It’s pretty freezing outside on this Saturday February 24th as I approach Thônex Live, a venue just in the outskirts of Geneva. Many people are there to find comfort from the cold and warm up in the cosy atmosphere that Milky Chance creates with their colourful music.
Lola Marsh, 8pm-8.30pm
Israeli indie-pop duo Lola Marsh enlightens the audience with a short but great acoustic set. The microphone sticks are decorated with colourful flowers. The beautiful singer Yael Shoshana Cohen, who looks like Penelope Cruz, has a crystalline voice which she can mould to her pleasure. The other half of the band, producer Gil Landau, accompanies her on the guitar. On stage they are also supported by a drummer. Lola Marsh released their debut album Remember Roses in June 2017.
Lola Marsh’s tunes bring an air of freshness with the delicate picking of the electric guitar chords and the sweet voice of the singer leading the way. Vocals and whistling through the songs as well as the bells render them more colourful.
They play a sexy and fun rock’n’roll cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” which gets the audience dancing and singing along. They then end their set with their most well-known tune “Wishing Girl” making the audience whistle along to the introduction of it. An absolutely amazing first act that I already saw the past Summer at Paléo Festival Nyon.
Milky Chance 9pm-10.30pm
German duo Milky Chance, composed of singer Clemens Rehbein and producer Philipp Dausch, who during the gig plays various instruments, is accompanied live by guitarist Antonio Greger and drummer Sebastian Schmidt.
The lights darken in the Salle des fêtes de Thônex, a large hall with a high ceiling in which the sound is beautifully rounded. Milky Chance comes on stage and start jamming the introduction to “Clouds”, a funky tune with a mix of rhythms from African music to reggae. The perfect start for a dancing gig!
Mixing effectively different styles of music from folk to pop with grooving rhythms, Milky Chance creates a colourful atmosphere. Philipp Dausch plays all sorts of percussions from drums to African bongos, to synth, and additionally also bass guitar.
The band presents many songs taken from their new album Blossom (2017), partly inspired from the birth of Rehbein’s daughter. During the gig they never really introduce in words the album or explain to the audience which are the new songs, but supposedly real fans know. “Firebird” is one of the most well received new songs with its catchy sound and Rehbein’s raspy voice and way of singing it.
“Down By the river” is one of the old times favourite taken from the first album Sadnecessary (2013), here played differently than on the LP by adding a lot of jamming in between and slowing down the pace of the song. Because seeing Milky Chance live is a special experience, they unveil much more than what you hear on the album by changing the rhythm of some of the songs and such. They speak through music and by jamming around with their instruments rather than directly addressing the audience, except a few friendly “how are you?” and smiles.
“Blossom” is another flourishing new song, with a positive vibe, where the riffs are intertwined with the percussions. Antonio Greger plays the harmonica beautifully in some of the songs, giving to them that touch of folky groove. During “Bad Things” singer Clemens Rehbein asks the audience to make a peace sign waving hands in the air to the rhythm of the music.
The singer says “This one goes like this” and then intones the opening vocals of “Cocoon” followed by the audience singing them beautifully, at which he stops to listen. He thanks the audience and then, joined by the band starts singing, with hands in the air and the audience sings along. At the end of the song the band leaves the stage.
Milky Chance comes back for an encore. Jamming between them, the band members build up the introduction to their greatest hit “Stolen Dance”. As the notes get more and more recognizable, the audience starts screaming and singing, and dancing around. Rehbein’s way of singing slurring some of the words and stumbling upon syllables is even heightened live but doesn’t remove any charm to the songs.
The gig ends with a long jammed version of “Sweet Sun”, containing some of the most interesting lyrics in their work “You push me up to the inglorious shadows of a craving. And if we fall we blow up like exponential assembly”. When the song gets livelier under rainbow lights, with some electronic sounds overlapping with dynamic guitar riffs, the singer jumps up and down on stage and the audience copies him! Definitely an end on a high!
Flashed Junk Mind
Cold Blue Rain
Down By The River
Stolen Dance (encore)
Sweet Sun (encore)