Last Friday, Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen was performing at the hottest party in Cannes—his own. 



From the LA Times: “The most publicized Cannes Film Festival party is the annual black-tie ball held by Vanity Fair magazine.

But billionaire Paul Allen’s yearly yacht bash may have become an even hotter ticket.”



An A-list of celebs, including Sean Penn, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Barry Diller, Salma Hayek, Petra Nemcova, Woody Harrelson and George Lucas were treated to a late-night concert by Paul Allen and his band on the upper deck of Paul’s 301 ft. megayacht, Tatoosh, the smaller of his two ships. The music continued on as guests made their way to the lower decks, where Allen’s guests were entertained by U2’s Bono.



O.k. That was last week.



This week—tonight in fact—Paul Allen again took the stage and fronted his band, this time at the NCTA’s “Battle of the Bands” charity concert held at Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.  As I write this, the concert is still going on, and all of the bands are pretty good, especially considering that these are amateur musicians whose day job is in some way connected to the cable industry.



But Paul Allen was great.

And I’m not kidding. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m probably going to say SOMETHING nice about this guy—I’m an unabashed fan. But I am so not kidding, Paul Allen is a terrific guitar player.



I know what you’re thinking.  I can imagine that the Hollywood guests who drank Allen’s champagne and hung out in luxurious surroundings at his party last week would probably have given a good round of applause for their host’s performance, even if the music wasn’t as good as the food.


I kind of suspected the same thing before I saw Allen in concert. It’s logical that the guy would get accolades as a performer just because he owns the yacht or the stage or the company, or just because he’s probably the most influential guy in the room.


But I’ll bet the concert last week was really good, because the concert tonight was great. It was so great.


Paul Allen knows how to play the guitar. It’s almost a little unfair, because he’s so good at so many other things.


He played a killer guitar tonight—killer. I got an inkling that he was pretty good when I heard the band’s second song, a lovely blues song that I’d love to get on my Zune, but I was blown away by the next song, Paul’s rendition of Jimi Hendrix’ “Purple Haze.”  



And I’m not the only one who was blown away by the performance. Amidst the applause after the band’s performance, the show’s announcer exclaimed— “Oh my Gd!” and the audience started chanting, “Paul, Paul, Paul, Paul….”   And, no kidding, they wanted an encore!  The Paul Allen Band was the only Band the entire night that got an encore request from the audience.


 Other comments by judges, etc. included “Awesome,” “It was easily the best guitar playing of the night”  and “You should quit your day job—oh yeah, that’s right, you DID quit your day job!” J



Anyway, what a great concert! I’ve had a great time watching all of the bands, and it was wonderful to finally get a chance to see Paul Allen live in concert.


 And the other thing—it’s been really nice to be able to do it all from home. I’ve been watching the concert tonight from my Flipstart computer via Octoshape streaming video.


Check it out:


Ok, the verdict is finally in.


The Paul Allen Band won 2nd place!


Now all we need is an album—maybe an Amazon Mp3 download or something—


What do you think, Paul?