Monday, 24 October 2022

Release Athens Festival 2022 - Pet Shop Boys & Thievery Corporation

My third Release Festival 2022 date, was one that had been announced three years before. In late 2019 we had been promised the Pet Shop Boys for the summer of 2020. That of course was postponed for the summer of 2021. That one too was also postponed, this time for this summer when it finally took place. What's important to note is that the organizers didn't refund those who had already bought their tickets, but kept their money for when the rescheduled dates would take place. Sensing that something like this was going to happen I did not buy a ticket until the very last moment ie this June. And as I have already mentioned in my last post, I combined this as a double ticket with the London Grammar date. This would be my 4th Pet Shop Boys gig, having already seen them in Birmingham in 1991 when the "Performance" video was filmed, in Athens and in Water Square again in 2013 (but this time at the Ejekt Festival, not Release) and finally in 2017 during the Brussels Summer Festival. This would also be my second Thievery Corporation gig whom I had seen at Release Festival 2018.
We arrived in time for the third act in the bill which was Konstantinos Vita. He used to be one half of Stereo Nova who I had seen in 2018 at Nostos Summer Festival. He played some of his own songs but he also treated us to some Stereo Nova tunes and all this while the sun was still shining. 


Meanwhile we had already started meeting some of my fellow Pet Shop Boys fans from social media (and we kept meeting more during the course of the night).
During the break between Konstantinos Vita and Thievery Corporation we took more time to explore the festival grounds, meet several of our friends who were also there and stock on food and alcohol. Yes, we once again got the free stuff (like Coca Cola Zero and that special Johnnie Walker cocktail) but we also made sure we got chips and beer. As on the previous date with London Grammar we also had our own alcohol which we managed to smuggle in (Metaxa brandy - maybe not a wise choice for a hot summer day) and we mixed that with the cokes on offer. We were literally our own bartenders!
Meanwhile, Thievery Corporation came up on stage and having now had the chance to explore their music since the last time they were there in 2018 I was able now to enjoy my favourite songs such as "Voyage Libre". 

During their set I made my last foray to the bar (we were somehow close to the stage, but close to the bars as well at the same time) to get more beer. And since three separate beers were selling for the same price as the special four beer set, I got the latter. At the height of the Thievery Corporation set I managed to divide the 4th beer among three people. 


After that, it was time to get even closer to the stage because of what we had come for: The Pet Shop Boys! Incredibly, while we were so closely packed together, I managed to phone a fellow Pethead, and by asking her to raise her hand up in the air and wave it, I managed to locate her, get over to where she was, have a conversation and then return to my place and find my friends. Unbelievable!
As their set started the Ukrainian flag w
as displayed in the matrix.
Because it was a festival we got the shortened version of the setlist, meaning, among other things, that we only got one song from Hotspot and that was “Dreamland” the first single. Well, they had to play that since the tour is called “Dreamworld – The Greatest Hits Tour”. But, then again, it was the second part of the tour’s name that made it so enjoyable: “Greatest Hits”. And that’s what we got. However, I do like several tracks off that last album, my favourite two being the melancholic “Burning The Heather” and “I Don’t Wanna Go Out” which became my personal anthem during the lockdown.



All in all, it was simply brilliant! And amazing! Pet Shop Boys do know what we want and keep giving us more and more...

Finally, upon leaving the venue, after a very long time, I succumbed to temptation and bought some of the "dirty" food that was being sold outside. 

01. Suburbia
02. Can You Forgive Her?
03. Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)
04. Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
05. Rent
06. I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
07. So Hard
08. Left To My Own Devices
09. Domino Dancing
10. Love Comes Quickly
11. Losing My Mind
12. Always On My Mind
13. Dreamland
14. Heart
15. It's Alright
16. Vocal
17. Go West
18. It's A Sin
19. West End Girls
20. Being Boring

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