18/07/2013

Rockwave Festival Day 4 @ TerraVibe 09/07/13

On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf


On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.

When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.
Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then
I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.

This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.

According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set
.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept
guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
On a typical Tuesday evening in early July, with temperatures reaching a scorching 34 degrees celcius and after a full day's work, I could think of nothing better to do than to make my way to TerraVibe, pumped up for listening to some quality music. An irritating fact of this year's Rockwave festival (apart from it's overall incongruous choice of acts) was that half of it was held on weekdays, and I regretfully was unable to be at the grounds for the start of day 4. Mahakala, Tardive Dyskinesia, Acid Death, Opera Chaotique, Chaostar, I'm sure you all did a good job despite the lack of people and the undying sun.
The mesmerizing Dead Can Dance were on my 'Unmissable Acts' list; even if they were playing in a cave or on the top of a cliff somewhere, I would not hesitate to attend. Actually, the setting of a (fenced!) cliff top with a view of the vast sea at sunset would be an excellent choice for a venue; perhaps I should put a suggestion in for future consideration.
Septic Flesh, whom I had seen once before, are one of the few Greek bands that have achieved world acclaim in their field, Symphonic Death Metal, so paying my respects to them for that.
Monophonics, the groovers, the funkers, the soul shakers, I was psyched to see, I had not had the chance to see them on their last visit to Athens nine months ago, and boy did they funk our world.
Craig Walker, ex member of Archive, I admit I was entirely indifferent to begin with, so his act had the best chance out of making a good impression from a clean slate. Let's see how that went.
When I arrived at a shockingly empty TerraVibe I was taken aback with how much had changed from one year to the next.
Number one had to be the lack of cars parked outside the venue, but yeah, ok, it was still kind of early.
Secondly, the security bars had been introduced, probably to try to minimize the occurrence of people that had already gotten through, passing their ticket back to their friends discretely over the fence and now them going through the gate with the same ticket. What they don't tell you is that this new system at the main entrance prevents any festival-goer from being able to, for example, leave the grounds to go to your car and return. Once a ticket is scanned once and you go through the bars, you can never return back through the same way! And no bracelet or stamp system just beats me. The genius alternative if you do in fact need to make the journey to your car is to exit via the west side, walk 20 minutes and another 20 back around. Score! Not.

Thirdly, upon walking in through the various marketing stands, with beautiful young people coming towards me from all directions smiles all around, I saw two small swimming pools, and thought "wow, what an upgrade", and then I noticed the Vibe stage was closed. Yesh. I was confused. Where the fuck are all the people? Crisis? Loss of interest due to mediocre event management? Ok, let me not dwell on it, it was still early on a weekday. But seriously, it was a handful of us and the wolves on the plains of Malakasa! Whatever the case, it was an ugly feeling that grasped me, seeing my surroundings almost bare, a ghost-town venue without serving its true purpose.
This was probably the main reason why Craig Walker got worked up. After sound checking Craig and his band came up on stage with what appeared to be some sort of cover/mash-up of Doors' 'The End'. Turns out, it was Archive's 'Bridge Scene'. Interesting start, thought I. What followed was a progression of bland Shoegazey and New prog feel songs from the solo artist, with a lot of him ranting "Bitches" this and that, raising middle fingers and calling for the rest of people who were not at the venue (yet or at all) to "come down from the mountains" and to listen to the rest of his set. I did not detect any technical deficiency in the execution of his music, not that I am familiar with his work entirely in order to make an adamant claim as such, yet I found the overall performance lacking a quality I admire in an artist: humility and respect for those who came to listen to you. His cocky attitude was not well received. Especially as he has visited Athens in the past playing for small local venues, I was expecting a different vibe from him on stage. The only parts I did enjoy were due to excellent adaptations of Archive songs, such as 'Again' & 'Fuck You', the rest really did not grab me, and his communication between songs just became annoying after a while. For one song he revealed a guest, "Star", is what he called her, probably some up-and-coming young lady, part of his entourage who provided some backing vocal spaces. I don't think he enjoyed playing for an hour in front of such a small audience; I didn't enjoy that he was playing for such a small audience either, but I don't think he made a single friend out of the 30 beneath the stage and perhaps 200 people in total that were dispersed around the venue grounds at the time. I do not give him any of my sympathy.
According to the bill Septic Flesh were next, and should have been set up on the Vibe stage; neither happened. Monophonics were moved up to play after Walker and since the Vibe stage remained closed for the entire event and all the acts followed one after another on the Terra stage.
What a breath of funky air! Oh, Monophonics salvaged the crowd with their 1.15 hour psychedelic soul and heavy funk sound. The band played brilliantly, the set up was that of a solid, well-rehearsed band, very together and full of energy to play from their heart even to a small audience due to the disappointing turnout. The singer, on keyboards entertained us with an almost theatrical performance even without having to stand up from his place, with soulful vocals that emanated from sheer passion. The complete band was a sax, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums, all of which were clean cut strapping young lads from San Francisco, California, who time and time again expressed their gratitude for being part of the Festival, and their excitement about being in Greece for yet another time. It was genuinely heart-felt. Their songs were full of groove, and the crowd that gradually increased seemed to be swept away by their enthusiasm and funky beats. I heard influences from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles from the rock side, and all the way to Eddie Hazel, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown sound in their compositions. Their set was completed after singing their version of songs 'California Dreamin' which struck a nostalgic note for them, their big cover hit here in Greece 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)', an Aretha Franklin cover 'Baby I Love You' and Funkadelic cover 'I Got a Thing' with the audience repeating the chorus on cue after the singer just as the sun was setting. A great performance, not at all overshadowed by a pratty Craig Walker who appeared at the front amongst the audience prancing around and posing to get the photographers' and crowds' attention, even though Monophonics were still half-way through their set.
Following them, and after a break for the change over, Septic Flesh took the stage around 9.30 pm. And this is where it sets in that the line-up choice was bizarre. Septic Flesh  paid respects to Dead Can Dance which would follow towards the end of their set, admitting that DCD are one of their major influences (yet maybe it has been buried deep by crosses, and a world of pain!?). Our domestic Symphonic Death Metal band were eagerly welcomed by their fan based crowd, again remaining few in numbers but more so than for the two previous bands, and it comes to no surprise, since we Greeks like to show our allegiance. Having seen them once before, I knew what to expect. They created a heavy, black and occult atmosphere, enhanced by aria type vocals and similar effects in the background that were used throughout the set to reinforce their sound. Further to this may I add that it is sometimes somewhat acceptable to have a certain level of sound enhancement, but only if your genre of music is deeply rooted in it. Watching them from an appropriate distance to see the whole of the stage, it was as though I was witnessing some high-priesthood ritual. I believe that was sort of the atmosphere they were aiming for. They played some new songs for us from their upcoming record and invited us to join in on the generic "ay-ay-ay" chant part of the song culminating in a crescendo, as well as performing expertly many from their last two albums such as 'The Vampire From Nazareth', 'Communion', 'Pyramid God', 'Persepolis' and 'Anubis' among others.
Last but definitely not least, Dead Can Dance were the closing name on the bill, and the four day festival overall. After absolutely adoring their last album "Anastasis", which is filled with Greek influences from the eponymous title, to at least half the tracks of the album which have strong Greek references, I could not wait for them to perform. I had sadly missed the chance to see them last September in Lykabetus, which would have been a better setting to play than just another big open air stage, as the acoustics of Lykabetus would, I imagine, better capture the feel of their sound. Nevertheless here I was, wide eyed and ready.
The duo need no introductions, and the audience literally could not wait. The constant whistles and clapping proved our anticipation was collective. Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were accompanied by five other musicians and filling the stage with a drums set, percussion set, synth & keyboard and more. The intro to 'Children of the Sun' came in (the track that is also featured first on "Anastasis") building up to a base line that filled us from tip to toe, their sound was astounding as far as I could hear. Perry's voice was strong, sonorous, and soft at the same time, exactly as per studio version. Gerrard mainly playing the santur at this point, made her striking vocal appearance with the second song 'Agape'. Her series of vocal aria, singing in runes only she knows the meaning of, as we can only make our own story of what they represent, create an atmosphere that is beautifully mournful, emotional, dark and poignant. With 'Kiko' which is short for the Greek word Zebekiko (a traditional Greek dance), Perry began to play the Greek bouzouki instrument as if it were truly a part of his own culture. To my concern, I noticed that something did not sit well with Gerrard on this track, she kept guarding her ears with her hands and her discomfort showed on her face, but not in her voice. On the parts she had to perform, her voice came out crystal clear, glorious and riveting. This is when it got confirmed in my mind that these two people were born to do precisely this and nothing else. They mostly played songs from their latest album, to my delight, but without leaving out a few older ones like the first DCD song I ever heard which was 'The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove', but also a Tim Buckley cover 'Song to the Siren'. They also expertly covered an old Greek song dating back to the 1930's 'Ime Prezakias' (Είμαι πρεζάκιας) sung in Greek by both and was done as close to home as possible (lest the English accent!). Their set ended with the last song on their "Anastasis" album, 'The Return of the She-King' before closing, and no encore, but definitely not for a lack of enthusiasm from the audience as we were loud from beginning to end and called again and again for an encore which we did not get, but we did get applause from them as well, a kind of gratitude for what we jointly had shared. On the whole, an unforgettable night as it is not so frequent that I have experienced being part of a relatively small crowd, in a concert of such stature, who were so enthralled with what they had seen.
On a closing note, this year's Rockwave Festival left a bittersweet taste. Under bitter I'd put the peculiar line-up choices that meant that, for example, Septic Flesh fans had to listen to acts such as Walker and Monophonics which are completely on the other side of the musical spectrum, and vice versa, meaning that since there such bipolarity in the line-up this automatically reduces the level of interest, from both a demand and supply side perhaps. Plus the fact that it was mainly held on days where the following is a week days further reduced turnout. On the sweet side I'd put some basic upgrades to the venue that were necessary, like a-euro a-donut stand that must have made (mega euros by the way) but hey, if there's not people to slam dunk in the beach volley ball court, cool off in the pool, or enjoy the new more 'secure' boundaries, now that's just bad Maths. Leaving the calculator aside, Craig Walker made me take a hike to join the wolves and "Bitches" in the mountains, Monophonics brought the funk all down on me, Septic Flesh took me on an undead ride, and DCD gave me goosebumps and chills and smiles and tears.
- See more at: http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4#sthash.F4afeXbm.dpuf

http://burstzine.com/concerts/live-reports/item/4185-rockwave-festival-day-4

No comments:

Post a comment

What do you think? x Ra-Ra