Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Emptywave Festival 2014

I first went to Rockwave Festival back in 1999 to see Garbage, Patti Smith and The Fun Lovin' Criminals. And then I went again 14 years later, last year to see Lana Del Rey and Echo And The Bunnymen. In the meantime it had slowly been getting worse year by year, featuring sometimes bands not popular among the Greek concert going public in a remote area not easily accessible outside Athens, probably in order to keep costs down. Until finally its decline became apparent last July in all its glory. In the day when the legendary Eric Burdon was due to appear Terra Vibe was nearly empty!
Now, isn't Eric Burdon popular in Greece? Well, he is, but he's certainly not at the peak of his carreer. Plus the fact that the year before he had played for 3 sod out nights at the Half Note Club did not help much. Plus not a lot of people are willing to pay not just the ticket price, but all the extra costs needed to reach Terra Vibe.
I am just going to talk about The Godfathers and Eric Burdon one the first stage which were the artists that I watched. There was another stage, with hip-hop acts but not many people were there either.

The good thing about this is that we were able to park (and leave at the end) very easily and get inside Terra Vibe without any delays. And it was among 50 people that The Godfathers came on stage and started playing. I was able to stand on the front row in the middle of the stage (the best place available in any concert) but of course this wasn't at all difficult.
The Godfathers played a great set, but the best part was that they pretended not to notice that fewer than 100 people were watching them.

The "crowd" during The Godfathers performance

After their set, more people were slowly gathering, but they were still to few. Certainly too few for an artist like Eric Burdon.
Eric of course did not disappoint us. He played almost all the songs we wanted to hear, especially from The Animals.

And as an added extra, during the encore Greek artist Yiannis Haroulis joined him on stage playing Greek songs plus a great cover of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black".

Now, for the first time in recording history we were able to leave Terra Vibe without waiting for hours in a traffic jam. The disastrous attendance seems to have finally woken up the organizers and for next year's line up they have announced 2 artists that are at the peak of their careers. The Black Keys and Robbie Williams. Let's see what happens...

The Godfathers setlist:
  1. She Gives Me Love
  2. Cause I Said So
  3. Strange About Today
  4. I'm Unsatisfied
  5. I Can't Sleep Tonight
  6. Lonely Man
  7. Unreal World
  8. I'll Never Forget What's His Name
  9. Just Because You're Not Paranoid Doesn't Mean to Say They're Not Going to Get You!
  10. That's the Way I Feel
  11. This Is War
  12. I Want Everything
  13. This Damn Nation
  14. Birth, School, Work, Death

Eric Burdon setlist:
  1. Don't Bring Me Down
    (The Animals song)
  2. When I Was Young
    (Eric Burdon & the Animals song)
  3. Inside Looking Out
  4. (Nina Simone cover)
  5. Water
  6. Spill the Wine
  7. Monterey
    (Eric Burdon & the Animals song)
  8. (Bo Diddley cover)
  9. Bo Diddley Special
  10. I Believe to My Soul
    (The Animals song)
  11. We Gotta Get Out of This Place / River Is Rising
  12. (Ashley & Foster cover)
  13. Encore:
  14. (with Giannis Haroulis)
  15. Mavri Petalouda / Paint It Black
    (with Giannis Haroulis)
  16. (The Animals song)