I have more luck than the other day for Simple Plan’s gig as there is no line when I arrive at the venue so I get to see the support act Robert Francis! Les Docks is crowded as Bastian Baker’s show is also sold out. Let’s see what the night unveils…
8:30-9:05pm Robert Francis
The concert is announced by nonetheless than Bastian Baker (but he doesn’t appear on stage only his voice is heard) he says he admires Robert Francis a lot and wishes the audience a nice gig!
Robert Francis is a young folk musician from sunny L.A.. He is accompanied on stage by his friend Martin Drozd on the violin.
They open the gig with the song “Nightfall”, starting with high-pitched vocalises and then Robert Francis unveils his beautiful and rather deep voice.
His folk is deep as his voice is, thoughtful lyrics and guitar riffs which seem to speak to the sound of the violin. He kneels down at times playing his guitar with passion.
He has some really cool songs ranging between folk ballads and more lively tracks. Also the violin follows the register interchanging from classic and languid to fast and folky! An effective mix of sounds which gets straight to the heart. Well done guys!
9:30pm-11:35pm Bastian Baker
Bastian Baker is accompanied on stage by seven musicians: his vocalist Priscilla Formaz, Simon Jaccard on the keyboards, Chris Zindel on bass, Nathan Bonjour on the drums, Joris Amman on the guitar and then two additional members playing sax and trumpet.
On the back of the stage there’s a tile with the background picture of the bridge present on the cover of his new album Facing Canyons which was released on the 6th of November 2015. From the ceiling of the stage some light bulbs are hanging, they light up during some songs to create a chill and cosy atmosphere.
Bastian Baker and his band open the gig with a new song: “We Are The Ones (#FF)” and then with another new one “Everything We Do” which has already become an anthem with its catchy rhythm and witty refrain “It’s like with everything I do, the beginning’s so exciting, in the middle part I doubt and in the end I’m disappointed”. Bastian is enthusiastic you can see it a million kilometres away and it is no wonder, Lausanne is his home, he loves it and he is very appreciated here, his concert is indeed sold out.
The rest of the gig is an unfolding of older and newer songs. The new sound definitely brings a lot on the folk plan, the lyrics are more mature as Bastian Baker’s voice is.
The third song he plays is “Lucky”, probably is most well-known single up to now, or at least the one which was mostly played on the radio as it is very pop. With its fast rhythm this song is a happy one to sing along to, and Bastian leaves place for the audience to sing it. He continues with “Tomorrow May Not Be Better” taken from his second album, another well known song.
Bastian used to be a semi professional hockey player before pursuing his singing career. To keep the audience calm as the technicians prepare the setting and his band gets ready he recounts an anecdote about when he was playing for Fribourg and there was a misunderstanding between Swiss Germans and Swiss French due to a misuse of a word in French.
Bastian Baker and his band play two songs in an acoustic set, all in a line in the front of the stage, beautiful to see and to hear! They play “Leaving Tomorrow” first, it is a really special moment, the red suffused lights create a nice and cosy atmosphere and as the acoustic notes set in, the beauty of the song is unveiled. The sound is widened as there are also a ukulele and a mandolin. Then Bastian announces that they will play an old song that they’ve never played on a tour before: “With You Gone”, which proves to be special live. Then back to more livelier stuff with an older song “Colourful Hospital”, colours which are reflected in the happy sounds of it.
Bastian comes back on stage on his own, this time on the piano to play “Planned it All”, he pretends being someone else and says he’s learnt to play the piano by looking at a video of his pianist Simon playing the song. He plays beautifully and it is yet another touching moment. The band comes back to play the lively “Never In Your Town” with Bastian running around the stage waving his arms in the air and inciting the audience to do the same, while they sing along.
Towards the end of the second half of the concert the atmosphere gets tenser, not because he cannot live up to expectations, not at all ,but because there’s so much emotion in his music at this point, his voice filled with emotion and the words he sings are meaningful.
He plays “Tell The Night” one of the greatest songs in his new album which he introduces by saying that it is a song about the way people tell their stories in a different way. It’s interesting because it’s a proven sociological fact and he speaks about that in the song. They end the set with “Kids Off The Street” a song Bastian wrote while in Giordania.
Bastian Baker and his band come back on stage for an encore. He says that in the wake of the Paris attacks in November 2015 we have to consider ourselves lucky to be here, the people who succumbed to the Bataclan attack were there to have fun as we are. This is the way he introduces “Charlie from Sidney”, a song he wrote about being in the wrong moment at the wrong time. You may think it’s cheesy or whatever, I just think it’s a great and touching song and it speaks, unfortunately, the truth.
“You’re the best public at Les Docks we’ve had in a long time!” says Bastian. The follow up to this soft and precious moment is with two much more livelier songs: the new folky “Tattoo On My Brain” and the older, but not so much “79 Clifton Street”.
He ends the set with “Dirty Thirty”, after which he and his band bow many times. Highly acclaimed Bastian then comes back to sing one of his best songs ever, the romantic ballad “I’d Sing For You” which he plays on the acoustic guitar. Even before he can sing the first verse in full the audience has started singing it loud and clear so he just listens to the audience singing and plays the guitar. He smiles and then starts singing as well, joined in by the audience once again. It’s a special moment!
Then he leaves the stage once again bidding goodbye. He is loudly acclaimed once more and he eventually comes back with his acoustic guitar. He starts picking the chords of his guitar and plays those few notes that everybody knows: the song “Hallelujah”, originally by Leonard Cohen. Bastian plays a touching and beautiful cover of it.
This time he bids goodbye and leaves for good. Leaving the audience with a two hour emotional and unforgettable gig. Well done to Bastian Baker and his band! And thank you to Les Docks for hosting once again this amazing Swiss artist 🙂
We Are The Ones (#FF)
Everything We Do
Tomorrow May Not Be Better
Follow The Wind
I Want You
Leaving Tomorrow (acoustic)
With You Gone (acoustic)
Ain’t No Love
Planned It All
Never In Your Town
Two Thousands Years
Tell The Night
Kids Off The Street
Charlie From Sidney (encore)
Tattoo On My Brain (encore)
79 Clifton Street (encore)
Dirty Thirty (encore)
I’d Sing For You (encore 2)
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (cover, encore 3)