sam smith performance montreux jazz festival 2023
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July 6, 2023
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Sam Smith's Triumphant Return to Montreux Jazz Festival

"A night to remember" captioned the Montreux Jazz Festival, as they played host to Sam Smith's Gloria World Tour for the second time of the artist at the festival. Sam Smith, who first captivated Montreux audiences in 2015 at the Lab when they were just 22 years old, made a triumphant return to the prestigious Auditorium Stravinsky.

Sam Smith faced the exciting challenge of adapting their larger-than-life production to the intimate setting of Montreux Jazz. They teased the crowd with their unique blend of humor... "This is our first time performing this show at a festival, so I was wondering, should I do fewer costume changes?" The resounding response from the audience was an absolute "No!" Sam Smith declared, "Alright, that's what I thought. I said, 'Fuck it!'"

Throughout the performance, a theme of freedom resonated in the air, as Smith encouraged the crowd to let go and get into the spirit of the show. "This year, it's really important to me that you understand this show is all about freedom," they added "So, get sweaty, take off your tops if you want to... Let's turn this place into one giant gay bar!"

In the pulsating camp energy and aesthetic, Sam Smith took a heartfelt moment to reflect on their album, "Gloria," and its significance. With a touch of nostalgia, they shared how the album came to life during a difficult time in the world. "Years ago, when I started working on the 'Gloria' album, the world was a different place, we weren't able to do what we are doing tonight, so I promised myself that if I ever went on tour again, I would seize the opportunity to showcase my music alongside the people I love the most." They did a special shout-out to their backup singers, Donna and the rest of the band, who have been with Sam Smith on this musical journey for over eight years. Smith expressed heartfelt gratitude for their musical family, emphasizing the strong bond and love they share.

With a hint of nostalgia, Sam Smith reminisced about their first experiences at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2015. "I was only 22 years old when I first came to this festival," they revealed. "I had the most amazing time here... so I came back as a festival-goer, I wasn't working and I got shit faced. Two years in a row. I enjoyed the music, and I even took plunges into the lake—it was fabulous!"

Their backup dancer Habibitch from the ballroom scene, Daniel Alwell and others, brought an extra level of energy with a choreography signed by (LA) HORDE from the National Ballet of Marseille. They slayed on the anthem "Unholy" featured Kim Petras on the big screen. As the show reached its grand finale, the audience was treated to the closing sound of « VULGAR, » featuring the iconic voice of Madonna herself.

Sam Smith's performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival was a celebration of freedom, love, and unapologetic self-expression. With their presence and powerful vocals, they transformed the auditorium into the camp univers of Gloria's, where barriers were shattered, and spirits soared.

Images courtesy of Lionel Flusin


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