Right after the show in Ludwisburg, I’ve learnt that LP and the band were going to the Nice in France. Imagine my surprise, since there was no such show in her schedule. As it quickly turned out, instead of driving by bus from Germany to Portugal they went by bus to France to replace Rag’N’Bone Man at Nice Jazz Festival, who had to pulled of from the show in the last minute due to medical issues.
So that way France got its first concert by LP during her Summer Tour. Sadly for most members of LP’s French Fanclub it meant they won’t be able to attend it, as they were still with us in Ludwisburg and there was no way that they would be on time in Nice for the show. There was however a person representing fanclub and other admins even got a chance to FaceTime with LP after her show.
Sadly very little was shared from this concert (quote-wise), however here you will find many great shots of LP and her band. After the concert early in the morning, LP and her entire crew were treated to a flight by a private jet plane, so they could be in Portugal on time for their next show. Judging from many pics, videos and Insta-stories, they all made the most of this incredible experience!
Pic via LP’s Insta-story
I should have few more words about this gig for you in due time, if that will happen I will update my post. Tonight LP plays show in Budapest – Karolina have fun!!
UPDATE! I am sharing all the excitement of that day in words by Fragments d’Agnès. Brace yourself, it’s gonna be a long ride!
Nice July the 21st, 2018
Friday, July 20th, 23 pm, a phone call… On the line, Claire and Alex, excited, trying to organize their words. They are in Germany, for LP’s gig in Ludwisburg, which has just ended. As for me, I’ve just come back home after another of those painful and unreal days. “Tomorrow!! Plane!! Nice!! We look for a ride!! “… Huh? What? Nice? But what are you telling me about? Where is the decoder?
“LP is going to do a last minute show in Nice tomorrow at 9:15 pm!!!!!!!! We’ve got to go there!!!!!!! Elektra France (LP’s label in France) asked us to circulate massively this information, there must be a lot of people to come!!! ”
Wow!!!!! Serious??!!!! But it’s in less than 24 hours!!!
Once the emotion of the huge and sudden surprise has passed, here I am in search of the necessary information to teleport me to the capital of the French Riviera. A hand on my computer to write the path down, identify the location of the Nice Jazz Festival, find parking, answer the fans on the Elle est LP – LP France official’s facebook page, gather the troops, a second hand in my closet, to find four clothes for the weekend, my toothbrush, a water bottle, my credit card (which was hiding, frightened, in a drawer) and a third hand to assemble some of the fan club business, the flag, my cap, cups, badges (well yes… we finally had a third hand that appeared to us at the fan club…).
I change a bit my plans for the next day, but I refuse to cancel; things will always pass before… Up at 6 am therefore, after about 4 hours of restless sleep. I finish the preparations, load up my car. Claire and Alex could not have flight… I will be the only one to represent the official fan club for LP’s only French date of her summer tour. Criss-crossing weekend on the road, more than 30°C announced, traffic jams in sight, fingers crossed to weave in and out all this without any problems. 10 am, I start the engine, put loud music on (LP and Lauren, of course, what else?). I have frazzled nerves, too little sleep, and an already complicated starting month.
After six hours’ drive, I go along the seaside, with open window. Not a cloud in the sky, the weather is stunning. The view is just superb, very soothing actually, that’s healing me. I drive slowly to a parking close enough to the Nice Jazz Festival. Once parked my car, I wander along the Promenade des Anglais a few moments. The water is incredibly blue, almost transparent. Bathers have a field day. Now I head to the festival entrance. It’s not even 5pm, the ticket office is open but there is none. I turn around the festival walls and decide to wait in the shade.
6:30 pm, doors open, there are not many people. I get close to the scene Massena, none there either… I sit quietly right in the middle, against the barrier. 7:30 pm, still nobody but some people here and there, sitting, sipping tall glasses and taking pictures. LP will be on stage at 9:15 pm but really!? There will be some fans right? Such a shame to have known at the last moment, but so unexpected too, everyone was taken aback. What a beautiful gift she made to France! I see a big red heart-shaped balloon with the initials LP. Phew, I will not be alone.
People start arriving, slowly, there is actually a second stage for jazz, a little further. I find myself talking to my neighbour, Caroline. She only knows LP through Lost On You, but she’s never seen on stage. She had taken seats for the whole festival, she’s going to have the opportunity to discover her so. I put my fan club shirt.
8:00 pm, the first group, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, is set up. The public collects slowly. Guitars, keyboards, trumpet and sax, a great beat, we’re off. An hour of pure soul and country music, lively rhythms, everyone beats time with the feet, the hands, the head. Oh, it rocks!! That’s it, the public is finally hot as the sun hides behind buildings. I see a curly head on the right of the stage behind a phone brandished towards the group. LP is there, she likes this music. Talayeh is right beside her and Brian follows them closely.
9 pm, everyone warmly applauds the singer and his musicians. Technicians rank the material as quickly as possible. I begin to hear some “LP!!” bursting out behind me. Cool, the audience is there. I take the fan club flag and I install it on the fence. My neighbour on the left (which I don’t have the name unfortunately) will help me hold it with Caroline. Elias comes on stage, takes his place behind the drums to make final adjustments. Alex grabs his guitar, turns it on and tunes it.
I hear people discussing with two photographers present behind the gates. “You know who is going to sing now? LP must pass at 11 pm right? It’s not her turn now, she replaces Rag’N’Bone Man, so it will be later”. The photographer is not very confident, I finally confirm that she’s the one who’s gonna sing now. “Are you sure? “Oh yes, I’m sure, lol! Her musicians are on stage. The photographer continues to make his presentation “LP is an American singer… I think her real name is Laura ‘Pergolozzi’ actually, or something like that …”. I smile.
A man finally goes on stage, a microphone in his hand. “Usually we have an announcement, which is prepared in advance to announce the concert, except that here we had to make three or four back flips to try to offer you a great show. In 24 hours all the festival team swung into action to offer this artist…”. He can’t finish his sentence. Several “Bravo!!!”, applause and shouts of joy immediately interrupted his speech.
“I would like to thank the festival team, it’s a great human adventure in which lots of things happen and in which, sometimes, we have extraordinary and exceptional turnarounds, and it is thanks to a great artist who has agreed to divert her original tour from Stuttgart where she played yesterday to Porto where she will go tomorrow, to come and play here tonight on stage at the Nice Jazz Festival… please applaud LP!!”. But we can’t hear him anymore, the crowd goes wild.
The soundtrack starts, it looks like an interview. LP’s voice, calm, rings out the speakers. In the middle of public cries, we can make out some of her words “… Powerful… humanity… they’re so beautiful… strange.” Alex, Max, Elias and Brian appear on stage and get behind their instruments. Here she is, now. She walks fast to her microphone at a brisk pace, with a huge smile. She put her hand on her heart to thank the audience and then grabbed her guitar.
“I wanted more, you wait away… Nothing really matters when you’re up against me. Ooh ooh ooh ooh!! … I just want you up against me, Nice!!!” And we’re off for more than one hour of LP’s music. The crowd goes wild, everybody sings, claps and whistles with her. A “thank you so much” and she carries on with Tightrope. The microphone in hand, she strides along the front of the stage, sending kisses and already receiving her first gift, a small stuffed bunny she put in her tambourine. She moves to the left, thanks the audience again by leaning over it, her hand on her chest. The photographers follow her on the run in front of me, once left, once right. They must have a good physical condition to snap pictures of LP on stage!
Back in the center of the stage, Connor brings her back her guitar and the first notes of Other People resound at the Nice Jazz Festival accompanied by her legendary whistle. Small guitar solo for Alex, eyes closed… At the end of the song, a self conscious photographer agrees to pass the heart-shaped balloon on to the stage. LP pays attention to it with a smile, then takes her tambourine… Muddy Waters. The first three songs are over, the photographers are asked to leave the orchestra pit, but some still finagle to catch a few last shots. LP discusses and laughs with Elias.
We see her speaking into the microphone next to the drums, but we can’t hear anything, is there a small technical problem? Without panicking, she comes back in front of her audience and catches the song partway through. Behind me I hear people singing in unison with her and enthralling. “In the muddy waters we’re falling!!!” LP holds the note, Alex makes his guitar scream, Elias is almost standing on his drums, a true musical fireworks. A little break, it’s time to catch their breath and to change their instruments. LP takes the opportunity to thank the Nice Jazz Festival
“I’m so excited to be here, we’re so grateful to have seen Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, amazing band and thank you for coming. And Rag’N’Bone man, he’s also an amazing guy, sorry for those who wanted to see him… and you got me instead!”. “You are better!” someone shouted in the audience amid screams of enthusiasm. “
1, 2, 3, 4, somebody left the gate open!!” and here is Alex again who has a ball with his guitar and Brian at the microphone who sings the chorus. A sip of water and here we go again with Death Valley. Two new songs come after, Girls Gone Wild and Dreamer , which will probably be on her new album released in a few months, as she explains. Such a beautiful song… It gives me chills every time I hear it… LP takes her microphone in hand and begins to walk on the stage, holding out her arms to her audience. They give her back making hearts with their hands. She seems to live this song from her guts.
Quick change of scenery with Elias letting his hair down. “Oh bear me no witness!” Max keeps pace with his keyboards, Alex rocks his guitar, and LP fails to trip over his cable by turning around him, that brings about a big smile of the two protagonists. Alex puts his pick between his teeth, taking the time to raise his arms to clap his hands, followed by a captivated public. Elias’ mane flies every time he hits his cymbals and drums, such an amazing visual delighting song!
Without transition, we go to When we’re high. Max raises his fist in step. “Let’s swallow the moon and the stars, let’s wallow just right where we are” as she sings spreading her arms at us, followed by an immediate ovation. Now here is Suspicion. Max finally moves in front of his keyboards, guitar in hands. Brian, dressed in white, joins him in the back of the stage. They play face to face, almost as mirrors, while LP strikes up “the silliest of notions, why Romeo took potion basically, to be or not to be, to cheat or not to cheat, believe or not believe that you’re mine.”
Another “thank you so much” punctuates her gig, before she takes her harmonica to slip it into her pocket. It’s time for Strange, without a big screen this time. The audience cheers her and sings with her. She ends the song by swinging her arm in the air, mimicked by the crowd, before throwing another “thank you so much!!”. Then she joins TC on backstage while her euphoric musicians play the last notes. We see her drinking water and Talayeh scampering to the front of the stage to put the microphone back in its place. Always such a beautiful smile, Talayeh! It really shows the love you feel to LP and the magic you live every day 😉 Thanks for sharing all this with us! As she passes near Brian, she gives him five. LP is back. We can hear someone in the audience screaming “LP!! I love you!”.
“Baby, I’ve been lost today, you’re my Levitator!”. Standing in front of her microphone, her ukulele in hand, she continues her song recital, with, again, Alex who goes into a trance on his guitar, and Brian and Elias with knowing smiles. One of my favourite songs now, Free to Love. “All I need is you, all I need is you, Nice” while she sends us her smile and her open arms. It was enough for the public to exult again. That’s it, Max finally lets all go and climbs on Elias’ platform, Brian hops with his bass. People shout, whistles and applauds so loud that we can’t hear LP’s new speech.
“Thank you very much! A big thank you to the Nice Jazz Festival for asking us to come. This is our first concert in France this summer, and we are so proud.” “Congratulations to you for coming to listen to us!” she continues, as she applauds her fans in turn, followed by her musicians. Then she ends introducing Alex, Max, Brian and Elias, interspersed by people’s cries. Here are now the first notes of Lost On You on the Massena stage, last song of her gig.
Small magic moment at that time, I ask the gentle safety man in front of me if he can pass the French official fan club’s blue white and red flag to the American singer. I think I will not able to thank him enough… He takes the flag and slowly approaches the stage, waiting for the best moment to launch it. Bingo! LP catches it in flight and brandishes it to the cheering audience before wedge it in her back pocket! A French flag in LP’s hands for her only date in France, that’s the best gift she could give to all her fans tonight! She enjoys so much singing her song, she gets off her earpiece to hear her fans better.
As she tilts a little bit too much out of the stage, she almost fells, dragging a spotlight away with her. Fortunately she reaches to restore her balance (and the spotlight’s one) in extremis. But nothing dips into her pleasure. She goes on: “together!! oh oh oh oh oh oh oh”, and once again she raises her arms above her head, again the public follows. “Nice!! thank you so much!! thank you very much!!…”. The end becomes inaudible so the crowd erupts with joy. She finally leaves the stage as the audience cheers her, followed by Brian, Elias, Max and Alex, who also thank everyone with their hands. Elias comes back a few seconds later to launch his drumsticks into the crowd. Again a lot of applause, shouts and whistles. Around me I hear the delighted and dazzled reactions from people who discovered her tonight. There are smiles on all the faces. I filmed the whole gig, we will put it on the French fan club’s website (www.lpfrance.com) as soon as possible.
Time to gather my things (and my mind), then I sneak through the crowd still here. Indeed, there is a last group yet to sing, Soulwax. I stand a little bit further, on the path to the stage door. I’m unable to sit, too nervous, still too “high”. However, I must get a grip. I brought with me some items from our fan club, hoping to be signed by LP for our members. But I can’t come back down to earth… TC approaches. I shiver. I kindly ask if it’s possible to obtain some autographs, he agrees and says I have to wait here.
Wait… Ok… I’ll wait… Nothing to sit down, I turn around… I see Alex, surrounded by three fans. He takes the time to talk with each one, really lovely. He arrives up to me. Unbelievable… where are my words? What have I done with my English language??! I don’t fucking know how he reaches to understand me so I mumble. I even make him repeat what he said. He apologizes immediately: “Oh, I’m sorry, I may speak too fast”… Oww… So sweet… I manage to ask him to sign our big flag. Here we are now, on all fours, the material spread on the floor, and he kindly signed it.
I’m so happy, I ask him to do a selfie, but he declines, explaining me that he prefers not to take pictures, and that he really cares about this principle. Respect, no other words. Before leaving, he asks for my name. I reply: Agnès. “Wow! Ag…nes? “I smile while repeating it. Indeed, my name is hard to pronounce for English speakers, they have troubles with the sound “gn”. “How do you spell it?” A-g-n-e-s. “Agnès?” Yes! great! Well done. He concludes by saying he was so happy to meet me and wishes me a nice night. He waves goodbye to me and then moves away.
Alex is someone really charming, serene, calm, almost the opposite of what he brings out on stage where he exults regularly. And he’s definitely part of the “smiling team”. Thank you very much Alex for those few moments in your company, thank you for taking the time to chat a bit with me. So I stand there, waiting, again… I prepare the items, spread them on the ledge of a light pole, get out the marker, make some room, and I keep going round in circles, talking from time to time with Claire and Alex in Paris.
Suddenly, I see a group of people crabbing to my direction. Some flash here and there. I finally distinguish a brown curly clump in the middle, right next to a white and black striped t-shirt with gifts in the arms. Here is she, with Talayeh … They come to me. I have sweaty hands… I pluck up the courage to stand right in the middle of the path and make a shy wave. Hi! LP looks at me and her smile gets bigger. “That’s you! You gave me the flag on stage!! Awesome! Thank you very much! How are you? I’m so glad to see you!” She opened her arms and hugged me tenderly. And then time stops…
Literally. Ô Time, suspend thy flight. Within a few seconds, she manages to remove my stubborn tension. She has this extraordinary gift to make you feel unique. Magic… Her hug makes me feel so good! However everything goes very quickly, she carries on walking, the people around her carry on asking for selfies, autographs. And she does it always with the same smile. I ask her if she can take a few minutes to sign the articles of the fan club. “Yes! Of course!, what do I have to sign?” I give her the marker and show the spot where the items were waiting.
Half in the dark, she begins to sign, while every one around starts to switch their phone torch on. Talayeh helps hold the items and LP signs them with huge pleasure. I film. She stands up, and signs a hat. Then I hand her my phone, I’ve just activated the video conversation with Claire and Alex. What a surprise for her to see their faces! Again here are big smiles on each side of the screen “hey girls! how are you? We met yesterday in Stuttgart right? I am happy to see you again!” while she makes full of waves to say hello. She already arrives at the gate. I throw a last “thank you so much! France loves you, French fans are waiting for you, they miss you!” She answers me that she loves them too and ends with a “goodbye” before disappearing quickly, followed by Talayeh.
I turn slowly around. I have left my things in disorder nearby. I don’t really know where I am or what to think. I carefully tidy the flags and the marker in my bag and I sit down as I can at the bottom of this light pole where LP kindly took time for her French official fan club. She’s just taken my breath and my heart beats with her. My arms lean on my thighs, I look at the ground. I let tears flow, warm, soothing. My eyes mist over. So I can’t make out the “LP” written on the pass on the person right in front of me. I look up. A group of five men are there, quietly walking towards the gate. I recognize Elias and Brian, but I’m unable to move, unable to speak, unable to call them. I look at them pass nearby me, tears on my cheeks. I sigh. Such a memorable night … I would never have dared to imagine, 24 hours ago, that I would live this extraordinary temporal parenthesis, that moment of magic and unreal happiness. It’s etched deep in my heart now.
LP, thank you for all the love you give to us, thank you for your generosity. Thank you for hugging me this Saturday, July 21th. You can’t imagine how much I needed it and how much it felt me good. Lots of love. Fragments d’Agnès.