Another Rockwave Festival started following the inevitable nowadays split-day format, since its second day will be the 19th of July, as well as featuring various genres of music.
The unlucky lucky ones in those cases are the bands playing on the first slots of the bill that play in front of a few people having to face the merciless burning sun. Thus, Wish Upon A Star, Whereswilder and The Callas fell victim of the above while they totally served their role as the day’s warm up doing the best to get the crowd that was entering the gates of Terra Vibe Park to get into concert mode.
The first “bang” came with Despite Everything… where have these guys been and I didn’t have a clue? Amazing band with a fresh American made hardcore punk that was giving you the impression that those boys came from a neighborhood in California and not Athens, Greece. Despite the heat they gave everything they got filled with energy and passion. They won me, as I am sure they won those who didn’t know them and discovered them on Sunday evening, and later on I went to the merch stands and got their album “The Dawn Chorus” which kicks ass. Well done guys!
Ink Scattered, Tangled Lines, Inbetweeners, Joke’s on Us, Pardon My Negativity, Flood in, Flood out, If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going, Dead Weight, Watered Down, My Day, Roads Unfold, That Sinking Feeling, Between A Rock And A Hard Place
Change to the big stage with the Subways on another performance on Greek soil with still only a few people at their feet. The Brits put their big smiles and their uplifitng attitude on and begun running up and down the stage putting hundreds of miles in their counter, but the vast Terra stage is hard to fill. Billy Lunn and Charlotth Cooper were handling lead vocals in turns depending on the song, spoke Greek several times with the word “efharisto” (ed. “thank you”) coming after every song. They didn’t even hesitate to tell us the world’s most typical drummer joke… they saved their biggest hit “Rock’n’Roll Queen” for last, that I was listening while I was walking up the hill to enjoy Turbonegro…
Oh Yeah, City Pavement, Mary, Taking All the Blame, I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say, Good Times, Dirty Muddy Paws, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Obsession , At 1 AM, It’s a Party, We Don’t Need Money to Have a Good Time, Celebrity, Rock & Roll Queen
I was so heartbroken a couple of years ago when Turbonegro were supposed to play at a festival in Greece with Mastodon but it was cancelled and I thought that I’d never get the chance to see them in our country, but there it is I got my chance so, without further ado I snatched my place on the barrier.
The first thing that got me impressed was that there was props on stage, like the city lights, while even the sun hid behind the clouds before those princes of darkness came out. Of course, Turbojugend Greece was there from early on with their trademark denim cuts, huge flag and smoke bombs… the band kicked off in turbo mode with one of its new songs “Hot For Nietzsche” fronted by Tony Sylvester aka Duke Of Nothing, an awesome persona, just like his predecessor, the legendary Frank Von Helvete, who was wearing lumberjack boots, white socks up to his knee, jean sorts, belly button t-shirt and leather hat. The emotions and the enthusiasm watching this legendary Scandinavian rawk band go to work is simply impossible to describe. Just watching Euroboy and Happy Tom a few meters away… that was surely gave me Goosebumps. Their 60-minute set was way too short to quench the thirst of the fanatics that were having their own party with continuous moshing, crowd surfing, beers being launched all around, the flag going round and the smoke bombs giving a football grounds feel to the evening.
Song after song Turbonegro took us on a tour to their 30 plus year career with notable songs like Are You Ready For Some Darkness”, “I Wanna Come”, “Wasted Again”, “Fuck The World” and of course “Age Of Pamparius” and “I Got Erection” that closed the set. A very pleasant inclusion was their recent disco-meets-Kiss-single “Special Education”, while they bowed to the crowd twice before leaving the venue with “We Built This City” playing on the PA… ‘nough said!
Hot For Nietzsche, You Give Me Worms, All My Friends Are Dead, Are You Ready For Some Darkness, City Of Satan, Back To Dungaree High, I Wanna Come, Special Education, Drenched In Blood, Wasted Again, Fuck The World, Get It On, Age Of Pamparius, I Got Erection
And after a performance like this the show goes on with Suede on the big stage. Surely, the band left its audience happy -most of which didn’t bother to go to the other stage, and why should they?- with Brett Anderson sweating his shirt with passion and emotion, even when he sat at the end of the stage and came closer to his fans. Personally, I can’t say that I am moved by Suede’s style and music, and watching them live didn’t change my opinion, especially having watched Turbonegro just before. You see the multi-style kind of festival may be good because there is something for everyone to watch, but it’s impossible than one likes everything on the bill on both stages.
When You Are Young, Outsiders, She, Trash, Filmstar, Animal Nitrate, We Are the Pigs, Killing of a Flashboy, Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away, Everything Will Flow, Can’t Get Enough, By the Sea, She’s in Fashion, So Young, Metal Mickey, Beautiful Ones, New Generation
Without having a big interest to watch the entire show of Suede I got up to Vibe Stage to check out the last band of the night there, legendary Americans Dropkick Murphys who were playing in Greece for the first time in their history. Going up the little alley connecting the two stages I saw a huge crowd filling up every inch of the space, so my attempt to find a better spot to watch was pointless. So, we refueled from the bar and stayed put in the back from where we enjoyed Dropkick Murphys pounding the audience non-stop with the songs coming the one after the other with no breaks. The crowd was going up and down throughout the show from the first rows to the last ones singing along on almost every song making the band’s frontman Al Barr admit that they band should pay to play to an audience like that, and not the other way around! On the specific set there was a sound issue with the bag pipes that weren’t audible all the time, but the energy and passion was so devastating that didn’t matter too much. They concluded with their most popular song “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” which was certainly one of the highlights of the festival, depending of course for which part of the audience we are talking about, the Terra, or Vibe stage?
The Boys Are Back, Prisoner’s Song, Walk Away, The Gang’s All Here, Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya, Upstarts and Broken Hearts, Sunshine Highway, Barroom Hero, Famous for Nothing, Forever, Citizen C.I.A., Good Rats, The Warrior’s Code, The Fields of Athenry, Going Out in Style, Rose Tattoo, The State of Massachusetts, Worker’s Song, Out of Our Heads, Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced, I’m Shipping Up to Boston
The Last Shadow Puppets, the come-together of Alex Turner and Miles Kane, that were also making their live debut in Greece, were the festival’s headliners and the last band of the day. In between songs you could hear the hysterical screams of the ladies in the audience that were shivering for those two Brits. The people that were there to watch them seemed to have a great time signing their songs and dancing to their music. Those who didn’t leave were wandering around, laying on the grass watching rather indifferently.
Sonically speaking Last Shadow Puppets were almost perfect as everything was crystal clear, as it was supposed to for those two well polished frontmen that were sharing the mic in a well dressed vintage pose. Note that they started their set with a Beatles song.
I Want You (She’s So Heavy), The Age Of The Understatement, Used to Be My Girl, Calm Like You, Dracula Teeth, Everything You’ve Come to Expect, Only The Truth, Aviation, The Element of Surprise, Bad Habits, The Bourne Identity, My Mistakes Were Made For You, The Dream Synopsis, Standing Next To Me, Miracle Aligner, In My Room
505, Is This What You Wanted, Meeting Place
On the positive side of this year’s Rockwave Festival is that we had the chance to watch three bands (Turbonegro, Dropkick Murphys, The Last Shadow Puppets) for the first time in our country, the premises are getting better every year and the sound is usually pretty good. Still, the huge clouds of dust going up on the small stage every time the crowd was going wild wasn’t pleasant. The attendance should have been around 7 thousand, a number that I don’t know if it’s satisfying or not. Also, we have to admit that it’s very hard to make a festival that combines different musical styles, because the two sides of the audience can’t enjoy each other’s music as it was proved on Sunday. Maybe, there should have been live action at the same time on both scenes so that bands would have more time to play and concert goers a bigger motive to go watch the bands live on the festival.
Of course, needless to say that in this day and age we must be respectful to concert promoters and even grateful because making a big production like this is certainly not an easy task. We get to the point that we have to say “it’s all right”, but this in the long term this is not good at all.
Photos: Chris Kissadjekian