Desertfest Day 1 @ Iera Odos


This was the first Desertfest in Athens, Greece in Iera Odos with two different changes and a lot of bands to keep the fans busy for several hours.

We couldn’t make it on time for House Of Broken Promises on stage 2 so we kicked off our Desertfest experience with Beggars who were very good with a lot of people in the venue already and several fans. Every time I watch them are improved and that’s very positive. The band felt at ease and was energetic on stage. Their sound was great and that helped a lot their job as the first band on the big stage. It was an enjoyable 40-minute slot…

The first contact with stage 2 on the 4th floor (!) of the opposite building happened with Sadhus and their sludge metal that excited the punters who filled the small venue. They played with passion and vigor and weren’t influenced by a rather serious problem their bassist experienced towards the end of their set. The first mosh pit of the night took place in front of them.

Back to the big stage with Torche that were indifferent and I think didn’t manage to move the biggest part of the audience despite their honest efforts. The Florida foursome did whatever they could, but maybe the crowd had Truckfighters that were next on the same stage, or the hot dogs… in my opinion they were the weakest link of day-1.

Crossing the road to go watch We.Own.The.Sky was hiding an unpleasant surprise, the pouring rain that soaked the people who went to see them. The Greek band though managed to compensate them with an amazing performance and great playing of their totally instrumental material. Music without lyrics is always a challenge and I think that its live performance makes it more approachable for the listener. The five musicians although crammed in the small stage managed to headbang and dazzle the audience with their magical atmospheric tunes. Surely, one of the first day’s highlights!



The rain kept pouring and we had to sprint to go watch Swedes Truckfighters that had already started playing since the timetable was followed strictly. The Greeks’ favorites had one hour which they handled juggling between older and new songs from their latest amazing album “V”. It’s obvious that they are playing to their crowd, since everyone seem to know the songs and sing-along with the excitement at high levels. The trio gives everything they got on stage with Dango running up and down on stage. Especially during the closing of their set with “Desert Cruiser” you thought that they were going to bring “Iera Odos” down…



Italians Black Rainbows was one of the bands that I was the most curious to check out in the festival. To my pleasant surprise the sound level got to human level on the second stage so watching them playing on Greek soil for the first time ever was very joyful. I noticed that there were a lot of people waiting to see them as well. They were explosive with passionate playing that did justice to their psychedelic stoner rock. Since I am just discovering the band I would say that they played “Evil Snake” from their recent “Stellar Prophecy” as well as “Hypnotize My Soul With Rock’n’Roll” and “Hawkdope” from the self-titled album while their 15-minute version of MC5’s “Black To Comm” blew people’s minds and kept them in front of the small stage longer…

1000 Mods’s high slot on the bill shouldn’t raise questions since the Greek band looks like the scene’s new success story following the example of local heroes Planet Of Zeus with strong support both at home and abroad. Just when you watch the crowd, both boys and girls singing along and even dancing to songs like “Road To Burn”, “Claws”, Loose”, “Low” and “Vidage” I think you don’t need anything else to get an idea of how popular those guys have become.


Red Fang rushed in like a bull in a China shop at 12:30 sharp forcing the crowd to buckle up and forget their exhaustion after six hours and eight bands and be the Greek crowd that bands love to play to. Just before the… kick off the four Americans shook their hands and launched “Wires”. Classic songs like “Flies” and “Sharks” followed with the first serious crowd surfing taking place over Desertfest’s punters.


My general impressions from Desertfest’s first day are positive, but the truth is that the brand is very prestigious and the expectations were higher. All the bands played great and made the fans happy. I am sure that everybody wanted to check out bands we haven’t seen before in Greece and only Black Rainbows fell into that category. The 2 different stages in different buildings isn’t something new, but the 4th floor was brutal! At least crossing the street from one venue to another and climbing the stairs fought the stiffness of standing up all those hours. The sound on stage 2 was deafening in the bad sense until Black Rainbows who were the last band to play there and I really think that it could have been better. On the other hand the timetable was followed perfectly, the sound on the big stage was good, while the multiple levels of the venue gave visibility from every corner and to all no matter how tall or short they were. Finally, we should thank the promoters for bringing such a prestigious franchise in Greece in rough times. Let’s hope that Deserfest will take place in Athens next year as well…
Yiannis Dolas
Photos: Chris Kissadjekian /