I could never imagine that this day would ever come. The day that I would be writing a review for a H.E.A.T. live show in Athens, Greece. In this scenery of economic crisis and in a time where hard rock music is almost gone and there are only a few romantics left who still buy cds or go to live shows. In a time where there are still metalheads who think melodic hard rock is for wimps and posers. In this era the Swedish H.E.A.T. was the band who brought more than 600 people in the Athenian venue. That was the time to witness an unforgettable show.
The night didn’t begin with H.E.A.T. though. D3lta is a half Greek half English singer, lyricist and composer, with music influences ranging from David Bowie and Muse to Queen and Simon & Garfunkel. The show we witnessed was acoustic and kind of hypotonic for this occasion. Apart from that, the band was professional enough, the songs were quite interesting and I am sure that they would be perfect for British radio airplay. I understand the difficulty of a Greek promoter though because it’s really hard to find a Greek hard rock band to play on such a show, since there are only but a few left. Nevertheless one of those few could play last night and also get promoted a lot in front of many hard rock fans.
Next band and a more obvious choice was the Greek Danger Angel with a big absence from the hard rock scene these last years but with a strong line up including their new Brazilian singer Behjae. The band appeared on stage with great energy but that was kind of awkward for the rest of us since a few minutes before there was a really light mood. Of course this is not D3lta’s fault because musicwise they were great but as I said they were kind of unsuitable and slow.
Although Danger Angel was a suitable choice for this show, technically there were some sound problems and complains from the crowd. For starters, the sound part was flawed especially from the left side of the stage that I was standing and the bass was higher than the rest of the instruments and the singer in particular. Of course this is probably nobody else’s fault but the venue’s since I’ve seen many live shows there so far, to know that the sound is almost never by our side. Because of that technical sound problems I couldn’t tell apart Behjae’s voice. Also one more thing that I noticed was that the band’s songs were a mix from bands such as Sixx Am, 69eyes, Royal Hunt and Hinder and the style that they wanted to play was kind of unspecified. Plus they needed a bit more practice for a better result. Of course I get the fact that the distance between the members makes it a lot harder.
Aside the technical part, they managed to warm up the crowd with their positive vibe and energy and everyone was more than ready to witness H.E.A.T. live at last. I believe that for the majority of the crowd that would be their first time. For me it was the 5th and although I‘ve seen the band with the first singer, I can say for sure that you saw them at their best moment.
Erik Grönwall is a phenomenon. A phenomenon that happens NOW. Not in the 80s or 90s but it started in 2010 and it’s still on and we hope it’s going to be for many years to come. These 5 guys came out on stage with the rockstar attitude all over them and the people went nuts. They were screaming and clapping rhythmically! The crowd was filled with all kind of ages and many women which is rare in these kind of live shows. It could also be attributed to the band members’ looks. Who knows? Everything counts for a new band in order to attract new fans. The thing is that this band managed to make the fans follow them for years. And in H.E.A.T.’s case I believe it can make every fan stick with them as long as they have a music taste and the likings for bands such as Europe, Foreigner, FM etc.
H.E.A.T. came on stage with “Bastard of Society”. Don’t forget that this was a show based on the promotion of «Into the Great Unknown» which was not my favorite but it had some good moments and thankfully they chose to play every one of them. Erik was already in the mood to destroy the venue and when he saw everyone’s passion he really lost it. He was running up and down on stage, he even did gymnastic tricks and he couldn’t miss a note even if he tried. The band was following him in a flawless pace. The sound never really improved from the venue side but nobody cared and that says a lot about the band’s influence on the crowd.
Somewhere in the middle of the live show Erik asked the crowd to crowd surf him to the bar and for those who visited last year’s Chania Rock Festival they knew what to expect. The rest they just followed his signal. Erik jumped from the stage and they all moved him to the bar where he started singing and dancing Piece Of My Heart and Whole Lotta Rosie without losing the tone. All the cameras where pointed at him so there is no chance you won’t find it on YouTube.
He returned on stage walking through the people and hugging everyone on his way. The band continued to play old and new songs with their finest moment being “Living On The Run” where the people were singing higher than the band.
A few minutes before the end of the show and after he had climbed the whole stage around, he picked a kid from the crowd and he put it on his shoulders while singing “A Shot at Redemption” again without missing a note.. We already said it .He is a phenomenon!
Since Erik joined the band he was meant to be the one who would carry the band on his shoulders .Of course nothing would be the same without these amazing songs which wouldn’t exist without the contribution of every single member.
This show was everything I expected to see and more and people will talk about it for a long time, I am sure. The audience was also great in numbers, far beyond my expectations for a Greek hard rock show and that gives me hope for the future and this kind of music. As for those who missed it I feel sorry for them and let’s hope after this success there will be a next time to make amends. As for me, I wish I will get many more chances to be in a H.E.A.T. live again since I am never going to get tired of watching them perform.
In a period where all our 80s heroes are ‘’dying’’, let’s give the chance to all of the bands who keep the scene alive. For the new fans of the melodic scene you should know that there are hundreds of bands out there that they deserve to be discovered. Most of them are coming from Sweden and it would be great if you searched beyond the surface. See what is out there and in a few years from now we might see some of these bands in Greece. There are already some band announcements that no one would expect. So why not make it a habit and even better let’s make it a festival!
STAY TUNED AND STAY MELODIC!!!!!!