This was a show I was expecting eagerly for this year! You see, unfortunately, in Greece we don’t have the chance to see bands like this quite often, while this was the first time the great Nicke Andersson, Hellacopters’ leader, was visiting our country. So, every fan of this sound should be there, but they weren’t.

I don’t think that I had to write the value of this guy in rock music, especially in the worst eras that were the ‘90s and some of the ‘00s, as well the Scandinavian rawk that flirts with the ‘60s-‘70s, blues, country, pop, psychedelia and hard rock and makes what some may call retro timeless. Unfortunately, the Greek crowd didn’t honor this artist as they supposed to, since only 250 people attendance cannot be considered enough.


The night opened with Dr. Awkward And The Screws and The Wrinkled Suits which I missed. It’s unfair for support bands to not be covered by the media that are dealing with the shows and there is no excuse about it.

At around 10:30 with a 15-minute delay Imperial State Electric got on stage with the crowd cheering. With no frills the band went to work with the pedal to the metal like a well-oiled machine. They hit the audience like a storm and made them go crazy with their relentless energy. There was a lot of people dancing, head banging, while the bravest even tried crowd surfing.


For about 90 minutes the band was hammering the crowd from the stage aided by a great sound feeling at ease. Really, performances like this one should have been in a band’s 101 seminar for upcoming rock bands. As for the material we had the chance to listen to that was drawn from their recent masterpiece “All Through The Night” with several songs being played. “Empire Of Fire” came up second, while the self-titled song was fourth with the audience singing along. The foursome was in top shape and I honestly weren’t expecting they were that good! Of course just the presence of “modern rock’n’roll patriarch”, Nicke Andersson is a guarantee for that, but it’s different to expect to check out a band and to actually watch it live. They were well rehearsed, their chemistry was amazing and they defined concert perfection. I think that no matter how hard I try to remember any other show like this reaching perfection, or probably imperfect perfection as it’s supposed to be in rock’n’roll. Even when they changed instruments their performance didn’t lack with Dolf De Borst leaving his Rickenbaker to Tobbias Egge grabbing the mic and twisting it like another Roger Daltrey. The only downside was that they played “Born To Be Wild” originally by Steppenwolf, I’d prefer they played one more original, or another cover, but OK…

On a night full of highlights what I thought stood out were “Hollywood From My Vacation”, “Sonic Reducer” Dead Boys’, “Déjà vu”, the ferocious “Reptile Brain” with the changeover on the instruments that closed the regular set at 11:30 with the band waving “good night” and leaving the stage. Of course, that wasn’t for long because they came back for a 30-minute encore with the band deciding what to play on the fly. Of course, the absolute concert anthem, “Anywhere Loud”, from their previous album “Honk Machine” couldn’t be absent…

In general, whoever was at the venue witnessed one of the shows of the year, and I bet on of the best of all times in the specific genre. Trust me and if this sounds too much then check out the videos you can find online, ask your friends who were there, but why didn’t you come? I can’t understand why someone who likes garage, punk, psychedelia, classic rock missed a show like this…
Yiannis Dolas