Skags, Onism @ Crow Live Stage

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Live shows. Do you remember how it was? I feel like years have passed since the last one I went to, even if it was a few months ago at Technopolis when I saw Suicidal Angels. As for before that, time seems to has stopped. So, Skags were celebrating exactly one year since the release of their debut full-length debut “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation” and such an opportunity could not be missed. I was very curious about how the band would perform live this wonderful result they got from the studio.

The night started with Onism, a rather special band that I did not know and I’m not familiar with their direction in music. In the first song we saw them as a duet, with Michalis Latousakis a.k.a. Lupe and Efremia Michou a.k.a. Luna undertaking synths and vocals together, reminding me a bit of Depeche Mode. Then three other girls took the stage with their strings (two violins and one cello) until the end of their appearance. It was the first time they played live and at times a bit of stage fright evident. Their style moves in the fields of darkwave. Very cinematic and dark, you could easily hear it in a movie.

Michalis and Efremia sang most of the time at the same time and not alternately, something that created a special atmosphere. At times, what they were playing seemed a bit unconnected, especially when there was a combination with the strings, but I do not know if it was a matter of bad sound or if it was just the expected side effects of their first appearance. They played their own songs (they have released an EP and a full-length) as well as covers, such as Anathema’s enchanting “Parisienne Moonlight” and Placebo’s “Without You I’m Nothing”. I repeat, without being familiar with their sound, what I saw and heard was interesting and if they continue like this and improve on stage they have the potential to achieve greater things.

Continuation with Skags and my initial curiosity could not be answered in a more emphatic way. The band, although long absent from the stages for the well-known reasons, appeared ready and confident. They had rehearsed as much as they should and with great chemistry between them, they gave us a very beautiful evening. At the beginning Christina Papandreou’s keys were higher than they should have been and Spyretta Driva’s vocals were lower, but soon the situation improved. Although the vocals I think could be a little louder, especially in the heavier parts of their songs. It is a pity that such a wonderful voice could not heard in the volume it deserves.

Their appearance was combined with various visuals on the video wall behind the stage or by showing the video clips that the band has made so far (four in total), showing their professionalism around setting up this concert. Their style, which is influenced by alternative, progressive, atmospheric and electronic rock, sounded flawless and I think it was more “intense” than the respective studio recordings, maybe a little heavier at times. Logically it helped that they now go with two guitarists instead of one. Also, their lyrics are very interesting, which touch on aspects of social life and when announcing the songs, Sotiris Angelidis (bass, vocals, composition) shared some strange conditions under which some of them were written.

They played their entire debut album, a single that was left out (“Screaming In My Bed”), a new song from the upcoming one (“18 In A Vessel”) as well as covers. Top moments for me were the opener “Turn It On” with the awesome vocal performance of Spyretta, “Life”, the cover of the classic “Maniac” as well as the closing with “Zak”, a very special song that was written on the occasion of cold-blooded murder of Zak Kostopoulos, touching on the inhumanity of modern society and what nonsense one can think of trying to justify the unjustified. A very strong and intense performance that closed their shows the best way possible.

Setlist: Turn It On, The Guillotine, Lift Me Up (Moby), The Weekend, Put Your Hands Down, Lovesong (The Cure), 18 In A Vessel, Drive Me Home, The Consequence Of Dream, Screaming In My Bed, The Man Sitting Right Next Door, Maniac (Michael Sembello), Life, Zak

In conclusion, an interesting show by Omnism that leaves promises of bigger things and a great performance by Skags. I would love to see them again on a bigger stage so that more people can get to know them, because they really deserve it. Now, let’s just wait until their next full-length album and their next live show.

George Terzakis

Photos: Petros Petalas, rockway.gr