Thursday, 11 November 2021

Scorpions live in Athens September 2010

Back in 2010 Scorpions announced that they were finally disbanding (yeah, right) and that they would come to Athens for one final concert. I had already seen them back in 2006 but some friends wanted to go and I was hoping that this time they would play some songs from their early years, so I went along with them. To my disappointment they did not play anything from the Uli Jon Roth era.
It was raining cats and dogs while we were waiting in line to get in the venue, and that's when I was handed a flyer announcing that Uli Jon Roth was coming with his own band, so I went to that one as well and finally got to hear those older songs.
The Scorpions concert was originally scheduled for the 6th of October of 2010 but it was postponed because singer Klaus Meine was suffering from pharyngitis. It was rescheduled for the 24th of the same month. When we did manage to get in, we were just in time to see the second support act, Firewind, whose guitarist is Gus G, who is also the Greek guitarist of Ozzy whom we had seen a month before at Terra Vibe. We were positively surprised by the cover of Michael Sembello's Maniac which was originally featured in the soundtrack of Flashdance back in the 80's!  

 
At around 21:45 Scorpions were on stage! We heard everything that we expected to hear (such as Wind Of Change, Rock You Like A Hurricane, Still Loving You, Holiday, Blackout, Big City Nights), but, as I have already mentioned, nothing from the Uli Roth era, that is before 1978 such as In Trance and Pictured Life. We heard some of the new - at that time - songs. I had had a chance to listen to what was then their current album and, in my opinion, the best song was "The Best Is Yet To Come". They played it and it was the one song from that album that was best received by the audience. So maybe their fans agreed with me.
 


We were, however, treated to a rather long drum solo from James Kottak who was their drummer at that time...



We all know what happened next. They decided not to disband and they came for 3(!) MTV Unplugged dates (And all 3 were sold out). And, as this time they were "acoustic" I decided to go and see them again. And that's when they finally played "Pictured Life" and "In Trance" in my presence...
 
SETLISTS:
 
FIREWIND
01. Head Up High
02. Destination Forever
03. Angels Forgive Me
04. World On Fire
05. Guitar Solo
06. The Fire And The Fury
07. Till The End Of Time
08. My Loneliness
09. Mercenary Man
10. Maniac
11. I Am The Anger
12. Falling To Pieces
 
SCORPIONS
01. Sting In The Tail
02. Make It Real
03. Bad Boys Running Wild
04. The Zoo
05. Coast To Coast
06. Loving You Sunday Morning
07. The Best Is Yet to Come
08. Send Me An Angel
09. Holiday
10. Wind Of Change
11. Raised On Rock
12. Tease Me Please Me
13. Dynamite
14. Kottak Attack (Drum Solo)
15. Blackout
16. Six String Sting (Guitar Solo)
17. Big City Nights
Encore:
18. Still Loving You
19. Rock You Like A Hurricane

 



Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Mikro live in Athens October 2010

We had a wonderful night out on a Thursday night, courtesy of Mikro, back in 2010 at Jasmin Rock Club which, by the end of the night, had turned into Jasmin "Electro" Club.  Although not a lot of people had come at first, Jasmin was gradually filled to capacity (amazing considering it was a weeknight) and Mikro came on the stage at around 10 to midnight and played for almost two and a half hours. They played some songs that were new at the time from Upload/Download (depends on which version you have) and several older favourites. On top of that, there were three amazing covers, Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode with Nik on vocals, plus I Feel Love by Donna Summer and Sexy Boy by Air with Ria. And there was also an amazing electro medley

 


Nik's inexhaustible energy moved the crowd who were dancing non-stop during the second part of the night. At some point we got confused when we thought that he was texting through his mobile while he was singing. What he was in fact doing was programming his vocoder. They finished their set with "My Friends" the end of which was mashed up with samples from Prodigy, Killers, Fatboy Slim and Underworld among others...
I had been aware of Mikro for a long time, and had in fact seen them live in 2007 at Fly Beeyond Festival where they appeared purely by chance at the last minute, since another band had withdrawn from the line-up. I had already discovered Marsheaux, an electro-pop duo, who come, as do Mikro, from Salonica and were also part of the roster of independent record company UNDO Records. Mikro and Marsheaux had appeared together in November of the previous year (2009) at London's La Scala club as part of an electro-pop night, with other British electro bands. 

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Ozzy Osbourne live in Athens September 2010

Back in 1987 I had seen Black Sabbath live. Well, it was a kind of Black Sabbath. I think the only original member was Tony Iommi. And they didn't play Paranoid. So, I thought that by seeing Ozzy Osbourne solo in 2010 the situation would be rectified.  As he came up on stage, an (almost) full moon appeared through the clouds and the set (naturally) began with Bark At The Moon (from my favourite solo album of his from the 80's).
 

 
He also played Shot In The Dark from the following album which had a different sound since the synthesizers were more prominent but nobody seemed to mind. But what I really liked is that he didn't just play a couple of Sabbath songs, he played quite a lot and some of them were not what the crowd expected (eg "Fairies Wear Boots"). War Pigs was magnificent and at the end of it he declared "A very good friend of mine has recently passed away. His name was Ronnie James Dio". However, I seem to remember that he felt a lot differently  back in the 80's when Dio replaced him as lead singer of Sabbath...
 



On top of that VIP ticket holders who were at the front of the stage were awarded with several showers courtesy of Ozzy who was constantly throwing water at them. (He was also throwing water at himself, so I guess that was fair). The hero of the night must have been the roadie whose task was to refill the water bucket. And he gave a standing ovation to his Greek lead guitarist Gus G.

 
There were two tracks that I wanted to hear and he saved them for the end: Crazy Fuckin' Train and of course Paranoid. I had to wait 23 years for that last one...
 
 
 
SETLIST:   
INTRO: Carmina Burana

01. Bark at the Moon
02. Let Me Hear You Scream
03. Mr. Crowley
04. I Don't Know
05. Fairies Wear Boots
06. Suicide Solution
07. War Pigs
08. Road to Nowhere
09. Fire in the Sky
10. Into the Void
11. Shot in the Dark
12. Rat Salad (with guitar and drum solos)
13. Iron Man
14. Killer of Giants
15. Flying High Again
16. I Don't Want to Change the World
17. Crazy Train
ENCORE:
18. Mama, I'm Coming Home
19. No More Tears
20. Paranoid



Thursday, 7 October 2021

Kadebostany live in Athens July 2021

 


In 2020 I only went to one concert. In 2021 I went to only one as well, at least so far. And it was at the same venue, Gazarte Roof Stage. Since I felt safe in it last year, I thought I'd do it again. The truth is that I thought it was a bit more crowded this year, but there weren't any problems later so, I guess it was OK. And this time it was an international artist: Kadebostany from Switzerland. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get into their music...
The support act was Vassilina with whom I was familiar since she had released a digital album on UNDO Records (home of Marsheaux) and now has a physical release on Inner Ear Records. She played mostly stuff from the latest album and it was good to finally hear her live.


After her set, and after we had listened to more music from the Gazarte speakers including David Bowie's "Starman", Kadebostany came on stage.

 



They got the crowd excited even though one of the restrictions being imposed was that we all had to remain seated, people could not stand up and dance. At least we were allowed to clap. 





Nevertheless, the gig was highly entertaining and it proved to be a refreshing night out since it was my first gig after September of last year. And on top of that, it was also successful, since not only was it sold out, but the band were also due to appear on the following day at the same venue.




Wednesday, 22 September 2021

The Blues Brothers Band live in Athens July 2010

I am sure that you are all familiar with the Blues Brothers from the 1980 movie with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. They had however begun in 1978 as a sketch on Saturday Night Live and had already released an album before making the movie (and later released another one, apart from the soundtrack). The two brothers were John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and their band consisted of well-established musicians (Steve Cropper, Lou Marini, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Matt "Guitar" Murphy among others). John Belushi sadly left us early in 1982. Nevertheless, the band reformed in 1988 and have been on the road since then, with different lineups, without of course John Belushi but neither with Dan Aykroyd who had already had a successful acting career. A sequel to the film was released in 1998, Blues Brothers 2000 with Dan Aykroyd reprising his role and John Goodman replacing John Belushi. They came back to Greece once again and on Wednesday 21, July 2010 they performed at the Lycabettus Theatre. (They were also due to appear in Salonica two days before that, but unfortunately their gig was cancelled because it was raining). In Athens the opening act was Matt O'Ree with a very good set. We love him because he's from New Jersey like The Boss. He even contacted me on my YouTube page where I had posted a video from that night to make sure that I made it clear that they were playing in Athens, Greece and not in Athens, Georgia! 

 


One hour later The Blues Brothers Band came on stage. From the original lineup Steve Cropper, Lou Marini and Alan Rubin were there. They started with a couple of instrumentals (Green Onions, Peter Gunn Theme) until the two singers (Jonny Rosch and Bobby Garden) gradually appeared. Highlights included my personal favourite She Caught The Katy (the song playing on the opening titles of the movie), Minnie The Moocher and of course Sweet Home Chicago.

They even brought a couple of kids onto the stage whom they awarded the honorary title of "Little Blues Brothers"! The best songs were left for the encore: 634-5789, Soul Man, I Can't Turn You Loose, and even Knock On Wood!




Setlist:
01. Green Onions
02. Peter Gunn Theme
03. Soulfinger
04. Going Back To Miami
05. Groove Me
06. She Caught The Katy
07. Messin' With The Kid
08. Shotgun Blues
09. Hey Bartender
10. Flip, Flop & Fly
11. Minnie The Moocher
12. (I Got Everything I Need) Almost
13. Sweet Home Chicago / I Can't Turn You Loose
Encore:
14. "B" Movie Boxcar Blues
15. 634-5789
16. Knock On Wood
17. Soul Man / I Can't Turn You Loose

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Aerosmith live in Athens June 2010

They say that in Greece the only music fans that go to concerts are the heavy metal fans. So, if you offer them quality hard rock in the form of Aerosmith, they would jump at the chance, right? Wrong! The stadium was half empty. Many theories were formulated to explain that (maybe the tickets were too expensive, maybe the organizers made some mistake and so on...). The truth is that the tickets were no more expensive compared to the other concerts at the time. True, I bought an expensive one, but that's because I chose to, since I wanted to be as close to the stage as possible. And the brutal truth is that in order for the stadium to be full the band has to be called Scorpions. It's that simple...

  Anyway, Tyler and his gang didn't mind the low ticket sales (in contrast to other so-called "stars" who will refuse to play in a half empty stadium in order to maintain their "image") and they got on stage and gave it their all making this one of the best concerts we have ever experienced in Greece. They played both the "old" and the "new" songs. (By "new" I mean the 90's tracks featuring ballads such as "Cryin'" and "Crazy" which we would keep watching on MTV back in the day in order to see Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler.)

They actually started their set with "Love In An Elevator", which was introduced by a recording of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35". In my original video I had included that introduction, which a few years later YouTube decided to mute (only the intro, mind you) because, well, it's a Bob Dylan song and Bob Dylan doesn't like his songs being on YouTube...

Steven Tyler even asked us to admire his "amazing body" which he has at his age and which he got "by eating Greek salad".  

SETLIST:
01. Love In An Elevator
02. Back In The Saddle
03. Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
04. Eat The Rich
05. Pink
06. Livin' On The Edge
07. What It Takes
08. Rag Doll
09. Crazy
10. Cryin'
11. Drum Solo
12. Lord Of The Thighs
13. Stop Messin' Around
14. I Don't Want To Miss a Thing
15. Sweet Emotion
16. Guitar Solo
17. Third Stone From The Sun
18. Baby, Please Don't Go
19. Draw The Line
Encore:
20. Dream On
21. Walk This Way
22. Toys In The Attic



Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Billy Idol & The Stranglers live in Athens June 2010

I had already bought all the tickets for the summer concerts I wanted to attend that year when I noticed this one. I wasn't craving much to see Billy Idol (apart from "Eyes Without A Face" of course), maybe it was The Stranglers I wanted to see more (even without Hugh Cornwell)
I arrived while The Stranglers had already started playing for fifteen minutes. They were good, but to me they looked strange without Hugh. Thankfully, I had already seen them with their original line up back in 1985 at the by now famous Rock In Athens festival.


Billy Idol was the big surprise, however. With his guitarist, Steve Stevens who has been with him since the 80's. He started "quietly" one might say, performed "Eyes Without A Face", while it was obvious that he had had a few ("too much f***ing Greek wine", he said). He had kept his strongest tracks for the end, though: Rebel Yell, White Wedding, Mony Mony, Dancing With Myself. He even performed King Rocker from his Generation X days. And he managed to excite the Greek audience. Unbelievable! I never imagined that I would have such fun at a Billy Idol concert. 




And while Stevens was playing his guitar solos, Billy was taking time off by going to the side of the stage in order to make out with his girlfriend! (The fact is that the aforementioned girlfriend looked young enough to be his daughter!)

SETLISTS:
THE STRANGLERS
01. 5 Minutes
02. Walk On By
03. Always The Sun
04. Golden Brown
05. All Day And All Of The Night
06. Nice 'N' Sleazy
07. No More Heroes
08. Peaches
09. Skin Deep
10. Duchess
BILLY IDOL
01. Ready Steady Go
02. Love Is Strange
03. Dancing With Myself
04. Flesh For Fantasy
05. Scream
06. Twenty Flight Rock
07. To Be A Lover
08. Sweet Sixteen
09. Eyes Without A Face
10. Kings And Queens Of The Underground
11. L.A. Woman
12. Don't Shoot The Messenger
13. King Rocker
14. Running With The Boss Sound
15. Rebel Yell
Encore:
16. White Wedding