Day 4 – Saturday June 7
This day features only male songwriters (no sexism intended), when you look at the day-programme and see names like Tom Odell and Passenger you know that this night is going to be great as well as emotional. Indeed, the lyrics of the Saturday night’s artist are rather sad. But do not shed tears thinking about “Let Her Go” yet, there will be happy moments too!
18:15-19h15 Scène du Lac
The first singer of the night is the Australian long blond-gingerish haired and bearded Stu Larsen. On stage it is just him and his guitar and I car guarantee you that it is enough to create the right atmosphere for his songs. He has a beautiful voice combined with thoughtful and at times autobiographic lyrics. He has been supporting Passenger for the past years and he is a friend of his. He also plays a beautiful acoustic cover of “Fix You” by Coldplay, which gets the audience singing along with him.
In a couple of years will he be headlining festivals? We wish him so and let’s hope he’ll follow Passenger’s path.
Bastian Baker, Grande Scène
Here we are with the first headliner of the night, the young Lausanne singer Bastian Baker, who came out with his second album “Too Old To Die Young” in September 2013. Bastian Baker, despite his young age, is already a celebrity in Switzerland and not only. On stage he is accompanied by his band and feels at home. He goes through songs taken from his two albums. He comments on the nice weather and the beautiful Swiss landscape to introduce “Lucky” a happy ballad to which the audience sings and swings along. At one point, while singing, Bastian Baker ventures down the stage just in front of the barriers to say hi to his fans. When he sings the touching “I’d sing for you” the public is in awe and arms are waving right and left. This song is really in line with the theme of the evening. “79 Clifton Street” sees him in his rock n’ roll mode, which is followed by a jumping audience singing “uuuuuu uuuuuu uuuuu”.
With a “merci du fond du coeur” and taking a bow together with his band he leaves the stage.
20:00-21:00, Scène du Lac
Jan Oliver is handsome, he must be since he was Mister Switzerland in 2010. But let’s leave his beauty aside for a moment and focus on his music, because this guy is very talented. He has been playing the piano since he was 7 years old and classical music influences can be heard in his music. He is accompanied on stage by his band. His delicate pop songs have also a light rock sound live and his voice is beautiful and elastic. He plays songs from his first album The Great Escape among which the single “Stay Young” that with its clapping and choruses in the background becomes pretty addictive. This song makes you indeed, stay young with its fresh rhythm and Jan Oliver’s voice going up and down. The great “Riders” where he plays the piano beautifully. His qualities as a pianist can certainly be heard in songs like “Insanity” which features delicate piano notes in the background which get stronger in the refrain.
Jan Oliver also plays the guitar although he feels at more ease on his beloved piano. He plays a funky song which is not included in the album and the sweet “Always On The Run”, with the delicate picking of the guitar strings.
21:00-22:15, Grande Scène
The first time I saw Passenger it was in November 2012 when supporting Ed Sheeran at X-Tra in Zürich and at that time I thought this guy would go far with his voice and strikingly honest lyrics. He did, at Caribana he plays the big stage. However he hasn’t changed, he is always that humble guy who was glad to open for a “big one”, always thankful for what other musicians did for him and passing on the same favour to artists like Stu Larsen whom we saw earlier on.
I’ve rarely seen such an honest musician he is truly down to earth and I think this is what makes his music even more touching and great. He has a beautiful whole voice which caresses your soul and makes shivers go down your spine!
To introduce the song “Riding to New York” he tells a touching anecdote, when in New York he wanted to buy some cigarettes in the middle of the night and met a man who was sitting smoking on his motorbike. This guy told him he was dying of lung cancer and that he had decided to take a tour on his motorbike from the East Coast to the West Coast to enjoy the time he had left and see his family. After this encounter Passenger, instead of buying cigarettes as he had wanted to, he went back to his hotel and wrote a song about it.
For “Hearts on Fire”, Stu Larsen joins Passenger on stage, first he just stands by him and then he joins in by singing beautiful harmonies, their voices are perfect together. There is also space for happier songs like the witty and funny “I Hate” where Passenger lists a number of things he hates and asks the audience to join him in singing the refrain if they agree with him. The most shared is probably “I hate ignorant folks, who pay money to see gigs and talk through every fucking song”, to which he adds that those persons didn’t even hear what he was singing.
The concert could not end without the delicate chords and truthful lyrics of “Let Her Go”. Did you shed tears too?
23:30-00:40, Grande Scène
Tom Odell has an incredible gift: the crazy way he plays the piano and his angel-like voice (and appearance). Oh and his accent is pretty cool too. He comes on stage and sits down on the piano and starts playing, no need for presentation yet. When he plays “Can’t Pretend” he is fully immersed in the song, singing passionately and touching the piano keys intertwining delicacy and strength. He goes through the songs from his album Long way Down, which are great live. Like the hopeful tune “Grow Old With Me”, with its beautiful piano intro which sets into the song also once Tom Odell starts singing. Enriched by choruses and the public’s sing along this song turn out great live.
By the time he sings “Another Love” at the end of his concert he is all sweaty, proof that he gave all of himself. When the notes of “Another Love” are played the audience screams, I bet some of them even cried, this song live is hard to take it is at the same time too great and too emotional. Tom Odell says “Let’s go Caribana” in the middle of the song and the public sings passionately with him. Taking a bow with his band members he leaves the stage, leaving the fans with one more happy memory to close the day.
Thank you Caribana Festival and to all the amazing artists which made this 24th edition of the festival memorable! Looking forward to next year for the 25th edition, what will the organizers come up with? The appointment to find out is from June 3 to June 7, 2015!