Stars Of Sounds 2018 Aarberg: Magic and frights

Passenger Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

On 15 and 16 June 2108 the annual Stars Of Sounds festival took place in Aarberg for the 10th time. The first evening was dedicated to the Swiss dialect music and was a huge party!

Everything about the first evening you read here: Stars Of Sounds Aarberg 2018 – Swiss dialect party

With James Gruntz, Passenger, James Arthur and DJ Zsuzsu on the second evening again four great acts were on stage in Aarberg. One of them I did not even expect a bit, that I could like them.

The second day also promised to be quieter than the previous day. Well, except for the two frightening moments …

Summer, sun and strawberry tartlet

Doors opened early, so I had enough time to look around the area. Umm, was there no merchandise today?

In any case I did not miss the obligatory, annual strawberry tartlet. Who has not seen it: These strawberry tartlets can be bought at a stall, among other things as ice cream, at the height of the VIP grandstand. Yumm! I’m looking forward to it at every Stars Of Sounds in Aarberg.

Overloaded with photographic luggage, camera and mobile phone, I’ve almost dropped it three times. So it was time to sit down 😉 To relax for a while, taking in the atmosphere … Oh summer! My favorite season!

Next to various bars and food stalls, I not only discovered an oversized Migros shopping basket, but was also surprised by the light blue McDonald’s McFlurry truck. A truck that only sold McFlurries! So if I wouldn’t have had a strawberry tartlet, I would have gotten one. And did you see the huge Berlin doughnuts, that you got at the booth on the right side next to the stage?

I was also amazed at how clean the place was after all the confetti from the previous day. Only that Trauffer had been there, especially in the photo pit was still clearly visible 😉

Concert with a fright

With “Waves” from the same titled album, James Gruntz quietly started the second festival night, but went straight into the funky “Homework”. One of my favorites from the new album.

"... why don't you come back and start wasting your time with me ..".

On a summer evening like this, we like to come to this beautiful place to “waste” time with James Gruntz. But time is definitely not wasted. Visibly touched, James Gruntz touched the audience, making people smile and dance along to his songs.

James Gruntz Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

James Gruntz Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

You can find more photos of James Gruntz here
Photo gallery: James Gruntz at Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

With travel stories about the creation of “Song To The Sea”, groovy beats and extensive solos, the concert went on song by song. As the big lights swayed from left to right, you imagined how cool it would look in the dark. They hadn’t had them at the Music Days, right? Also with songs like “Darke Side Of Moon” and “You”, James and the band thrilled Aarberg. Differently than predicted, there was no rain during his show.

The concert was already half over with the current single “Too Much To Say”, when the audience suddenly became unsettled. Shouts and cheers, but also screams were suddenly heard around me. Looking for the reason, I first thought, it would be one of the musicians – as the day before Trauffer – hanging out of the windows.

But my heart stopped there for a moment. Thousands of thoughts went through my head. I really thought about the direction, into which one would run best and realized only after a seemingly endless moment that nothing bad at all was happening. Nothing crashed, it was not terror or anything like that. This huge, low-flying hot-air balloon just was gliding too close over the area. But I was definitely not prepared for that. The many people in the oversized basket waved excitedly down and the Stars Of Sounds audience back.

Concentrating on James Gruntz’s following last hits like “Heart Keeps Dancing” and “Speechless,” I calmed down, but my heart beat up for a while. “It was still very high up!” some said to me later. Well, the concert was great. But this was a big frightening moment.

Incidentally, that should not have been the only frightening moment on this day …

Magic was in the air

But after a change over, first Passenger followed. Passenger definitely fills the big festival stages like none else does. Although he was completely alone, only with guitar on the festival stage, he once again drew the audience into his spell. Once again there was something magical in the air as he performed his songs sensitively and passionately. Passenger transmitted stories and knew a lot else to tell.

Passenger Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

I was able to see and even meet Mike Rosenberg aka Passenger live a week before at the Energy Live Session in a small setting. I had already raved to him about the festival and the beautiful location in the middle of Aarberg at the short meeting. And as he was swooning about it, I had probably not promised too much. But when people are watching you and listening to your music you from all sides, from windows and roof tops that must be very impressive on such a stage.

The front row was beaming through and through whilest Passenger played old, but also the one and other new song and just told everything, that and how was coming out of him. With his melancholy, very deep songs, wonderful stories and jokes, he also knew how to fetch his audience this Saturday evening.

Mike’s setlist included older songs like “Rolling Stone” and “Live’s for the living” and he also sang about the homeless “David”. All inspired by experiences and impressions during his street concerts and tours. Just directly from life. He encouraged the audience to keep singing along, whether right or wrong. And when he then asked to be as quiet as possible, everyone was quiet as a mouse.

Passenger talked to the spectators in the windows and cheered grining to his fans with “Scottish apple juice”. However, the laughter and giggling in the audience revealed that very few people really believed that it was apple juice. 😉 Yes, you just have to like this Brit.

Passenger Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

Passenger Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

more photos of Passenger you can see here
Photo gallery: Passenger at Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

With “I hate”, one of my favorite songs by Passenger, he bluntly expressed his displeasure over everything he hated: tasteless jokes, a constantly talking audience – but also the US President. You can hardly blame him.

Before he came to the end of his concert, not only the beautiful “and I love her” and “Scare Away The Dark”, but also “Let her go” and the accompanying audience choir were on the list. A few swinging lights and goosebumps were guaranteed despite the summer temperatures.

Even he had released several new songs already, Passenger’s “Hell Or High Water” was the only taste of the in late August coming new album “Runaway”. But on 17 September 2018 he will return to Switzerland with the new album and will certainly introduce it to us extensively.

With “Holes” he left a few holes in the hearts. Could have listened to him forever.

He got the x factor

It’s really great when you have expectations of musicians and bands and they are exceeded many times over. I did not know James Arthur very well so far. The Brit got the x Factor: Back in 2012, he won the ninth season of the casting show. In 2013 he released his debut album and with “Say You Won’t Let Go” he also makes my heart melt very fast. For unexplainable reasons, I was constantly confusing James Arthur and John Newman. But thanks to the Stars Of Sounds, I saw both of them live now and the confusion shouldn’t happen anymore. Also, because I like James Arthur so much more.

James Arthur Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

James Arthur Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

all photos of James Arthur you can find on Photo gallery: James Arthur at Stars Of Sounds Aarberg

With a band of four, James Arthur entered the Stars Of Sounds stage and picked up the guitar himself. The expected tear jerkers  were well spread all over the setlist. Be it the beautiful “Impossible” or “Naked”, which he even sang accompanied only by the keyboarder. Yes, he was definitely not the most talkative. But otherwise he and his band rocked this stage with a mix of pop, rock, RnB and even rap so much more than I expected.

With the release of Rudimental “Sun Comes Up” summer feelings arose. With his amazing voice, he always came out of himself, presented his newly released single with “You Deserve Better” and rocked a really great cover of Oasis “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. I was so surprised how many in the audience totally knew the lyrics of the various songs. Of course, “Say You Won’t Let Go ” was echoed loudly and word by word towards James.

Oh, I was a little speechless and would say, not only I was more than thrilled. When the third studio album should be released, is obviously not known yet. But hopefully with the release, he will soon be back on a Swiss stage.

Dancing in the rain

With my thoughts I was already at home. Because, DJ? No thanks, that’s not for me. But the moonliner left only after the show and so I got to see the gig inevitably. Who would have thought that I would actually like the show of Djane DJ Zsuzsu in general.

Susanna Sonderegger aka DJ ZsuZsu already supported Pavro Stelar and toured halfway around the world. At first she stood alone on the big stage behind her DJ desk. The songs she played seemed okay, but I did not really find it exciting. I was already on the way to pack all my things together, as after the 3rd/4th track it abruptly turned around.

A drummer with a fox mask suddenly played at DJ Zsuzus’s side and two burlesque dancers danced to electro swing. Oh yes, I like electro swing. At first the DJane only played track by track  behind her DJ desk and every now and then cheered for her dancing and celebrating audience. At some point she joined her dancers. So the four of them went through the one-hour show. Colorful and energetic. So the remaining party folk wasn’t bothered a bit by the long overdue, short rain shower. On a warm summer’s night there is little to complain about.

It was not until the end of the party that it turned too much into “boom boom” again. But that was definitely a great final and with such DJ shows even I can make friends from time to time 😉

No, that was no plastic bag…

The night bus was finally on the way to Bern. While some talked carefree, many others were snoozing. Some supported by their frriends, narcotic and too drunk to be able to sit upright at all. I was a bit fidgety and could not wait to get to Bern and home.

We had just passed the Zollikofen station when there was a bang. Not very loud. Rather as if someone had inflated and burst a small plastic bag. There was confusion fast enough though, however, to notice that this was probably no plastic bag. The driver slowed down immediately swearing: In the  outside of the double paned glass driver’s door was namely a hole!

Was this a shot?

“Can’t we just keep driving ?” or “I don’t want to get out of the bus!”, especially female passengers were confused and anxious, when the driver told us to change to the other night bus. He had to wait for the police. As if the hot air balloon scare in the afternoon was not enough. Well now this. With a little queasy feeling we changed to the other bus.

Well, nobody could say at that moment exactly what had caused the hole in the pane. It was not 100% clear, whether it had really been a shot. I have nothing read about it. But I don’t think I want to know what that was. I prefer to remember the beautiful concerts and suppress the frightening moments.

Stars Of Sounds the second

On the 5th of July we will continue with the Stars Of Sounds in Murten, where MY band, The Kelly Family, will stop off on the beautiful Lake Murten on their comeback tour. Who else is there, you can read here: Eventtip: Stars Of Sounds 2018.

Information about the festival can be found at
Infos about the bands can be found on the official websites:

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