The crowded train emptied. “Crazy, this crowd!” Some marveled on the way to Höhenmatte. At the 16th Touch The Mountains in Interlaken 28,000 visitors celebrated the first day of the new year together with three Swiss top acts. Lausanne rapper Stress, Bernese Halunke and Lo & Leduc offered varied shows with the best entertainment and lots of emotions.
Who didn’t wrinkle his nose this Wednesday morning when they saw the thick fog outside. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t be any better in the afternoon in Interlaken. “Happy New Year and be nice to each other!” shouted a guy at the Interlaken West station through the whole train. It made everyone grin. The grey weather obviously didn’t spoil the good mood. In addition, this year again there could be found along the whole street mulled wine, punch or hot chocolate to warm up. There was also enough food.
The Guggen band played as usual at the corner after the railway crossing and some tried themselves at ice magic as ice dancers. Alphorn players were lining up at the Hotel Victoria and everyone did the obligatory selfie stop at the new year ice sculpture, of course. It generally promised to become a happy day.
Stress: “Listen to each other!”
At 2:00 p.m. the Lausanne rapper Stress jumped onto the stage in a thick down jacket and started energetically with the band. Guitarist Sacha wearing a colorful suit struck the strings. Say, does the keyboard player actually wear some ski goggles? But more importantly, were were Karo and MAM? That would be something very new, if they were missing. But after 2-3 songs they also jumped through the door of the mirrored house.
Stress and his crew presented a great setlist of old and new songs and cheered the audience on with full power as usual. “Rester soi-même” – even with the new, dawning decade, Stress remaines true to himself. Some sat in the trees to watch his show, while others formed the moshpits requested by Stress during “R.A.F”. Not only did he let the “more privileged” in the Golden Circle form the circles, those outside in the free area should also participate … Of course, Stress himself jumped right into the middle. Until you totally lost sight of him from the outside and almost didn’t notice that he was already back on stage.
Meanwhile, Stress reflected on the past few years. Of course, they were all older and some even had children. That’s why the new song “God Knows” means so much to them. Stress sings it on his current, most personal album “Sincèrement” with British singer / songwriter JP Cooper. Stress also showed its calmer and more sensitive side again this afternoon. On the one hand when he performed “Avenues” and “Libéré” in a reduced form with Karolyn at the other end of the Golden Circle. On the other hand, he spoke with touching words about his depression and called not to ignore this illness. You have to accept it. We should take our time and listen to each other. A good resolution for the new year! I remembered the man on the train. Stress also underlined his words with the song “Petit pensée”. Wet eyes were somehow pre-programmed.
Of course, towards the end of the show “Elle” could not be missed. There was vigorous singing and arms were swung. Meanwhile, Stress’ show ended up being as energetic as it had started over 1 hour before.
Halunke are celebrating
The colorful background of the second band brought a lot of color into the grey day. Having already been at Touch The Mountains 7 years ago, Halunke not only celebrated the new year today but also the start of their 10th anniversary with this home play.
Halunke started their set with “Superheld”. Well, is life in 2020 really going to be a “Ponyhof”? Hopefully we will not suffer “Schiffsbruch”. From “Level 7”, frontman Häni and Anja went over the imaginary catwalk across the Golden Circle to get in touch with the audience. The cameraman followed and the security man in the orange safety west as well. A handshake, a hug and a short selfie was possible too. Häni has long been at the chosen location, waiting a bit impatient for his wife and manager Anja to arrive. Where was she? Then the two finally started their duet: A beautiful unplugged version of “Houston we are ok”.
Back on stage, they raised the glass to the legendary local heros Polo Hofer and Hanery Ammann with “Rote Wy”. They dedicated the song to everyone who likes each other in some way. And since everyone would know the song, everyone was meant to sing along. The show was complemented by bass player Mazo’s dance choreos and a short instrumental medley with songs as Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” or “Seven Nation Army”. Next to all of it, it was sometimes a little tricky to hear the irony from Häni’s stories and tales.
Halunke said goodbye by simply skipping the lengthy encore procedure and once again stepped on it with the nonexistent Zurich rapper.
Lo & Leduc defy the cold with hot rhythms and humour
Some started their tour on New Year’s Day, others ended theirs – so did Lo & Leduc. The word acrobats jumped on stage to the band and … nothing! The lips moved. The guitarist and bass bass player grabbed the strings, while keyboard player Lukas punched the keys. Except for a few muffled drum beats we didn’t hear a thing. Lorenz Häberli & Luc Oggier calmly played one or two rounds of “scissors rock paper” until the technology had fixed the error. “Bini bi dir” – yep, now they were fully with us and the audience from the first tune also with them!
A rousing setlist with beautiful ballads, lots of wit, good sometimes very dry humor and a lot of serenity thrilled the crowd. People clapped, danced and sang along confidently. But was the strong applause really for them or was it more a pourpouse against the cold? On 01.01. playing outside was kind of crazy, the two admitted during the performance. Above all Lo, who soon put the jacket back on.
The Latin rhythms to “Cuba Bar” animated to dance and certainly warmed up. Likewise, Lo’s Freestyle once again heated up vigorously from the spontaneously chosen words of the concert goers. Leduc admitted that he had forgotten the words like „Altjahrswoche“ (last week of the year), meat, Schnuiz or bedside lamp before Lo even started rhyming. By the way, they welcomed the fact that the last week of the year was over. It was always so confusing with the days.
The hearts were warmed by the sight of the Höhenmatte flooded with thousands of cell phone lights, while singer Julia Portmann started “Pluto” with a clear and bright voice. So the light is the best function on cell phones. Speaking of cell phones: their hit “079”, for which Lo & Leduc were so hyped, breaking all records and winning awards, was of course not missing. They have also reconciled themselves with the hype and named the current EP like this.
With “Risotto” and the determination that they will eventually set up a comedy program – ha, someone laughed – the group was already at the end of their show. 45min before the fireworks? Couldn’t be right? But they had to hurry up a little because part of the band urgently needed to go to the toilet, Leduc grinned.
With the fiery “Jung verdammt” they went into the encore, the “Marathon Maa” made the final spurt and with chilled reggae beats to “Mond” Lo & Leduc finally said goodbye going into their concert break.
Golden shower over Interlaken
Infos about Touch The Mountains you can find: www.touchthemountains.ch