Last night in Courbevoie… Jacques & Thomas Dutronc

The most anticipated tour of the year kicked off with a warm-up concert in the suburbs of Paris. Who kept all his promises. We were there.

On stage, the decor of a recording studio awaits the 1,200 spectators at the Courbevoie event center. Guitars hung on the wall, the map of Corsica, a poster of Tintin and something to drink await the heroes of the evening. At 8:15 p.m. the lights go out and the first chords of “Et moi et moi et moi” resonate. The group settles in the dark before the backstage bar lights up. Jacques and Thomas each emerge from a back door in front of a packed crowd and settle behind their microphone. Both dressed in black – obligatory paraphernalia for a Dutronc, they are immediately complicit and smiling. And when Jacques attacks the first verse of “Et moi, et moi, et moi” Courbevoie blushes with pleasure. A little feverish, Thomas seizes the second verse but his ardor quickly takes precedence over stage fright. The five musicians play straight away, giving a welcome rock tone.

Thomas had warned us “the idea is to return to the original spirit of the songs, the sound of the time”. He was not mistaken. “Santa Claus’ daughter” like “everything is hidden from us, we are told nothing” roar in the face of an assembly that did not expect to be turned around so quickly. Especially since between the titles, Jacques, wearing beautiful very high waisted pants, speaks: “Bravo my Thomas. I see that they put me a chair on stage, it’s better than a walker”.

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Thomas and Jacques Dutronc in Courbevoie on Tuesday evening.

© Pierre Hennequin

The 78-year-old singer is anything but in bad shape. You have to savor his velvety voice, he who is more crooned than ever, sailing on the notes with delight on “It’s five o’clock, Paris wakes up”. Previously, it was solo that Thomas performed “J’aime plus Paris”, relegating his father to the rank of spectator. Perhaps this is the only fault of this fabulous show: the two repertoires coexist more than they marry, Jacques remaining back on the songs written by Thomas. But when they sing “I love girls” as a duet, it’s simply magical.

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Jacques Dutronc on stage Tuesday in Courbevoie, for the start of his tour with his son Thomas.

Jacques Dutronc on stage Tuesday in Courbevoie, for the start of his tour with his son Thomas.

© Pierre Hennequin

“You are not sleepy ?” asks Dutronc senior, tongue-in-cheek. After a musically out-of-context “Aragon”, Thomas and Jacques settle in the bar at the back of the stage. With Rocky Grasset on guitar, they begin a superb acoustic “Gentleman burglar”. Thomas shows with “Nasdaq” how much the Dutronc spirit has breathed into him: mocking songs and welcome to these businessmen who think they are kings of the world.

Father and son, accomplices on stage Tuesday evening.

Father and son, accomplices on stage Tuesday evening.

© Pierre Hennequin

Little nugget for Dutron-ophiles the resurgence of “L’aventurier” almost never interpreted since its creation in 1969! As a result, Jacques misses his “Petit Jardin” a little, yet so loved by the crowd. But perhaps he already had the following sequence in mind. “We are going to tell you about a woman who meant a lot to us. First for me, then for Thomas. She’s not here tonight, but we think a lot about her. A portrait of Françoise Hardy appears between the two boys, giving the group the opportunity to play “Fort Chabrol”, one of Jacques’ first compositions which was so noticed by Françoise at the time that it became his song “Le temps de love”. For two minutes, the Dutronc father and son are a little out of time, modestly immersed in their emotion, covered by dim red lights.

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Thomas then takes the opportunity to launch into “my mom’s favorite title”; “Sesame”, taken from his second album. Then “Clint (silence we turn)”, all observed by Jacques still leaning on the bar. “L’opportuniste” sets the record straight – even finding the rock colors that he had missed on Jacques’ previous tours. “She has not aged” smiles her creator, who finally duets with his son on “Like a gypsy without a guitar”. The opportunity to raise the room a good fis for all. If a slight musical hesitation accompanies “The Playboys”, it is enough to see the smile of Dutronc son to be intoxicated. “I’m not from here” and “Merde in France” allow the Dutroncs to end on a high and spirited note.

Jacques and Thomas Dutronc offered a beautiful concert to the spectators present in Courbevoie on Tuesday.

Jacques and Thomas Dutronc offered a beautiful concert to the spectators present in Courbevoie on Tuesday.

© Pierre Hennequin

At the reminder, Thomas returns first alone. The time to interpret the piece he wrote about his father “I’m nobody” sublime declaration of love, elegant and modest. On “Tomorrow” a vintage disco ball lights up the room which can no longer wait for the return of the patriarch. Here he reappears in a raincoat and slippers. “I thought it was over, I was in my dressing room and I heard a noise. So I came back”. The group launches into a spirited version of the “Cactus” that Jacques and Thomas sing with a smile on their lips. In an hour and forty, mass is said. Jacques would slip away nicely, but Thomas makes sure he comes to say hello. “Thank you my friends, thank you my Thomas. It was really nice to be with you there tonight. Really good”. We feel the emotion pointing its nose. Then, in a last pirouette, Jacques launches a cappella into “The Air Hostess”, who has “all his life dreamed of having his buttocks in the air”. Once love, always humor. Like this “vote Dutronc” which appeared on the screen. Here, there is no possible doubt. In the first and second rounds.

The Dutroncs, father and son, on Tuesday, launched their tour in Courbevoie.

The Dutroncs, father and son, on Tuesday, launched their tour in Courbevoie.

© Pierre Hennequin

Setlist of April 12, 2022, Courbevoie, event center
1/ And me, and me, and me
2/ Santa’s daughter
3/ They hide everything from us, they tell us nothing
4/ I like Paris more
5/ It’s five o’clock, Paris is waking up
6/ Don’t do this don’t do that
7/ I like girls
8/ Aragon
9/ Gentleman Burglar
10/ Nasdaq
11/ The adventurer
12/ The small garden
13/ Fort Chabrol
14/ Sesame
15/ Clint (silence we shoot)
16/ The opportunist
17/ Like a gypsy without a guitar
18/ Playboys
19/ I’m not from here
20/ Shit in France (cacapoum)
21/ I am nobody
22/ Tomorrow
23/ Cacti
24/ Air hostess

Find our meeting with Jacques and Thomas Dutronc in issue 3806 of Paris Match.

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