A few days ago, I flew into Switzerland to visit friends, it has been ages since I actually stayed with them. I managed to get tickets for Snow Patrol in Basel and thought that was a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Martina and my sister were joining me for the gig this time!  I have never been to the St.Jacobshalle in Basel, so, another first where he venue is concerned. Martina and I decided to get there early, just to secure our rightful place of course. No signs or letters today, it is someone else’s turn.

We got there just after midday, we parked the car at the parking for the St. Jacobshalle, the price is not too exorbitant for about 12 hours it shouldn’t be more than 20 Swiss francs (that is about £13). The parking is really close to the venue, which means we can take the camping chair and food along and just dump it in the car later!!  Coming out of the car park we seem to be a bit lost, no obvious signs where to go to??? We can see all the flybynite lorry’s and the tour buses….most of them say Crew, but I guess the band one must be about too, it doesn’t feel right to check out every single bus. I ask a couple of guys that are standing around which way we have to go, he points us in the right direction and ask what we are here for! We say Snow Patrol, he just smiles and say you are very early!! Oh yes, we are……
Eventually we find the main doors, and yes, we are first!!!  I did message with Elena before coming to Switzerland and she is coming as soon as possible, they have quite a drive to get here! Martina and I grab a space in front of one of the doors with the orange signs above, which we believe are the main doors. When I see someone moving about inside the venue I knock on the door to see if we are in the right spot. The guy comes to the door and says he only speaks English. He does the Merchandise stand. He looks at me and says: “You were in Berlin?”…oh yes I was…lol, anyway, he didn’t know which ones are the main doors. The afternoon wears on, and every now and then we go and look through one of the windows, perfect view onto the stage, and they doing all the lights and sound checks…:-), so I guess that is where we have to go later, to the left of the bar opposite the Merch stall. More people arrive, a young girl called Melina, who decides to put numbers on the first 20 people, just in case it helps when we get in. Than Elena and her boyfriend arrive, they are going to find food first! My sister is joining us a bit later, she has a longer drive and needs to go and sort out our beds for the night, and we are staying with my mother’s best friend! Two guys, one is called Stefano, and a girl arrives. Only the Italian guys speaks English the others speak French, so it is quite a jumble of languages…than a Mum and daughter turn up, they are German and the daughter is also called Steffi…..we got chatting to Aniko, she had made loads of signs as she couldn’t decide which one to use….Meanwhile we have managed to check that we are on the right doors!!
At some point in the afternoon Martina and I go off to find a toilet and something warm to drink, it was snowing when we drove here earlier, but it isn’t quite as chilly as Berlin or London was and we have shelter, there is a roof over the main doors and they are also set back a little. We found a Japanese Restaurant and ordered tea, tea? Me? Yes, I had tea!!! It was ok after I put plenty of sugar in it!!! LOL
When we got back quite a few more people had arrived, and as they are opening 3 doors at once the queues started to form. Soon after my sister arrived too, so we are ready! Young Stefano got quite excited, pulling a lot of silly faces and shouting “Gary” every now and then…..we were still in many minds of how to best get to the front, is it this way or that way….arrrggghhhh, why don’t they make it easy??  I decided to go to my right past the bar, Aniko wanted to try going to the left, so she was queuing at the other door. But no matter what, the chances are good for us all to be at the barriers.
The doors open…..Martina has my bag, so no delay for me, my tickets gets scanned and the race is on! Once I got through the doors next to the bar there were steps down to the standing area and then basically run!!!  And yes, I got to the centre front….Aniko is in front of Nathan and Melina and Stefano between Gary and Pablo.
I got chatting to the guy, Carl, behind me, he is actually English and funny enough has a house in Gerrads Cross, not far from where I life. He is working in Basel at the moment, something to do with drugs…lol!!! Anyway, it’s fun talking to him, he has seen a lot of gigs and his son wants to be a soundy….:-)

Rams Pocket Radio is supporting again tonight, and when they come on stage people were cheering and clapping, I’m so pleased; they are definitely growing on me. Peter McCauley is doing his German/Swiss German greeting, it’s good to see artists making an effort with the local lingo, we all know everybody speaks English….but it shows respect for their culture! Their set is very good again, and I do say it again, they seem to be getting better as the tour progresses.  They express how happy they are for the chance to be supporting Snow Patrol and the support the fans have shown. They finish with “Aria”, I still like that track….take a bow and clear the stage. You can literally feel the anticipation growing in the crowd, the chatter seems more excited and people are moving in closer. Enough time to wave up and down the barrier to our fellow frontrowers.

Finally, the Berlin intro is playing, the lights are down, the big screen plays the now familiar animation, and yes at the end it say’s Basel…..the crowd is roaring and clapping wildly as Nathan, Johnny and Pablo run onto stage and last but not least Gary comes on starting with “I’llnever let go”. I say the same thing this time I said at the Berlin write up, I should be bored with the same layout of the gig, but I’m not!! Does that make me a REAL supporter? Or am I just being swept away by the moment? It doesn’t really matter, I glance at Martina and I know she feels the same, so who cares, we are loving it!!
When Gary sings “this isn’t everything you are” I can see my sister getting all emotional, it must have sparked something off in her……that is what Snow Patrol is all about, emotions and experiences. Like Gary said in Berlin “….open your heart and let it in….it’s all about the LOVE…” In the usual Gary style he picks on someone in the crowd, it happens to be Stefano and his mate who stands behind him. Gary says that these two guys are so different, Stefano is going mad singing, dancing and jumping up and down, where as his friend is really trying to take it in and savor it, with difficulties as he has to keep moving to see past Stefano. He says they should really become friends as the guy behind is so very patient and chilled, little does Gary know, they are indeed friends……
Wow, this is starting to sound like a Gary appreciation blog…hehehehehe!
Aniko is holding up one of her signs and Gary see’s it and rushes down to pick it up from her, I bet she is happy now! Gary sings “New York” again tonight, love it! He is sitting right in front of us on the stage performing it! I wonder if he actually recognises people or just smiles as if he does, again, it doesn’t matter, as far as Martina and I’m are concerned he knows who we are!
There seem to be some Microphone problems at the encore, you can hear Gary’s guitar but not his voice, I’m afraid Basel the sound is not amazing, which is a shame because I know the sound can be so much better and this will hopefully not spoil it for all the Snow Patrol virgins.
Martina is a little sad that this will be the last time for her to see them on this tour, but, there is always V-Festival, and we do have tickets!
My sister wasn’t too impressed, why exactly I’m not sure as it did move her earlier, but not everybody can like the same thing can they? This is the beauty of differences, it can enhance or confirm what you like or don’t like. And that isn’t just were music is concerned. So next time you trying to belittle someone’s taste in music stop and think, are they wrong for liking different artists or different types of music? Oh, and just in case you are wondering….I did get a set list, one to go and I’ll have the set!

Once we managed to leave we do hang around the back door for a little while, but we get ushered away by the techies and as it is getting late we decide to just go and find our beds.
Another great night, one more to go, off to Paris tomorrow.


About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

One response »

  1. Martina says:

    Hello my dear
    Me again… Just read it right now …. As always love ❤ it !!! I did not feel the same way than in Berlin but that was really special for me anyway !!!! And the sound was not as good either but gaaarrryyyy was there and I just love him !!!

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