Allgemein, Concerts

Soulnight with Alina Amuri and John Legend

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I visited the Baloise Session the first time ever. It left a lasting impression and I knew I had to come back again so when the line-up was announced I knew I really had to get a move on. So when I got the confirmation to come this Soul Night evening with John Legend and Alina Alina I was over the moon.

Last year Alicia Keys was part of the Baloise Session and as you know before the first act goes on stage they show a concert. I was very happy to watch last’s years gig and it got me in the right mood. I always try to be there very early because there is so much to do. Cafe Royal offers you a yummy coffee, Sprรผngli is giving out Luxembourgeli and dark chocolates, there are lots of competitions and of course I always try to get a good seat too.

Alina Amuri

I knew Alina Amuri’s new album Chasing Traces pretty well since I wrote a New Music post about it. Unfortunately I always had other concerts already planned so I never got the chance to see her live with the new album. So tonight I was very excited for both artists and of course Alina Amuri didn’t disappoint. In fact she received standing ovations from the crowd so she must have done a great job warming up the crowd for John Legend.
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First up was “Turn to Gold”, followed by “Pioneers”, “Water” and “Won’t Cope with It” which are great for a rainy autumn night (I know It’s now what we’re used to anymore :-)) The beginning of Alina Amuri’s set was very souly but this changed with “Giving up on you”. The electric guitar boomed around the venue and it was a sudden change which I think surprised many. I love it! She changed up the set again when she asked Walter Esposito on stage to sing the title track “Chasing Traces” with her. He not only supports her on stage he also co-wrote the album with her.
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Next was “Don’t/Won’t let them take me under” before Alina Amuri changed her sound again. “On my Way” was already very dancy but this one got topped by “Move Slowly”. She asked everyone to stand up and dance and a few followed her request. It was very 80’s synthie but still in a very soulful way. Hearing Move Slowly live confirmed my notion I had when I listened to the album back in June. For “Your Eyes” Alina Amuri played the German flute at the beginning and I was impressed once again. With the beautiful ballade “Daughter” she finished the night ๐Ÿ™‚

John Legend

Only one big black piano got put in the middle of the stage and at 20 past 9 John Legend to his seat with “Made to Love”. John Legend’s beautiful voice accompanied by his skillful play of the piano was enough to sell out the Baloise Session. To be honest with you I thought it could get boring but because he kept sharing little stories throughout the evening and joked and smiled a lot it was very entertaining. John Legend continued with “A Good Night”, “Tonight” and “Love me Now”.
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John Legend explained that he worked in a normal 9 to 5 job doing excel sheets and creating power point slides during the day and on the weekends he would play in this small club called the Living Room. Of course he would not be able to play during prime time but at 4 pm. Who wants to listen to Jazz at that time?! ๐Ÿ˜€ But his room mates cousin happens to be Kanye West who just got his first record deal and was producing The College Dropout and in 2004 John Legend got his first deal as well producing “Get Lifted”. So very early on John Legend worked with big names already. So his next song is from his first his first record “Let’s get lifted”. For “Used to love U” he needed the audience’s support in singing “Holla holla haaa”. It kinda seemed like a gospel choir with the director on stage with the piano. “Save room” and Maxine was next.
 


John Legend told us a little about how he writes songs. First he starts with a melody and uses a lot of gibberish. Only after he’s got the melody of the song he starts writing the lyrics to it. So he showed us with “Again” how he started out and how it turned out. With every song he showed us a little bit more of his voice range and I was super impressed. After I sat down for the first 30 mins I knew I had to see him up close a bit more so I went up front because hey, when you get the chance to see them so close why don’t you use it? ๐Ÿ™‚
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He continued his set with “Where did my baby go?” and “PDA”. One of his bigger hits it seems is “Ordinary People”. When he started playing the first chords I heard a lot of “Ohh’s and Ahh’s”. I didn’t think it’s possible to cover Sam Smith and not look stupid doing it. However John Legend managed it. He sang “Lay Me Down” and I had goosebumps listening to it. How good is his voice if he can compete with the very highs of Sam Smith?

It’s time for the world to change. To love each other and fight for peace and justice. So wake up everybody!

With that he introduced his next song “Wake Up Everybody”. Staying in this theme John Legend covered Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. Another very big name and he did an amazing job with this song! He turned all his covers into a John Legend version without disrespecting the original artist and that’s an art. “You and I” and “Green Light” followed and with the latter he got everyone dancing and moving. Back in 2001 when he wrote “Stay with you” he didn’t know Chrissy but it is a perfect love song for your parter. He admitted that his songs get played a lot at weddings ๐Ÿ˜€
John Legend said that he grew up in a church because his whole family was involved in his hometown church. But it was his Grandma who told him how to play the piano. And what I loved the most was when he said:

Everything I do here is dedicated to her

And with that he played a wonderful rendition of “Bridge over troubled water”. To finish this beautiful soulful night John Legend played his biggest hit “All of me” and I think everyone at the Baloise Session sang along with him. I had goosebumps and it was a very special moment I enjoyed a lot.

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Thank you Basel

I want to thank the Baloise Session again for inviting me to the event and guys if you are going to this year’s edition you have to participate in this amazing competition where you can win 300 francs for next year’s Baloise Session! All you need to do is follow them on Instagram, Post a pic with your ticket and let them know why YOU are their biggest fan and use the hashtags #Baloisesession and #baloisesessionfan” and you’re in! All you need to do then is hope for as many likes as possible to be crowned Fan of the day! ๐Ÿ™‚
Share your Baloise Session memories below or on my instagram account! ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out my latest gigs: Jason Derulo, Country Night Gstaad, Walking Papers

 

Allgemein, Concerts

Sam Smith put Zurich under his spell / Sam Smith verzauberte Zรผrich

Today we got to enjoy almost two hours of Sam Smith’s immaculate voice in a sold out Hallenstadion. We is a super divers audience from the small kids to teenagers to gays to older people. Sam Smith’s crowd represents everything he stands for:

Be yourself and love who you want to love


But before Sam Smith took the stage Lewis Capaldi warmed up the crowd. I was sooo excited to finally see him live since I’ve heard so many good things about him.. and I wasn’t disappointed. He hobbled on stage and started with “Don’t get me wrong” and I was blown away by his voice and I wasn’t the only one. Everyone clapped and wooped and wanted to hear more. Lewis was supported by two very talented musicians for “Fade” and “Lost on you”. After each song Lewis Capaldi said a few words and they were absolutely hilarious. I love the fact that he knows that he’s singing sad songs so he has two lighten the mood with some jokes. Dermot Kennedy could learn from this guy!
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As an exception Lewis Capaldi covered “Issues” by Julia Michaels and he did an amazing job! Everyone could sing along and it made for a great atmosphere. He then explained that he twisted his ankle during some football this afternoon and advised us to stay inside and eat pizza – it’s much safe. Let me tell you he’s my kinda guy ๐Ÿ˜€ The sad songs continued but it gave us a chance to listen to his deep raspy voice. This guy will go all the way! “Rush” and “Bruises” completed his set not before the whole Hallenstadion was lit up with cell phone lights. Just gorgeous or like he would say: COOL!
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On time at 9.45 the lights went off and Sam Smith was lifted up on his chair onto the stage which was formed as a triangle. After the first few chords of “Burning” Sam Smith had the people under his spell. The all seated Hallenstadion stood up and hung onto every words he sang and said. Sam Smith waved hello to every part of the audience and he was met with waves and screams back which brought the cutest smile onto his face. Yes, I was that close that I could even see his dimples. He went on to say that he realised that he’s got very sad songs in his repertoire but tonight Sam Smith wants us to have a good time and dance!

And you bet we did! Who would have thought that Sam Smith is doing music to dance to but with “One Last Song” he proved us wrong for the first time. My favourite song “I’m Not the Only One” was already the third song and the Hallenstadion had a huge singalong to it. Have a look into my Instagram stories! Taking us back to the start Sam Smith sang the wonderful ballade “Lay me down”. His voice is just to die for! If you like the way it sounds on the radio or on record you will love it live. The next one is a slow one and a Lauren Hill cover “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. A quick breather before we got up to our feet again to dance to “Omen” featuring Disclosure and sing “Oh Oh Oh”.

Time to hug your concert buddy and enjoy the next two “Nirvana” and “I’ve told you now”. The incredibly talented piano player started and I knew immediately which song this is going to be but hey everyone deserves his solo. After a few mins Sam Smith rose above to sing the 007 James Bond song “Writing’s on the Wall”. Very dramatic! I loved it ๐Ÿ˜€ Time to dance again! Another Disclosure feature “Latch” got us up again. After that Sam Smith and Brandon – his bass/guitar musician aka his best friend since 4 years ago – sat down together to sing with us “Money on my Mind”
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Sam Smith introduced his 8 musicians one by one which I really loved. They are amazing and they are doing a brilliant job so it’s only right that they get to have their time in the lime light too. Sam and the four singers stood in one row and dance synchronically to “Like I Can”/”Best things in life are free”. It looked great and of course everyone sang along. My concert buddy and I and the whole band were two stepping to “Restart”. Such a fun song! After the two stepping it was time to wave to “Baby, You Make Me Crazy”. Being so close to the stage means that you kind of get to see it from the artists view and I loved the fact that you saw each and everyone waving until the very top top row way under the roof.
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“Say it first” was next but the most emotional moment came just now. Sam Smith explained that he wrote the next song when his parents got divorced so you could really feel the emotion in his voice while he sang “Scars”. He even managed to make some people cry. “Midnight train” is another slow song where I just sat down and listened to this beautiful voice. My highlight of the evening was “HIM”. What a song! I had goosebumps because Sam Smith turned it into a Gospel like song and it felt very powerful. Like I mentioned he said that he wrote this song so that people can love who they want and after I carefully listened to the lyrics I have to say that I really really love this song. Such a powerful message wrapped up in an incredible arrangement.

It was time to say Goodbye and what better way to finish the regular set with “Too Good at Goodbye”. Again everyone was singing along and the smile on Sam Smith’s face was huge. After an hour and 15 mins Sam and his 8 musicians left the stage. He returned to it by climbing the stairs onto the top of the prism/triangle construction at the back of the stage. He sang “Palace” as a duet with one of his singers called Lucy. That woman can sing! Plus she transported the emotion so well. It was a wonderful moment. After they finished the song Sam Smith hurried down the stairs to sing “Stay With Me” and again the whole Hallenstadion knew the lyrics and sang along. Towards the end of the song red confetti rained down on us.
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He then stood there and took it all in – the screams, the woops, the stomps, the claps. Of course he promised to come back and I really do hope that he does! I enjoyed this gig a lot and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one. The last song after almost two hours was “Pray”. With a “Have a safe journey home – I love you” Sam Smith said Goodbye and left behind an enchanted audience.
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Have you seen Sam Smith live? Wanna share your experience with Kekoas Korner? Leave a reply below ๐Ÿ™‚

My latest gigs: Anastacia, Turin Brakes, Isaac Gracie