at 7 p.m. The four of us share one last drink in the green room, we check one or two song structures to be sure... then we're off!

7:00 p.m. The show begins. We walk into complete darkness. We can barely see our feet. Loris opens on the synth intro of I Leave, the public reacts gently. Antoine attacks his cymbals harder and harder, we feel the electricity coming from the audience. I hit the first guitar riff... people start shouting. Blue lights glow timidly on stage. Then the first instrumental hit arrives in a big flash of light! We see all these faces in front of us and we really become aware of what is happening to us. Then it's almost black out. None of us has a very precise memory of this concert as the adrenaline is really intense during this 40 minute set. We close the show with Shelter where the public claps their hands violently on the intro... then sings with us the chorus "Sheeeeeelter for toniiiiiiiight!"... a gospel choir of 3000 people: we couldn't have asked for more!

7:40 p.m. End of the show. Return to the green room. We are still on a high. We are invited to the catering. A true gastronomic feast prepared in the kitchens of the Olympia. We're welcomed and served like royalty. Then we slip into the hall among the audience to enjoy Gary Clark's concert.

20h45. I go back to the green room again. As a good Gary Clark Jr fan boy, I'm waiting backstage for him to come off the stage with a nice concert poster that I hope to get him to sign. Just before his encore, Gary exits the stage to breathe and drink a little. I come face to face with him. He recognizes me and congratulates the band for our show. We chat for a minute and when he understands that I know his music well and that I've been a fan for years, he offers me to go back on stage with him for the encore: "just bring your guitar and join me, man". Without thinking twice, I start running to get my guitar that the rest of the group had kindly stored in the van. A beautiful moment of panic and stress! Then after finding my Les Paul, I head backstage where Gary's Guitar Tech retunes my guitar and plugs me into one of the amps on stage. Then in the middle of the song 'When My Train Pulls In', Gary takes the microphone and announces "Alexis from Indal, come on!"

It was already a huge honor to tread this stage once in the evening, but I admit that to come back there a second time welcomed as a "guest" was completely crazy.

Thanks to everyone who attended this show!

Thanks to Gary Clark Jr for welcoming us on his stage!

Congratulations to Hadrien Coupechoux, whom we can never thank enough for being with us on all these gigs.

Thank you to the Supersonic and Aurélien Jobard who made this incredible evening possible.

And a big thank you to Radical Production and Olympia Prod for their welcome and their trust.

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