CONCERT REVIEW // FLEET FOXES // HAMILTON LEITHAUSER // KEVIN MORBY // MONTREUX JAZZ LAB, MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, 04.07.2017

8pm-8.45pm, Hamilton Leithauser

© Daniel Balmat

Hamilton Leithauser is a singer-songwriter from New York City. He is accompanied by his band, a bassist, a pianist who also plays the guitar, and a drummer.

Hamilton is a storyteller, he puts stories into music and he does it with a mixture of delicacy and sarcasm. His music is an indie-folk with a lot of charisma, his voice can get as easily low as high. He introduces his most well known song as “This is my hit”. He presents the song “The Bride’s Dad” by telling an anecdote of a wedding he went to, where he connected to the speech a man did and who was afterwords thrown out of the wedding because he was the bride’s dad but wasn’t invited.

The piano creeps in during some songs giving to them a jazzy and funky turn. The folk guitars are very present throughout the entire set. Hamilton sings his lungs out and is very expressive on stage.

9.15pm-10.15pm, Kevin Morby

© Daniel Balmat

Kevin Morby and his band, composed by four members, including a female guitarist, bring to Montreux Jazz a breeze of freshness with their indie-folk. They open the concert with a beautiful instrumental bit with the drums going soft and the guitar riffs being very rhythmic.

Ranging from rock ‘n’ roll songs to chill out ones, his music never gets tiring. He is backed up by the angelic voice of the female guitarist in some of the songs. The band mixes different styles of guitar-based music. An highlight is the guitar solo of the girl who uses a slide, the audience claps and screams along.

A very talented artist and band!

10.55pm-00.45am, Fleet Foxes

© Lionel Flusin

Fleet Foxes comes on stage with a smile. Singer Robin Pecknold greets the audience by saying “Guten Abend, Ciao, Buonasera” and by finally picking the right language and say “bonsoir”. He wishes a happy 4th of July (US national day) to the audience. The band starts playing and soon enough the audience finds itself captured inside the beautiful musical world they create.

The band is composed by six members, one of whom is impressively multi instrumentalist, swapping very easily from a double bass to a saxophone passing through a transverse flute and bells.

Fleet Foxes released a new album, Crack-up in June 2017, 6 years after their previous record Helplessness Blues (2011).

The sounds the band creates are enthralling and very diverse. The various instruments the band members employ heighten the diversity and richness of their music. Intense and rhythmic instrumental moments are alternated with touching and soulful ones in which the soft voice of the singer is backed up by the vocals of his band member.

© Lionel Flusin

The delicacy of the piano is combined with the acoustic guitar chords and the other instruments to create an intense alternative folk atmosphere.

Very friendly with the audience, they interact with fans and answer fans’ questions or comments. Funny fact: at the end of one of the songs some people in the audience start making weird sounds and the singer laughs and claps. At a certain point someone in the crowd mimics the sound of a bird twittering and the singer claps his hands and the audience follows him.

For the encore singer Robin Pecknold comes out on his own to play some acoustic songs, asking the audience whether they have any requests. Some people ask for “Oliver James” whereas one guy asks for a song the band hasn’t played in 6 years. The concert ends with the band beautifully being reunited on stage to play some more songs and enchant the public a bit more.

A great night spent exploring different kind of indie-folk bands and the magic worlds their music creates.

Simona @TakeMe2aConcert

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