Austrian musician Andreas Gabalier performs in Vail Wednesday | VailDaily.com

Austrian musician Andreas Gabalier performs in Vail Wednesday

Austrian folk/rock star Andreas Gabalier generally plays for crowds of 30,000 in Europe. He's playing a free concert Wednesday for the Alpine World Ski Championships.
Thomas Bittera | Special to the Daily |

If You Go ...

What: Austrian music and entertainment superstar Andreas Gabalier, in concert

When: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Where: Solaris, Vail.

Cost: Free.

More information: The concert is part of the free concert series being presented during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

VAIL — Austrian music superstar Andreas Gabalier is happy to be in Vail/Beaver Creek for a World Championships concert.

He’s a huge star in Europe, but his concert in Vail Wednesday marks his first U.S. show.

“The World Championships are in Vail and I’m a big winter sports fan. I love skiing and ski racing. The mountains are in front of my house,” he said during an interview from his home in Austria two weeks ago.

The snow in Austria is good, and he was taking some time off from producing his new album to be a fan at the World Cup tour stop in Kitzbühel.

However …

“We have a problem because Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn are so fast. We were always the No. 1 skiing nation, but the American women are improving,” Gabalier said.

Elvis of the Alps

Gabalier plays his own music, mostly in German.

“I’m not sure you’ll understand anything I am singing, but I’m sure people will have fun,” he said.

He plays piano, guitars, harmonica, an Austrian accordion, and about anything else that makes music.

And everything he plays, he plays hard.

In 2009 Gabalier began his career with the album “Da komm ich her” (“That’s Where I’m From”), which went quadruple Platinum in Austria.

A year later he appeared on a music show in Germany, performing the song, “I Sing a Liad für di” (“I’m Singing A Song For You”).

He shook his hips so spectacularly that the next day media outlets started calling him the “Elvis of the Alps.”

“So many young girls storm the stage that we need doctors to see about them,” he said laughing. “The newspapers call me that. I have never called myself Elvis,” he said.

Media darling

Magazines and newspapers can’t get enough of him, reaching more than 60 million readers. He has more than 500,000 Facebook fans and his album “Home Sweet Home” has been on the charts for 64 weeks.

In 2012 Gabalier, age 30, won the top German music awards, the Bambi (emerging star) and the Echo (folk music). Two sold-out tours followed in 2012 and 2013, with 23 concerts each in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

At the start 2014 he sang every week alongside other musicians on “Sing meinen Song” (“Sing My Song”), a show on the VOX channel. In September he started his own Saturday evening show on the ARD channel with an audience of more than 3.4 million. Over the summer he performed seven sold-out open-air concerts in Germany in front of more than 100,000 people.

He sold more than 2.5 million records in 2014 alone.

He wrote the official song for the 2013 Alpine World Ski Championships, “Go For Gold,” which is also a pretty big deal.

Back in the USA

So far, Gabalier’s only U.S. trips have been to Nashville and Memphis to record new albums. His chat with the Vail Daily was his first U.S. interview, which he handled with grace and great humor.

He started producing new songs two weeks ago, and they’re working on their fifth studio album.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest one yet,” he said.

They’ll go out this summer for 30 concerts to promote it, then take a break. They’re back on the road in October.

They stick close to home, touring in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France.

He started performing five years ago when the radio played some of his songs. They’ve been performing live for four years.

“It has been a great time of my life,” he said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.




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