Bonsoir Paris (Gypsy Eye GE 179/180)
Pavillon de Paris, Paris, France – February 28th, 1979
Disc 1 (59:25): We Will Rock You, Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, If You Can’t Beat Them, medley (Death On Two Legs / Killer Queen / Bicycle Race / I’m In Love With My Car / Get Down Make Love), You’re My Best Friend, Now I’m Here, Don’t Stop Me Now, Spread Your Wings
Disc 2 (63:50): Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, ’39, It’s Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
Queen’s Killers tour in 1979 is one of their heaviest periods. Their aesthetic was firmly rooted in an arena rock medium with an emphasis upon a massive and aggressive sound. The tour lasted almost thirty shows with their first stop in Yugoslavia. Killers ended with three shows at the Pavillion in Paris, France. Bonsoir Paris contains the second night, February 28th which has the best sound quality of the three nights and is one of the best sounding tapes of the tour.
Unfortunately Gypsy Eye did a poor job remastering the tape for this release. It runs noticeably too slow and really drags, and the lower frequencies are all but eliminated. It’s very top heavy and screechy in the higher frequencies and is not enjoyable. Except for a small cut in “Keep Yourself Alive” this is complete.
The show is very energetic as it begins with the fast “We Will Rock You” and “Let Me Entertain You.” Brian May greets the audience in French before they start “Somebody To Love.” Freddie asks if the audience “do you have your bicycle bells?”
This is in reference to the “royal family,” a group of faithful British fans who followed the band around Europe and who brought with them bicycle bells. “Maybe we’ll use them later” he quips before introducing “If You Can’t Beat Them.” This tune alternated with “Fat Bottom Girls” on this tour. It was strange they made this decision since “Fat Bottom Girls” was a single from the album.
“It feels like a good good night tonight, I can tell” Freddie says before the medley. Gypsy Eye list it as one piece, but it contains “Death On Two Legs,” “Killer Queen,” “Bicycle Race,” “I’m In Love With My Car,” and “Get Down Make Love.” The Queen medley began several years before as a way of playing several newer songs in the show but by this time, except for “Bicycle Race,” it is comprised of only older songs.
“Now I’m Here” is pushed to ten minutes with Freddie’s vocal games, trying to get the entire venue to sing along shouting: “Chantez, tout le monde!” The acoustic set is three songs long and after “Dreamer’s Ball” Freddie speaks to someone in the fan-club saying: “You must be from the worst part of England. I can tell. They make the best kind of people!”
“It’s Late” and “Brighton Rock” form the heaviest part of the song. Not only are they the longest pieces in the set, they are the most dramatic and require the most attention. “It’s Late” sounds horrible with the speed problems on this tape, but “Brighton Rock” sounds devastating. A little snippet by the beginning found its way onto Live Killers, and Taylor’s tympani solo coupled with May’s guitar sounds impressive.
The show ends with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” During the second encore “Sheer Heart Attack” May breaks a string. Gypsy Eye really missed a good opportunity with this title. What could have been the definitive silver title for the Killers tour is instead a mess. It opens the opportunity for another label to either correct this or produce another document from this great tour.