Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre has performed some spectacular open-air concerts over the years. His 1979 show at the Place de la Concorde in Paris drew an audience of more than 1 million spectators, setting a Guinness world record. He would break that record three other times. He first did it in April 1986, when nearly 1.5 million in Houston witnessed his concert, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of Texas and the 25th anniversary of NASA’s Johnson Space Center while commemorating the Challenger shuttle tragedy, which occurred two months earlier (astronaut Ron McNair, who was killed in the disaster, was slated to play saxophone from space on one song; jazz artist Kirk Whalum filled in for him). The record was broken a fourth time in September 1997, when 3.5 million attended his gig in Moscow in celebration of the city’s 850th birthday. But Jarre’s performances for smaller audiences have often been just as magnificent. The May 20 concert I attended at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, part of the French musician’s first-ever North American tour, certainly was. The tour—which lands in Broomfield, Colorado, on May 24; in Berkeley, California, on May 26; and finishes up in Los Angeles on May… Read full this story
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