Thursday, 13 October 2016

Leon of Athens in the open air

When Leon of Athens plays near your home you can't miss the opportunity... Especially if it's a free gig!
This is exactly what happened last month in Kifissia. It was my 3rd Leon Of Athens gig, but my first in the open. The place? Villa Kazouli in Kifissia. When I first moved near the area, more than 30 years ago, the place was a derelict and abandoned building. Thankfully, at some point it was restored and put to good use by the local council. And it was indeed the first time that I visited it.

While wandering outside the place, trying to find the entrance, I disovered that the doors were still closed, I managed however to catch a glimpse of Leon's final rehearsal playing a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence".
This was indeed the song with which he opened his set, after an introduction by the organizer.

All the usual favourites were in the set, including "I'm On Fire", "Under Pressure", "Over The Rainbow" and "Baby Asteroid". 
Plus a very nice song about his island, "Corfu", which I had seen on YouTube before, but with a different arrangement. 
But it was a completely different experience listening to all of these on a summer night under the stars and a full moon!

Not everybody was amused though. You see this gig was part of a summer-long festival organized by the local council.

And some of the locals, mostly old age pensioners attend every gig mostly of Greek stars of the 60's and the 70's. It wasn't surprising though that some of them started shouting, in the middle of a song "don't you speak any Greek?" "I don't like this!". The organizer, who was sitting directly in front of me was trying to explain that it is clearly stated in the programme that Leon sings mainly in English, but to no avail. And he did sing a song in Greek but by then they were not paying any attention so nobody noticed it.

Aside from that, it was a great gig with an encore, the highlight of which was when Leon sang a song about a childhood friend of his and spotted her mother in the audience.
But most importantly, after the gig I had the chance to meet Leon in person, show him my Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and thank him for always including "I'm On Fire" in his set!

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