In a time period when Greece struggles with insurmountable problems and everyone is trying to make ends meets, a concert always seem to be an ideal release especially when a musician pays a visit to our country for the very first time.

And yes I know that Johnny Lima doesn’t have the sparkling career of let’s say Kip Winger or Mike Tramp (just to name a couple of artists) but he is a really good and well respected artist with a remarkable back catalogue. However and despite the fact that the ticket price was rather low (10 Euros) only 50 fans (approximately) found their way to the Bat City Club that Tuesday night thus stirring a justified worrying feeling to the promoters in regards with possible future events.

The first opening act included an acoustic set by Nick Sansis Stratosphere that unfortunately didn’t succeed in warming up the few fans that were already into the club at the time. The truth is that their old school blues rock with its evident references in the classic rock sound of the early 70s was out of place and their overall anemic performance didn’t help either. Maybe in a different musical context Nick Sansis Stratosphere would be a more suitable addition. But not this time…

The big surprise of the evening – at least for me personally- was definitely Flying Mercury. With a full electric show and a brand new debut album in their sonic arsenal, the guys proved that with a lot of hard work and persistence anything’s possible and the sky (or maybe the Mercury…?) is the limit. The quintet presented original songs from their sole album plus a rendition of “Fool For Your Loving” (Whitesnake) and they took everybody by storm with their glorious 80s hard rock sound. Melodic keyboards, sensational rhythm section, exceptional guitar riffs and solos, really good vocals and most importantly well-rehearsed and catchy tunes, Flying Mercury seemed unstoppable on stage! All the fans of Whitesnake, Europe, Bon Jovi, FM etc. should definitely check them out while I must underline that Raw Silk would be really proud of this band…nuff said!


A few minutes before midnight, Johnny Lima hit the stage with his acoustic guitar and the fans below welcomed him with an extended and warm round of applause. The American singer (with the Portuguese roots) had cancelled the previous night his show in Stockholm in order to rest his voice (“I wouldn’t ever cancel the Greek gig”, he told us) and he was a little bit cautious. To tell you the truth, I didn’t notice the slightest vocal problem and Lima’s overall performance was immaculate. As a matter of fact, if he didn’t follow a solo career he could be a great singer in a Bon Jovi tribute band as his voice strikes a similar resemblance to Jon Bon Jovi.

Lima presented songs from his solo repertoire and a cover version of “It’s My Life” (in its slow version as Bon Jovi played it in “This Left Feels Right” CD). I’d preferred to be treated with more up tempo songs (like for instance “Leavin’ In The Morning”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” from “Shine On”) but that didn’t dilute the overall positive feeling of the night. The definite highlights of Johnny Lima’s show were “Blame It On Love” and “Memory Lane” and all I can add is that for an hour or so we had a great time and forgot our problems…I guess that’s the power of rock n’ roll and Johnny Lima helped a great deal with his very good acoustic performance.

Sakis Nikas