Since this year Paléo Festival Nyon lasts for 7 days in occasion of its 40th birthday I decided to approach the festival very smoothly on the first day. Once there I enjoyed walking around the festival grounds taking some pictures, getting in the festival mood and deepening myself into all the things it has to offer: from concerts to exhibitions passing through the Village du Monde and the food stalls which emanate different perfumes from the Far East and all over the world.
Because Paléo has much more than music to offer, it’s an experience which awakes the five senses! But of course music is the queen and there’s nothing better than celebrate this and Paléo’s 40th birthday with a special band opening the Grande Scène…
Caravan Palace, Grande Scène, 8pm-9pm
… and here’s the perfect band to open the 40th festival party with some good dancing and swinging! Caravan Palace have an incredible contagious energy on stage! Their electro-swing topped with multiple instruments like sax and cello takes you into a voyage at the discovery of gipsy sounds. Singer Zoé Colotis has energy to sell as she swings from acrobatic indie-hop dancing to a more hip-hop version of herself. This French band certainly knows how to entertain an audience and make everybody dance! Their more electro-swing tunes at times remind Parov Stelar, although the former employ more instruments and are more linked to gipsy culture.
Robbie Williams, Grande Scène, 10:30pm-00:10am
A series of red type writings appears on the huge screen on stage: “Are you there”, “I can’t hear you”, “Switzerland, are you ready?”, “Then let me entertain you!”. This last phrase announces Robbie Williams’ entrance on stage as well as the title of the first song “Let Me Entertain You”. All dressed in black, a blond moho on his head, tattoos on his arms, his looks would suggest he is a punk rocker! He starts with a bang and demonstrates that although he is 42 he can still entertain the audience. Then he plays “Rock DJ” for which the audience joins in in the singing.
Robbie Williams has a truly British humour, he makes funny jokes about being famous in the 90s and asks the audience who is over 40 and who isn’t. When he hears that the response of the under-40 is higher he introduces himself by joking about his past in and out of rehab, of his growing fat after having left Take That and so on. Paléo is filled with laughter!
He and his band (to be noticed that he is accompanied by none less than 12 musicians, among whom also some amazing vocalists) also sing a “Happy Birthday” song for Paléo! At one point he starts a conversation with a girl in the audience named “Céline” and later in the gig he asks her to join him on stage. A big sort of vertical bed appears on stage and Robbie Williams asks Céline: “Do you want to come to bed with me?” her answer is,of course, yes… They “go to bed” and the song “Candy”starts. Funny moments because the bed has a screen in which appear two moving cartoon bodies.
Robbie Williams takes the audience into a journey through his most famous tunes from “Feel” to the touching “She’s The One” which he dedicates to a fan in the audience. He also goes into a medley to test the public and see which one of his songs they now best and then slips into Oasis’ “Wonderwall” which actually sounds more well-known by the public! He also shows he appreciates other artists as he covers Lorde’s “Royals” and he impresses the public with a sublime homage to Queen and Freddie Mercury by singing “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. His dad joins him on stage to sing a song with him. During the encore he covers “I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra, inviting the audience to sing along with him by reading the words on the screen. He ends his amazing show with the beautiful “Angels”, to which the audience joins in singing with all the air left intheir lungs “And down the waterfall, wherever it may take me. I know that life won’t break me, when I come to call she won’t forsake me. I’m loving angels instead.”. The refrain was resounding even after the concert was over! I must admit that by not being a Robbie Williams fan in any way I was pretty impressed by the show and his ability to touch you and entertain the public! A true show man, with a soul.
Gramatik, Les Arches, 00:00am- 1:30am
As the organizers of Paléo suggested, I stuck around a bit longer to avoid all the people leaving at the same time and decided to enjoy some electro dub step instead! But before that I had to take back my forces and get some sugar with an amazing waffle with cream and chocolate, a proper treat! Then off to see Gramatik! Les Arches colourfully lights up following the rhythm! The three DJs on stage seem everyone on their own solo trip as they move to the beat. Their cool electro sounds are mixed with dub step, and are perfect to dance along too!
The first day of the 40th Paléo Festival went by pretty quick, which is good, it means I had loads of fun 😉