Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Ejekt Festival 2018 - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Editors and a thunderstorm

Nick Cave is a regular visitor to Greece. I was actually planning to go to one of his gigs 31 years ago, back in 1987, but somehow I didn't. And what's funny is that I never got to see him during this 31 year period. My last attempt was last November, but this was on a weekday and because of work I couldn't make it to the venue on time. That gig was sold out and thankfully (and probably because of that) the promoters decided to bring him and the Bad Seeds back for a summer, open air gig at Ejekt Festival.
When the day of the festival came it didn't look much like a summer day at all. Well, it did, but not according to the weather forecast. A thunderstorm was predicted and this looked like a gig that was going to be ruined. It was indeed ruined for some people, but not for me because somehow I managed to properly prepare for it. I noticed that the forecast predicted a thunderstorm that would last for only an hour (from 8-9pm) and by my calculations I was going to get there at around 7:30. (The bands I wanted to see were the Editors and Nick Cave). Now, I remembereded that Water Square had a covered space on its right side (where most of the bars usually are) and I thought that if worse comes to worst, I would head straight for that particular place. My plans actually worked out, I was indeed there at 7:30, I met some of my friends near the front of the stage and I could see the thunderstorm approaching from the south. When I felt the first drops of rain, I immediately headed for the sheltered space and stayed there for the duration of the thunderstorm which was indeed a fierce one and, as predicted, lasted for only an hour.
Now, I have been in a situation that seemed worse, namely a Bruce Springsteen concert in Florence under a rain that lasted for three hours, but this was different. The rain in Florence was just rain. The situation in Athens back in June was a thunderstorm, meaning there was thunder and lightning and the danger of being struck by a thunderbolt was considerable. However, after the storm I once again emerged in the open, completely dry. It was then that it was announced through the speakers that the festival would go on, with Editors appearing at 10 with Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds to follow. I have already mentioned that the gig was ruined for some people. These were the people that got soaking wet during the thunderstorm, left the venue and went home thinking that the festival was going to be canceled. And they blame the promoters that they did not announce that the gig was going to go on (During the thunderstorm the stage was covered and there was a power failure so maybe that's why no announcements were made from the speakers). There were others that went home, changed clothes and came back (thankfully re-admission was allowed).
So, as I came out into the open after the storm I noticed that I couldn't get too close to the stage, because a huge pool had been formed, so I decided to watch the gig from further back as I had done with Thievery Corporation.

At 10pm promptly, Editors came on stage playing a rather short set (well, it was certainly shorter than expected from the act before the headliners, but that was probably due to the fact that the festival was way behind schedule by then). I wanted to see them, since they are quite popular in Greece, but for me there were just another one of those bands I have seen at festivals while waiting to see another one.
After the Editors finished their set, the stage was being prepared for Nick Cave who we thought was going to appear soon. However, this procedure lasted for quite a long time (this was probably for the best since the end result turned out to be formidable) and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds came on stage exactly at the stroke of midnight. All the obstacles we had faced up until then were forgotten as he launched into a full two hour set featuring most of his (and our) favourites. Our only loss were the projection screens. They were working (albeit intermittently) during the Editors set, but went completely blank while Nick Cave was performing.

Going home was a daunting task since the festival finished at 2am, but finally seeing Nick Cave live, somehow made everything worth it!

01. Hallelujah (So Low)
02. Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
03. An End Has a Start
04. Munich
05. Violence
06. No Harm
07. Sugar
08. The Racing Rats
09. Papillon
10. Magazine

01. Jesus Alone
02. Magneto
03. Do You Love Me
04. From Her to Eternity
05. Loverman
06. Red Right Hand
07. The Ship Song
08. Into My Arms
09. Girl in Amber
10. Tupelo
11. Jubilee Street
12. The Weeping Song
13. Stagger Lee
14. Push the Sky Away
15. The Mercy Seat
16. Rings of Saturn

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