Still Brings Back Memories

by: Oliver Bertschinger

On their 2014 tour through Switzerland, the Italian Bee Gees rocked the Kongresshaus in Zurich on May 2. The setlist and the show itself in Switzerland’s biggest city were the same as in other places. I have seen a lot of grey hair in the audience, a lot of people who were certainly enjoying the early Bee Gees hits when they got first released. I was preparing for a touching evening. Boy was I right.

With the first pumping beats the audience was immediately set on fire. Together with the Egiziano brothers, the audience immediately began to celebrate the life and music of the Gibb brothers. That is put in a nutshell what the whole evening was all about.

The first of many real big highlights was the appearance of keyboarder Blue Weaver. With this legendary musician on stage, the fever got even higher. He commented on his share of the Saturday Night Fever era and scored some laughs with several anecdotes he told. It touched the heart of many in the audience when he said he always would’ve liked to join the group again. Now, 35 years later, there he is back on stage, with three brothers, playing Bee Gees hits.

As high as the bar was raised already, Davide topped it all with his breathtaking performance of “Saved by the bell”. It takes a poet to describe the experience.

So far, parts of the setlist were a surprise. Needless to say, positive ones. “Islands in the stream”, “New York mining disaster 1941”, “You win again” and “Juliet” were played in full, for example. The latter had hooked me to the Gibbs back in 1983, so I especially enjoyed hearing it live. Next came a part that is a must for any (Italian) Bee Gees concert: an acoustic medley of several great hits. Although it was one of the moments that felt a bit like copy-paste, it was done so incredibly well one could clearly feel they’re doing it as a heart-felt tribute. The knowledgeable audience reveled in the performance of this hits-compilation.

For my liking, “How deep is your love” was then played a little bit too fast.

Mind-boggling: the perfect synchronized performance to the original video clip of “This is where I came in” played on the screen in the background. All with a very special guest, er, teddy bear on stage. Again, very well done, and one of the many very original elements of the show.

If the only critique really is the sloppy tour book (Spelling mistakes, interview with Blue Weaver has questions in German, his answers in English, including layout mistakes), you know you’re in for a very good show. After all, the weaknesses of the 16-pages magazine are not their fault, plus there still are some very nice pictures in it. My copy even has the autographs of the Egiziano brothers and of Blue Weaver on it, because after the show, they were keen to meet with the fans. I grabbed my copy and had them sign it. One last unforgettable moment this evening: I had my picture taken with them all.

Oh yes, I will remember “Massachusetts”.

(Marion/GSI: there might be some lay-out and spelling mistakes but I have received the tour book too and think it’s in the first place a very nice souvenir of a great show. Hopefully next year there will be tourbooks available at each venue of the tour).