Day 2, Thursday August 27

ZH openair bannerAfter a first day filled with newer and older indie-rock acts here’s a cool second day with quite a few bands I’ve never seen live, like Stereophonics and TV on The Radio.

Olympique, Tent Stage, 4:45pm-5:30pm

The singer looks like a rapper but when he opens his mouth and sings you freeze. His voice is fantastic and by his looks you wouldn’t think he had a voice like that! Appearances can be deceptive… He is not like most indie-rockers who rather have a hoarse voice. Their music is an original kind of alternative rock which takes in exotic influences, a touch of electronic music without forgetting powerful riffs and drumbeats! I don’t know many bands from Austria so I’ll sure keep them in mind!

Bear’s Den, Blue Stage, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Bear’s Den are a British folk band. They are originally three guys but are accompanied on stage by two other lads. The banjo conveys that perfect atmosphere to hop on a train to folkland in the path of Mumford and Sons and such. With their touching lyrics and powerful sounds, they manage to create a communion with the audience. Down to earth and humble they say they always expect some 25 people to turn up and are really glad to see many people in front of the Blue Stage.
They, and also other bands seem to get the name of Zürich Openair wrong, because when they thank the audience or such they say “openair festival” perhaps Zürich Openair should consider renaming itself… 😉

Echosmith, Tent Stage, 6:30pm-7:30pm

Bassist Jamie Sierota, back home in California because his wife is expecting a baby, is replaced by another guy, so that there are “only” three siblings on stage. They are all incredibly young, the oldest is 22 the younger 16! But when you actually see them on stage you would think they are older because of the way they play and sing. They are talented and play a catchy indie-pop! Singer Sydney asks her mother Linda to come on stage and film the audience while they are repeating the vocalises she’s doing. They end the concert with their most famous song “Cool Kids” which makes the audience dance and sing along!

Mighty Oaks, Blue Stage, 7:30pm-8:30pm

Mighty Oaks are always great live, during the interview I had with them in the afternoon I asked them whether this was spontaneous or if they had to learn it and said it comes pretty natural. And you can feel that it’s not constructed. They mostly play songs from their debut album Howl. Lyrics which are soulful and get straight to your heart, the sound they create is a sweet multi instrumental indie-folk counting drums, guitars, bass as well as ukulele and harmonica. Since Mighty Oaks are based in Berlin here in Zürich they mostly speak German with the audience, although singer Ian Hooper comes from the US, bassist Craig Saunders from the UK and guitarist and pianist Claudio Donzelli from Italy, so a truly multi cultural band. When they play “Brother” the audience sings along like crazy and swing to it. One of the best songs to hear live is “When I Dream I See”, quiet and soulful. They say that this is their last international show as the two shows they have left are in Berlin, which is their adoption home. One of them is Lollapalooza Berlin and I’ll be there, eager to check it out and see them again in their adoptive home!

TV On The Radio, Tent Stage, 8:30pm-9:30pm

TV on The Radio have a great energy live, charismatic and numerous on stage their song sound definitely livelier live than on the album. They make the audience jump up and down to their guitar riffs and hard beats broken by the clear and original voice of the singer.

Bastille, Blue Stage, 9:30pm-11pm

I just caught the beginning and the end of Bastille’s show as I had an interview with Piers Agget from Rudimental but I could hear them from the backstage. I saw them earlier this Summer at Caribana and saw them twice beforehand. Bastille always manage to create an amazing atmosphere live. Singer Dan Smith has charisma and his voice spreads beautifully in the air. From indie anthems like “Laura Palmer” to electronic remixes and influence like “Of The Night” they make the audience sing and dance along. They play some new songs as well, which remain on that indie line mixed with cool electronic sounds. They reconfirm themselves each time, well done!

Stereophonics, Tent Stage, 11pm-00am

Here’s another band I can tick off my must see list! Stereophonics are one of those bands that has been around for a long while and who still put everything into music. They are back this year with their new album Keep The Village Alive which will be released on September 11. Guitar riffs intertwined with drums beats and a cool bass line topped with Kelly James’ voice, what more do you need? They play “Maybe Tomorrow” and the audience crazily sings along to it. Since I wanted to catch also Rudimental I had to leave Stereophonics gig before and so I did half and half. But I will see Stereophonics again at Lollapalooza and they are also playing at Les Docks in Lausanne!

Rudimental DJ, Dance Circus, 11pm-00:15am

Not the entire band is here as it is a DJ set. But Piers Agget, with whom I had a chat earlier in the evening, is present as well as another guy. They play songs from most of their collaborations like “Feel The Love” the single which launched them as well as John Newman, with Sam Smith, Emeli Sandé and so on. Every tune seems to be a success and live they are all danceable and enjoyable. Cool electronic sounds mixed with some dub step and well the voice of the collaborations are all pretty great. Let’s say that Rudimental truly know how to chose who to collaborate with and how to make out of it a hit song which will make the world dance!

Simona @TakeMe2aConcert

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