Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Lana Del Rey with Echo & The Bunnymen @ Rockwave Festival

By now, Rockwave Festival is the longest running festival in Greece. It started in the 90's and it's still going on every summer. However, the last time I attended was back in 1999 when Patti Smith and Garbage were playing on the same day. What I still remember though is what happened after the concert. Next to the place were the festival was taking place was a night club. A young couple, after leaving the festival thought it was a good idea to go to the club for a drink. However the Greek bouncers didn't think that "rockers" were worthy enough to be allowed inside. They didn't think that "rock concert people" were worthy to mix with their own crowd, the "club going trendy people" (the life-style mentality that was going strong in Greece in the 90's fuelled by the respective magazines). The guy complained,  a fight started with the bouncers and they beat him up so bad he ended up in hospital. Word got around to the people who were leaving the gig, they started throwing things (among them, chairs) at the bouncers, and the bouncers were throwing them back. And then the police intervened and started throwing tear-gas. You get the picture.
Anyway, nothing like that can happen at Terra Vibe, it's far away from the nearest night club, in fact it's so far away from everything, it's difficult to get there as I have mentioned before.
The main reason I wanted to see Lana Del Rey was that we don't often have pop concerts in Greece. And especially from artists being at the peak of their popularity. And when we do have them they sometimes turn out to be disasters. Like the Fly Beeeyond festival in 2007 with very poor attendance for Avril Lavigne and Pink's non-appearance. Having said that, it's important for the organizers to determine beforehand what the target audience for such a concert is. In the case of Lana Del Rey, it's teenage girls. And for teenage girls, it's not easy to go to Terra Vibe. Most of them don't drive. And if they do, they usually don't have a car. So they have to ask mum and dad to get them there, to a place 40km outside Athens. Plus, it's not a good idea to mix this audience with the target audience for Suicidal Tendencies and Iced Earth even if these two were scheduled to play on a different stage. Thankfully it was peaceful and all went well.
When I arrived, Suicidal Tendencies were playing on the Vibe stage. I am not a fan, but I really enjoyed them.

Next, on the Terra Stage, it was the other reason I decided to go on that day. My beloved Echo & The Bunnymen, who I had already seen in Hyde Park at the 2009 Hard Rock Calling Festival.
I had a Golden Circle ticket (which us Greeks with our megalomania like to call V.I.P.), but there just weren't enough people in there. 

Most of them (and still not enough) were outside it, prompting Ian McCullough to declare that "You are all V.I.P.'s to us". Still, it was a great set featuring of course "The Killing Moon"

Next, on the Vibe Stage it was time for Iced Earth. Now, I listen to a few thrash metal bands (even Slayer), however, these were not to my taste. Just my personal opinion though. The crowd enjoyed them.
And then after a short walk around the grounds of Terra Vibe, it was back to the Terra Stage for Lana Del Rey

Now, I wasn't expecting any miracles, she has only released one (and a half) album, but it was good enough, even though there were some problems with the sound (Mainly her voice wasn't high enough in the mix).

She sang most of her songs, the lyrics of which her audience (the aforementioned teenage girls) knew by heart. Still it was an enjoyable night. And if it was held at a venue in the city of Athens it would have probably attracted a bigger audience.