Beautiful nighttime stories! We adore PELICAN but unfortunately their return in Athens (12 years after the last time, it was back in 2007 when they opened for High On Fire) wasn’t accompanied by a packed club, that’s why Fuzz Live seemed empty and cold while we were waiting for them. Meanwhile, the absence of an opening act (is this a new trend? I hope not…) didn’t help much either, but until 22:30 when the band got on stage a few more fans came in.
They opened with “Midnight and Mescaline” from their latest –very good- album and almost everything seemed right, and I say almost because the sound level during the first songs was surprisingly low, so low that you could easily stand next to the speakers with no need for earplugs. Unfortunately, the problem remained for a few more songs and as a result their inspiring post-metal may took us away (while we could clearly hear all the organs) but there was something missing to make you get more into the trip and feel the experience as something special. But the band seemed to enjoy their set, they were very energetic (like there was no tomorrow) and the fans seemed to follow the mystic way of the band’s compositions.
On the good side I have to say that the sound was proper (at least on the second half of the show) along with the minimal but fitting lights while we were listening nice compositions with several prog parts and the necessary outbreaks that can keep a music lover busy (not easy when there are no vocals).
After 60 minutes(time flies!) their set was over but hopefully they had three more compositions for encore. The heavy riff of “Cold Hope” was really great, “Arteries of Blacktop” was nice enough but the big surprise came at the end with “Mammoth” (from Pelican EP!!) that brought a balance to their setlist (that was clearly based on their last album)
Trevor de Brauw was the only one that said (with shyness) a few words, thanked us and apologized for the 12 years absence but as he said as they get older they have numerous responsibilities that make touring more difficult. Until next time then…
® live report/photographs: Konstantinos Mindcrimek Vlachos
Setlist: Midnight and Mescaline / Deny the Absolute / Abyssal Plain / Nighttime Stories / Darkness on the Stairs / Vestiges / Full Moon, Black Water / Cold Hope / Arteries of Blacktop / Mammoth