Concert goers are already rubbing their hands and getting out their diaries – and credit cards – for big-name artists coming to Switzerland next year.
From Dixieland jazz and soul to rap and heavy metal, all tastes are catered for – even Elvis Presley will be thrilling fans in Zurich.
But the concert year starts with some French chanson. Jacques Dutronc, husband of fellow French singer Françoise Hardy, hasn’t given a concert for 17 years but is embarking on a long tour in January. He will play at Geneva Arena on February 5.
French actress and chanteuse Juliette Gréco is set to appear in Montreux on March 4, but not as part of the Montreux Jazz Festival, which takes place this year from July 2-17. The 82-year-old’s voice was once described as “encompassing millions of poems”.
On February 22 Zurich’s Hallenstadion will witness the resurrection of Elvis Presley, who would have turned 75 on January 8. The King’s former musicians and backing singers will play live, while massive video projections will show the man himself performing his greatest hits.
Lights – action!
Curtis James Jackson III, better known as rapper 50 Cent despite being worth several hundred million dollars, will heat up Zurich on February 28 as part of a promotional tour for his latest album.
Young pop/R&B singer Rihanna will sing in Zurich on April 19 and Geneva on April 27; old pop/R&B singer Whitney Houston will do the same in Zurich on May 9.
Houston’s Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner will also be singing in Zurich with Modern West, a country-rock band he founded that will be playing at the Volkshaus on March 29.
Costner is not the only Oscar-winning director who dabbles with music on the side: Woody Allen, now aged 74, is also an accomplished clarinettist and will bring his New Orleans jazz band, which plays traditional Dixieland jazz, to Geneva on March 25.
Made in Germany
But youngsters need not despair – the wildly successful German pop-rock band Tokio Hotel have announced a couple of Swiss gigs. The group, led by 20-year-old twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz, will play in Zurich on March 31 and Geneva Arena on April 3.
Two weeks later, “Mozart: the Rock Opera” will have purists screaming like the Queen of the Night, but it is set to be one of the events of the spring. Nine shows are scheduled in Geneva, from April 16-25.
The €6 million (SFr8.9 million) musical – “a tribute to the first rock star”, according to its producer – will feature 60 actors, singers and musicians in period dress accompanying a live rock band amid swirling spotlights.
It will chart the highs, lows and romantic pursuits of the composer’s life from early days in Salzburg to international fame in Vienna. Mozart’s original works will be interspersed with rock songs such as “Live until it kills you” and “The Troublemaker”.
German heavy metal legends Scorpions – famous for their 1990 power ballad Wind of Change – will appear in Switzerland for one night only on May 15.
They will be joined at the Long ‘I’ Rock open air festival in the village of Longirod not far from Lake Geneva by, among others, the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and British punk band Toy Dolls, known for their Eighties hit Nellie the Elephant.
It might get loud
New York glam rockers Kiss want to rock all night in Zurich on May 16 and party the following day in Geneva.
Don’t walk your dog in the Degenaupark in Jonschwil, St Gallen, on June 18 if you – or the dog – have sensitive ears. That’s when heavy metal giants Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer are set to take to the stage.
The Swiss capital has not been forgotten, with Pennsylvanian popstrel Pink performing in Bern on July 10.
Swiss-German entertainer DJ Bobo – who has sold an unbelievable 14 million records worldwide – will put on typically spectacular shows in August, in Bern and in Zurich, following the release of his latest album.
Setting his sights high is French tennis pro-turned-pop singer Yannick Noah, who is hoping to fill the 38,000-seater Stade de Genève on September 18 with his own brand of pop-soul.
Another French star will close the concert year. Actor and singer Eddy Mitchell began his career in the late 1950s and was heavily influenced by American rock’n’roll, recording hit records in London and Memphis. Mitchell will pass through Geneva on December 11 on his final tour.
Thomas Stephens, swissinfo.ch
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