The Country Night Gstaad has been on my bucket list for a while now. This year the line-up was so great, I just had to get myself to the Bernese countryside. The Krüger Brothers, Maddie & Tae, Midland and then, of course, my personal highlight: Brett Young as the headliner. Finally, I get to listen to some great country music again. I honestly think more country artists should come to Switzerland, even though we’re small, there’s still a pretty big country fanbase here…
As always, all the acts perform on both days, so on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was my turn to see them play in Gstaad. This little town seems to be infected with total country-fever, you can see the Country Night Flags everywhere. It was also great to have Nina from Kekoas Korner and Fabienne with me, I finally found some fellow country-music lovers to go to shows with 🙂
When entering the festival area, you’ll find a small fun fair right in the beginning and of course a few food trucks – yum! This is definitely the-place-to-be for the younger people in Gstaad. When I arrived a little after 4 pm the party tent was still a bit empty, but that was going to change pretty fast. A little later the line dance workshop started. The stage where all the participants were supposed to be was so full that some had to move down below to have enough space…
The Krüger Brothers – opener from Switzerland!
The Krüger Brothers have been living in the US for over 16 years now. The trio is well known over there, but they sure attract a lot of people in Switzerland too. Even though they had the opening slot, the concert tent was quite full already, they seem to still have a big fan base here in Switzerland. The audience certainly was enjoying the music. The trio did a great job, they performed some great songs and even covered one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs “Don’t Think Twice, it’s all right”. I have to admit, their sound may not be 100% my cup of tea, but it was great to see the audience all happy!
Maddie & Tae at the Country Night Gstaad
I have to admit, I only know of Maddie & Tae because one of my favorite drummers played a few shows with the girls. These two gorgeous Ladies totally won me over in a heartbeat, after not even 3 minutes on stage I became an instant fan :). They don’t only look amazing, they have great voices, so much talent and get this, they’re just barely over 20yrs old. Life can really be unfair sometimes haha 😀 Their voices sound absolutely amazing together, the harmonies are breathtaking! What I love the most, these are two young ladies that still make great country music. Of course every now and then, there’s some pop influences you can hear, but all in all, I think they’re still very much country. Their songs are super catchy too, I’m sure they’ll follow me around for quite a while. Maddie & Tae’s recent single “Friends Don’t” is most definitely one of my favorite songs of them so far. So, listen up, if you like great female singers and catchy country music, give them a listen!
Midland – Mustaches and great Country Tunes
I was lucky enough to see Midland at this years C2C in London and have to say, I really like this band! Yes, their looks might be a bit, well, let’s say interesting, but as soon as they start playing music, you’ll (hopefully) be as impressed as I was and still am. I like uptempo songs as much as I like slow and smooth songs and Midland definitely can do both. The band from Texas has so far only released one album “ On the Rocks” – but this album has already brought out 3 great singles that hopped right into the charts. Before they came on, I talked to a slightly older gentleman and asked him how he likes Midland. He didn’t really know them but was a bit scared that they’re too rock and not enough country… Well, they do turn it up a little, but I was able to assure him that country will definitely not be missed. I met that gentleman later and we could both agree that Midland was great 🙂
Sadly there still were some people that left the venue after a few songs. Not only during the Midland set, the same happened during each and every one of the artists. I get that not every act is your cup of tea, I really do. But leaving such a small venue in the middle of the set is just disrespectful towards the artist. At least that’s what I think… oh well… Midland still did great and the tent was still pretty full. Some people actually did get up and dance a little. I get that some of the older people like their seats and appreciate these shows being all seated, but there is just music that you have to dance to. Midland has those kinds of songs… I was excited that I got to dance a little in the back and enjoyed myself! Oh, and btw, Midland also have great slow songs. One of my favorite songs is probably one of their most successful songs too: “Drinkin’ Problem” is a beautiful slow and almost smooth song (did you know this song was even recorded in Spanish). Fun fact – Mark and Cameron ware well known for their mustaches. When Mark introduced his bandmates, he was still shocked about Cameron shaving off his mustache that day – apparently, you can barely recognize him now 😉 He made sure to mention the missing mustache a few times during the show. But hey, it’s all good, we still recognized him 😉
30 Years Country Night & Brett Young – Highlight of the evening!
Before the headliner could take the stage, the 30th anniversary was celebrated. Incredible that this little festival has been around for so long and has had so many great country artists! One of the little surprises that night was when speed painter Corinne Sutter painted a portrait of Emmylou Harris within minutes. A few thank yous and speeches later, Midland found their way back on stage to talk about how Country Night founder Marcel Bach took them on a hike – this was quite funny, as it apparently was a quite eventful hike, maybe not for someone like Marcel Bach who had already gone up Mount Everest, but definitely for some Texas boys 🙂
Finally, it was time for some Brett Young tunes! This year’s headliner and definitely one of my favorite country artists in general. The Californian singer opened his set with 2 brand new songs! The area in front of the stage was packed, it seemed like suddenly the Gstaad audience woke up and everyone wanted to see Brett Young from close up. Brett’s set was a pretty cool mix of his older songs like “You Ain’t Here To Kiss Me” or “Close Enough”, but also new songs that barely anyone had heard before. “Catch” was one of those new songs that make me even more excited for new Brett Young music! My highlight of the set was when Brett told us how he got into music. Funny enough it wasn’t a country artists that influenced him, it was the one and only Gavin DeGraw – for those of you who know me, Gavin is one of my all time favorite artists! So when Brett talked about Gavin and then even sang Gavin’s song Not Over You – I might have lost it a bit (and with that being said, I’m sure for a second all the attention was over on Nina and me when we went crazy for a second :-D) I really enjoyed the little solo part, where Brett performed songs like Walking in Memphis, Bartender Blues and the classic Halleluja.
Right before Brett sang his hit “In Case You Didn’t Know” he warned the guys in the audience that their wives/girlfriends will most probably want to slow dance now… It took a while, but halfway in the song, there were actually 2 or 3 couples dancing and being all cute. Adorable, but my little single heart broke a little too. Maybe I should have asked Brett if he wanted to dance with me since I didn’t have anyone to dance with me… As always, we had to play along with the “I’m getting off stage just to come back to sing the encore” game. But of course, there were 2 songs that were missing… “Mercy” being one of them. What a great song, I still get goosebumps when I hear it – hearing it live was even more amazing! By this time, most people were actually on their feet (fiiiiinally!) and cheering and clapping. Suddenly a few ladies started running towards the stage and bam, the entire area in front of the stage was packed again – not sure if that was planned or not, but I think Brett didn’t mind. While singing his final song “Sleep Without You” he came super close, took a few selfies with some very lucky ladies and came by to shake everyone’s hands. When the song ended, he just went off stage, which was a bit weird. I would have liked a different ending, but hey, this is complaining on a really high level anyways. I loved the show no matter what! And at this point, the band started giving out guitar picks, set lists, and drumsticks (thanks to Billy for handing me one of the drumsticks! :))
Country Night Gstaad 2019
The 30th anniversary won’t be the last one… We’re gonna be able to celebrate nr. 31 next year! The dates are already confirmed, so mark your calendars: September 20th and 21st 2019! We’re very excited to see who will be playing at Gstaad next year. While driving up to Gstaad on Saturday, we already talked about who we’d want to see next year, here are some of the names we came up with: Dan + Shay, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt, Brandy Clark, Ashley Mcbryde or Ashley Monroe. I wouldn’t mind if Garth Brooks would find his way back to Europe either, but yeah, I guess that’ll never happen…