Day 1, Tuesday July 18
It’s that time of year again to deepen yourself into the magic world of Paléo Festival Nyon.
From the Maya pyramids of the Village du Monde, dedicated to Central America, to the Smooth Volcano project of the HES-SO, passing through circus and street art of La Ruche (the Hive), Paléo takes you into an unforgettable trip in and outside the music world.
The music plays of course an important role in the festival, so let’s discover what awaited us in this first day of Paléo.
Boogát, Dôme, 5:30pm-6:45pm
There’s nothing better than kick off the week at Paléo by paying a visit to the Village du Monde. Boogát, welcomes you in the South American world with a lot of charisma and enchanting sounds. Based in Québec but of Mexican and Paraguayan origins, singer Daniel Russo Garrido makes the audience dance on salsa and reggaeton sonorities, without forgetting guitars riffs and a sprinkle of soft rock.
The Inspector Cluzo, Grand Scène, 6:45pm-7:45pm
The Inspector Cluzo is a blues-rock duo based on drums and guitar played by two organic farmers from Gascony (France), the land of the three musketeers. The guitarist is very friendly and at ease, his humour is definitely more British than French as he himself claims. As soon as they start playing the audience is captured in their world where drums and guitars at their purest are kings. No computer, no synthesizers or electronic devices other than amplifiers because, as the guitarist says, “we’re not f****** Royal Blood”. Their music finds the roots in American blues-rock and rock ‘n’ roll, therefore it is not a coincidence that the person recording their album is Vance Powell, who mixed The White Stripes’ and Seasick Steve’s albums.
On stage they have an incredible energy, powerful drum beats are combined with the riffs sometimes very rock n’ roll sometimes faster into a sort of hard rock chase. At times the tone is more laid back and leaves place to blues-rock guitar solos. At one point they call on stage a girl from the public and play her a love song to which she’s asked to dance along also joined by the drummer.
For the last song they let jump on stage some of the people who are in the front. The lucky members of the audience who get the chance to go on the Grande Scène dance in front of the band.
An awesome independent discovery, absolutely unmissable for their plain friendliness and their great sound!
Alice Roosevelt, Club Tent, 7:45-8:45
Alice Roosevelt is a pop-rock band from Nyon composed by five guys. Their sound is a dreamy pop-rock characterized by ethereal guitar riffs which make you travel into a mysterious world.
The path is eased by the deep voice of the singer which leads the way into magic sounds. The audience is clapping along and completely captured into their universe.
Foals, Grand Scène, 9-10:10pm
Foals bring to the L’Asse their indie-rock tainted with electronic sounds and convincing guitar riffs. Singer Yannis Philippakis is the first member of the band to come on stage and starts jamming on his guitar joined a few minutes later by the other lads. They play songs from their various albums, from Antidotes (2008) to What Went Down (2015), over the years their sound acquired an increasingly bigger presence of electronic sounds made with synths.
From indie disco anthem “My Number” to their latest rock single “What Went Down” Foals take the audience into a trip among powerful riffs and synths sounds.
The audience seems to be captured the most during the performance of the outstanding “Spanish Sahara”, taken from their 2010 album Total Life Forever. The singer’s voice is crystalline and the band plays with an increasing intensity, to burst into an explosion of mystic riffs in the refrain.
Towards the end of the gig singer Yannis Philippakis comes down from the stage to sing literally in front of the audience hold up by a visibly scared security guy. A great moment which inflames the audience!
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Grande Scène, 11:25pm-00:55am
Red Hot Chili Peppers is the most awaited band of the day, if not of the entire festival, as it is their first performance ever not only at Paléo but in the French-speaking part of Switzerland! I have a good central spot a few meters away from the stage for Foals, which I save for the Red Hot as many people are already crowding in front of the stage. The Grand Scène is set up for a huge gig, with a big half-circle shaped screen and four circle-shaped smaller screens on the top.
The Paléo app informs fans that the Red Hot Chili Peppers might start a few minutes earlier, and so it is, at 11:25pm the lights on stage go out and the audience starts screaming.
Bass guitarist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer come on stage and start jamming. Once they are joined on stage by singer Anthony Kiedis they play the song “Can’t stop”, accompanied by the excited screams of the audience. The Red Hot kick off the gig with three older songs to take the audience back to their teenage years and to the 90s funk rock which accompanied them. They continue with “Snow (Hey Ho)” and “Scar Tissue” getting the audience to sing along with them. In the meantime the screens on stage either show footage of the concert or colourful animated videos, to heighten the live performance.
Singer Anthony Kiedis doesn’t play any instruments, which allows him to jump around freely and do shenanigans on stage. For some of the songs the band is joined on stage by three additional members, a bassist, an electronic drummer and a guy on synths.
“Californication” is another of the awaited songs in the show, for which the public waves hands in the air. However throughout the concert the audience seems calm, a side-effect of the band not being engaging enough. Except the older songs that most people know, the atmosphere remains weirdly too calm and deceiving. Although a lot of jamming in the songs or in between them renders the concert more peppery.
The end with the beautiful “By the Way” where Anthony Kiedis’s voice becomes sweeter as the guitar leads the way. They come back for an encore and end their gig with “Give it away”, song in which the singer does a sort of tongue-twister. “Otherside” remains the great missing song on the setlist of the night.
A first day at Paléo in the name of rock, in its different sauces, from blues to funk!