Openair Gampel is one of Switzerland’s major music festivals with 85’000 attendees per year. This years edition had a pleasant line-up with Biffy Clyro, Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls, Flogging Molly, AWOLNATION, The Gaslight Anthem, The Editors, Deap Vally, Frightened Rabbit and Tenacious D amongst the most preferable bands to see.
And actually I saw some great live performances. It all started with Billy Talent on Thursday night. They aren’t one my favourite bands and I heard rumours who said that they are a pretty bad live band, but they showed the other way.
The next day brought Kraftklub as the daily highlight. This German band with their all-german lyrics performed besides the main stage. Kraftklub’s mix of Punkrock and Rap equaled in a huge party with people dancing around like crazy.
But as headliner Tenacious D took the main stage at night, their show was totally wrong. I wouldn’t say it was bad what they did on stage, but it didn’t fit to the location and to the audience. They talked too much, and people should have been trying to understand the plot of the drama that was performed on stage. But at the end of the day English is still a foreign language in Switzerland.
Saturday was by far the most exciting day in musical belongings. It started with Swiss band Kyasma, this young band, who are often said to be Switzerland’s answer to Muse, are from the same area as the festival took place so there was a really big crowd and they made a good performance. But since the last time I saw them at Lakeside Festival I can’t get rid of the feeling that they aren’t playing their sets entirely live. Especially the orchestral parts of their songs assume to be played with lots of help. However, their show was bombastic.
After this Prog Rock show I felt prepared for a bit of Frank Turner. He and his Sleeping Souls were scheduled to play the main stage but as we arrived there, there wasn’t any Frank Turner nor a single sleeping soul on the stage. As I found out later Mr Turner wasn’t able to present his skills because of a serious injure on his back. It’s completely comprehensible to cancel shows under such circumstances, but it was a sad moment for me, because the Frank Turner gig back in may was one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced.
But nonetheless, dusk brought a huge party with the Parov Stelar Band taking the main stage. This Band, which is Austrian Marcos Füreder’s, aka Parov Stelar’s, main project, is in my opinion the only worth knowing Electroswing act in the world, besides Caravan Palace from France. Electroswing is really nice sounding out of usual speakers, but when played live, it gets the most sweeping thing I’ve ever heard. The Parov Stelar Band are gathering bass, trumpet, saxophone and vocals to an enormous crucible of rhythmic coincidence. If anyone can stand still to this absolutely ingenious sound then I guess nothing can help these people to dance anymore.
Regardless to this breathtaking set by these Austrians, the next act didn’t allow to take rest, because it was Flogging Molly. The Irish-American Celtic-Folk-Punks are known for giving extremely powerful shows, including heavy pogoing. As every gig, they started with “Likes Of You Again”. Afterwards songs as “Seven Deadly Sins”, “Devils Dancefloor” and “Drunken Lullabies” made the crowd go crazy. Frontman Dave King was joking around on stage as usual. And to emphasise every cliché, he threw some cans of Guinness into the crowd. After playing the impressive and very emotional “Float” the band left the stage. The audience chanted for some hours (that’s how it made a dent to me) until the guitarist came back on stage just for doing a bit of stage diving. Impressive rendition for a band of fifty-year-olds.
And yet another genuine live act took the stage in that night. AWOLNATION presented sincere Alternative Rock. The American band around singer Aaron Bruno made the crowd jumping around like crazy to mind-blowing songs as “Soul Wars”, “Jump On My Shoulders” or “Some Kind Of Joke”. With “Sail” AWOLNATION’s most popular song featured their set too and at this point the atmosphere finally bursted. Everyone shouted the lyrics to Aaron Bruno, who is actually suffering from ADD:
This is how I show my love.
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my ADD baby.
This is how an angel dies
Blame it on my own sick pride
Blame it on my ADD baby
With this experience AWOLNATION finished their set and for me the musical part of the festival finished too. In summary, Gampel 2013 brought excellent musical renditions and was worth it.