The support band got cancelled on the day so that the fans only had to wait for The Vaccines. Earlier in the evening I had the great pleasure to meet and interview Freddie Cowan (lead guitar) and Pete Robertson (drums), the interview will be published soon so stay tuned!In the meantime singer Justin Young and bassist Arni Arnason were interviewed by RTS. I’m glad I got to discover Post Tenebras Rock – L’Usine in Geneva, a cool place, not too small and not too big either. No bars in front of the stage so that you can stick yourself to the stage and look the artists right in their eyes and I can assure you they look back!
This is only the second show The Vaccines play in the French speaking part of Switzerland and their first show in Geneva! The Vaccines open the gig with their great new song “Handsome” taken from their last album English Graffiti (2015) with its incredibly addictive sound! No need to say that they put the audience with handsomeness in the right mood straight away. The people at the concert are more composed than those I saw at The Vaccines gig at Abart Club in Zürich in 2012. I was in the front and at the end I was thrown to the back, whereas here at PTR – L’Usine I manage more or less to keep my comfortable spot in the front.
The Vaccines take us back in time with the old school rock n’ roll “Wrecking Bar”, one of those songs in which Justin Young’s charming voice takes you into a trip into the past following the riffs and the drums. Justin shouts out “This is our first time in Geneva, we didn’t know you were like this on a Sunday night!”. A touring member on the guitar and keyboards also accompanies them.
For “Wetsuit” the back up singing of the audience resounds in the venue as they have all their eyes fixed on the singer. The once shy Justin Young has improved a lot with the audience, he talks more and he incites the audience to scream and clap along. He has also become more of a showman, interpreting his own songs, after all he is the one who writes them and on the stage he performs making them his own. As for example in “A Lack Of Understanding” where he mimics with the hands what the lyrics tell: “I’ve got too much time on my hands”.
The setlist they choose is really effective, mixing older and newer songs and also adapting some of the songs to a slower rhythm or changing them a bit. The Vaccines have grown a lot, they were great before and now they are so even more! “Help me sing this one with a sexy Swiss French accent!” in hearing these words the song he refers to can be no other than “Post Break Up Sex”. With those vocalizes, which although simple sound so special, the lyrics, the sounds, all is overwhelming. Definitely one of their sexiest songs! After all this sexiness they choose to fit in a new and slower song “In Love” which with its cuddling sound makes the public recover a bit. The new songs are well received from the audience, some of the people know the lyrics by heart!
“If You Wanna” is one of the livelier old songs live, with its engaging rhythm, that old school and dirty mix of riffs and drums and the lyrics that you can’t help but sing very loudly. Justin gets on his knees for “All in White” singing with passion while his band colleagues are all concentrated on the strings and plates. When they leave, Justin throws the microphone on the ground while Freddie leaves his guitar with the amplifier still on to make some noise.
For the encore singer Justin Young comes out on his own to do a bit of a talk about the first time he came to Geneva. It was the first time he went out of England to see a concert and his friends took some pills and didn’t understand anything, whereas he was sad and cold. But he says that tonight they’re gonna sleep in the bus but that it’s ok since they’re spending the evening with us. He then plays a beautiful acoustic version of “No Hope”, taken from their album Come of Age (2012), changing the rhythm of it as well. While the audience happily sings along to it. The rest of the band gets back on stage and play the new song “Radio Bikini”. They end in great style with one of their oldest tunes: “Norgaard”, getting everybody all excited and jumping around before bidding goodbye. What an amazing night!
Blow It Up
Post Break Up Sex
Give Me A Sign
A Lack Of Understanding
I Always Knew
If You Wanna
All In White
No Hope (encore)
Radio Bikini (encore)