Thursday, 30 October 2014

One (festival) for the road

On June 21st I was flying to Rome to see The Rolling Stones. En Lefko Festival was announced in Athens for that very same weekend, the 20th and the 21st featuring among others The Simple Minds, who I would like to see (again). I was lucky because they were chosen as headliners on Friday which meant that I could go see them and catch my flight the next day. I was even luckier because the other band that I wanted to see, Hooverphonic were billed to play just before them.
So, I arrived at Technopolis, just as Hooverphonic were beginning their set, and after some problems with my ticket (which looked more like a receipt) I got in.
(Apparently, the scanner could not read the barcode, but that's to be expected when they print the tickets on cash till paper where the ink gradually fades away - duh!)
Hooverphonic first came to my attention around 2002-2003 with "Sometimes" and continued later on with the "More Sweet Music / No More Sweet Music" package. For most Greeks they are famous for "Mad About You" though.

They played songs from the whole of their career, and they did play "Sometimes". The last song in an acoustic version.
Now, it was June, the beginning of summer and my last gig was surprisingly at an indoor venue. This one was outdoors, but, after the Hooverphonic set was over, it started raining.

We took shelter away from the stage and started worrying if this was going to affect the Simple Minds set which we were all waiting for, but thankfully it stopped just before they came onstage. (And yes, the first thing Jim Kerr said to us when he appeared was "show me your hands". Typical.)

I had seen them before, again in Athens back in 2006. This time there was more of their early stuff ("Love Song", "I Travel"), stuff that they had disowned when they became famous ("Don't listen to our early albums" Jim Kerr apparently said to Chrissie Hynde, his wife at the time). Suprisingly enough it was these "early" albums that they were promoting a few years ago on their 5x5 tour.
But the problem was that there was also quite a few of their later stuff when just as they became famous they decided to go "epic" ("See The Lights", "She's A River").

But of course there was also stuff from when they were famous AND making great pop songs ("Don't You Forget About Me", "Alive & Kicking", "Sanctify Yourself").

And they saved the best for last: my favourite, "New Gold Dream", a song that should have been a single but it wasn't and was my favourite song in late 1982 / early 1983.
So that was the last song of the second and last encore. We were now ready to go home (and in my case to the airport). But then it started raining again. Hard.

We took cover for quite a while, even visited the dance stage which was indoors.

Finally it stopped. Thankfully, because the next day was going to be a long one...
Simple Minds setlist:

        01. Waterfront
        02. Broken Glass Park
        03. Love Song
        04. Hypnotised
        05. Imagination
        06. I Travel
        07. Blindfolded
        08. Dancing Barefoot
              (Patti Smith Group cover)
        09. Dolphins
        10. She's a River
        11. Someone Somewhere in Summertime
        12. See the Lights
        13. Don't You (Forget About Me)
        14. Big Music
        15. Alive and Kicking
        Encore 2:
        16. Sanctify Yourself
        17. New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)

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