Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Rockwave Festival 2016 - The Last Shadow Puppets, Dropkick Murphys, Suede, The Subways and more...

When The Last Shadow Puppets and Dropkick Murphys were announced for this year's Rockwave Festival this gig had already started to look tempting. But when Suede were added to the list it started to look challenging! However, I had already planned another gig for this summer, and I could not afford a ticket. And there were several of my friends who were pestering me to go with them. Luckily, a daily newspaper came to the rescue offering a "buy 1 get 1 free" deal, so I took advantage of it and (nearly) split the cost with one of my friends. That friend (and most of the others) wanted to see Dropkick Murphys. But he also brought a friend of his who wanted to see Suede. And if my girlfriend had come she would have wanted to see The Last Shadow Puppets! As for me, I wanted to see all three of them. The Last Shadow Puppets because as an Alex Turner side project this is the closest we'll ever get to seeing The Arctic Monkeys in this country. Dropkick Murphys, well if you need one reason (amongst many) is that they have collaborated with Bruce Springsteen. But I guess that it was Suede that clinched it for me. 5 years ago when I saw Pulp at this very same venue, Suede were due to (and did) play live a few days later in Athens. But it was mid summer and they played at an indoor hall and I ended up not going. So 5 years later, this was the perfect opportunity! Now, Suede and The Last Shadow Puppets were appearing at the Terra Stage, while Dropkick Murphys were appearing between these two at the Vibe Stage. So that meant we would have to do some moving towards the end of the night - twice! As for the Greek bands supporting them, I was looking forward to seeing (also on Terra Stage) The Callas. I had heard a lot about them and Jim Svlavunos has produced them. But I was to be proven - pleasantly - wrong...
Wrong because the best Greek band on that day proved to be Whereswilder which I had never heard before!

As for The Callas, they were good, but probably not what I expected...

The Subways were the second suprise of the day. Powerful and up-tempo it was exactly what we needed at that moment and it was the first time that day that we started dancing!

Not only that, but they also knew how to move the crowd, when they organized their very own mosh pit (which went extremely well)...
...but also when the singer crowd surfed (which went even better!). They left us, with "Rock 'N' Roll Queen" their big hit, which has also been used in an advert.

And now it was time for what I've been waiting for: Suede! Brett was in top form and yes I did get to hear my favourite song of theirs "Trash".

Another frontman who knew how to work the crowd. And they had the cheek to come back for an encore even though they were the third band on the bill!

After the encore was over it was time for a quick run to the Vibe Stage where Dropkick Murphys were performing. I missed the first song on my way there, but I certainly wasn't prepared for what I encountered when I got there!
My first impression was that I was in a football field, with all the flares being lit.

Not only that, but the band were playing were on top form and everybody was dancing like there was no tomorrow! Well, that's the Irish spirit for you (best experienced with lots of beer!!!)
Towards the end they brought most of the girls who were at the front onstage!
Now considering that most people that night had come to see them and the energy that was unleashed at the gig, this is a band that deserves to be invited back to Greece for their own gig in the future!
The Last Shadow Puppets were probably the best ending for that great night. After all the mayhem during the Dropkicks' set, we needed to cool down. As there were no VIP tickets issued fo that day, we went to see them at what is normally the VIP area where we could sit down and be able to see the stage.
And I myself, was more than happy that they opened their set with a Beatles cover "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
"We love you too much to go away" they told us at the end. And as we ourselves were going away, we passed by the Vibe Stage and witnessed what was left of the big party Dropkick Murhys had thrown for us a while ago...

And as a final thought, here is a note to the organizers: Next time why don't you bring over the Arctic Monkeys themselves for a gig?

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