You know how I feel about the festivals I love. There’s never enough and there’s always a coming back the year after. This is how I feel about Baloise Session. This is probably still the best indoor festival I was ever part to, because of the pretty visual aspect, the spot on organisation and a golden line up.
The Baloise Session program is one of the few things I look forward to by the end of summer. Every year between October and November, Basel transforms itself into a magnet for every type of music lover, offering a performance by two artists every evening, during a period of two weeks. Included in your ticket are tables with candle light, the most intimate atmosphere you would like to have while listening to your favourite artist, and good vibes only.
My schedule was tight this year, but I wanted to be part of it no matter what. It was festival year number four for me so why break the tradition? My visit catapulted myself waaaay back in time because Pop was on the menu, the kind of pop music that had its biggest bang during the late 90s with Italian singer Nek and later on in the early 2000s with Nelly Furtado.
Nek was the one opening the night, and you could tell by listening to the crowd that Italy made its appearance, by being as usual very loud and over excited to see Filippo Neviani live on stage. Admitted, I forgot about Nek in the past few years, but he reminded me very well of my CDs back home again within the first 30 seconds of the show. His entrance was energetic and he did not mind at all to jump off the stage by song number two and take a tour through the very surprised audience. For the record, e did it multiple times during the whole show and I think every gal that got a close glimpse into those infamouos blue eyes was close to dying of pure joy.
The setlist was pure perfection, showcasing the best of the best of the past 20 years of career, songs like “Se una regola c’é”, “Se io non avessi te”, “Sul treno” and the most awaited encore of the century (which was requested by the crowd after the first 10 minutes, and the answer was a nonchalante “é troppo presto” – it’s too early), “Laura non c’é” were all on the list. Despite the great show, plus points go to Nek for his charme as an enertainer, and for trying to introduce himself in German by reading down words that were way too complicated for the poor guy. But he did a great job.
After a whirlwind like this, you are supposingly pumped to continue the night at the same pace, because the party so far was good, very good indeed. Nelly Furtado made a majestic entrance, wearing a very flowy white and silver dress, leaving a few wonders open, wheter it is just for fashion purposes or to hide something else. We never got the answer. Here again, it was a musical journey along another rich career, going to the early pop stage, to Timbaland’s muse phase, to Spanish and Portuguese songs.
Her entry was majestic, as as well the adapted version of “Say It Right”, other evergreens like “Try”, “I’m like a bird”, “Força” and “All Good Things (Come To An End)”, co-written with Chris Martin and Nathe Hill were good reasons to sing along and go crazy, but the crowd sadly seemed to have change drastically from the previous concert. Even though I could barely save myself from people getting in front of the stage too early, and Nelly Furtado trying to encourage her Swiss audience to loosen up, there was no chance. She laughed it away and carried on by also showcasing new songs recorded in Texas, “Phoenix” and “Cold Hard Truth” – and proving that the absence didn’t do much to her stage presence and spotless voice. The crowd at least threw some warmth out when “Turn Off The Light” was presented as the last song, but I have to admit that everytime Switzerland presents itself like this in front of an artist, the cringe from my side is real, and I could not imagine how the performer herself is feeling standing up there.
However, this year’s Baloise Session was for sure one of the most successful ones, by selling out over 90% of the tickets. In case you got curious and you’d like to experience your favourite artist in a very special setting, prepare your travels to Basel for next fall and keep an eye on the program, which is usually released by the end of August.
Baloise Session will take place form October 19th to November 6th 2018. More infos about the line up, tickets and more can be found here.
A big thank you to Baloise Session for having me again this year. ❤