55th Montreux jazz (2)

Focus on the lake stage, and the 14th July concert of Yet No Yokai (post-revelations rock band from Lucerne) and Altin Gün (Anatolian rock band from Amsterdam).


Weather during the festival has been atrocious, adding to the woes of a pandemic festival “light”. Most of the shows sold out, but that Montreux special ambience surrounding the main shows has been clouded in real terms. We arrived in the rain and left in the rain. Seating was under cover but some places like the west seats and the front row seats required plastic raincoats, multiple cushions, and tarpaulians — big shout out to the staff who were amazing. Also, as the show moved into gear, wet asses were forgotten. Waves on the lake were the large, rolling type, getting quite scary; it was uncertain if a storm would build, threatening the roof structures and throwing extra water over the already-wet, but none of that happened.

“Welcome on board the lake stage” came the announcement, which warmed just a bit.

Swiss Air was providing chocolate from a galley trolley just as on a flight, ear plugs were available which later proved to be essential, and the bar was open. Better weather comes for Friday and Saturday, the last days of the festival – pity, but kudos to the festival organizers and volunteers and to the thousands who came to bring Montreux back to life!


The ear plugs (ear “buds”) were absolutely necessary. Both groups were really good, but a personal preference is to not need ear plugs, thus to listen “bareback” — for this reason the streamed version back home allowed to really enjoy the subtleties and the dynamics of these highly talented musicians. In fact walking away from the lake stage to catch a return train, the music could be heard really well without plugs for a considerable distance. I guess this level of sound is a generation thing!

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