Voivod
Soilent Green, Today Is The Day
An Club, Athens, Greece
05/05/11.


After two failed attempts in the near past, Voivod finally managed to make it to Greece, something that even vocalist Snake couldn’t believe when the first song they played was over. It seemed more of a bad luck that we hadn’t seen this band in our country so far, a band that made the difference in the ’80s, that established themselves in the ’90s and that in the ’00s just proved how great they were. With constants experimentations on their sound, they didn’t lose fans and they remained one of a kind. Adding to the fact that we had two more great American bands, also for the first time in Greece, being Soilent Green and Today Is The Day, made the whole event much more attendable. Unfortunately a show that should have been sold out didn’t get the interest of many people, but again, who gives a flying fuck?

Today Is The Day from Nashville, Tennessee joined the stage a little before half past eight and for 50 minutes they delivered sweat, noise and a bunch of elephant’s balls. Their music is difficult to listen to. It is even claustrophobic or suffocating, choose what you will anyway. A trio that is dedicated to simply torture strings and skins no matter if they play for 300 or 300.000 people and no matter if they play for 50 seconds or 50 minutes. There is simply no difference, the only thing to be said is that Steve Austin sounds twice as enormous compared to the studio recordings, focusing on spitting his guts out more than delivering his heavy riffs. The nominable rhythm section of Ryan Jones on bass (with a Disgorce Mex T-shirt) and Curran Reynolds on drums, provides him with a great line-up, totally able to lift the load of a respected name such as Today Is The Day. The crowd awarded them with asking for an encore, which Austin simply gave with joy. Such a joy to listen to ”Temple Of The Morning Star” live… Unbelievable. I miss them already!

Soilent Green came out to conquer Greece from the first second, peace of cake for a band with a frontman like Ben Falgoust. The two-meter skinny giant proved once more (after the 2009 Hellfest performance I was lucky to see) that when he enters the stage, nothing can stop him and his fellow bandmates. From the first beatings of ”Mental Accupuncture”, until the hit ”Antioxidant”, the whole club suffered from the likes of the Louisiana quartet. 55 minutes later, the place seemed like a bombarded prisoners camp and the smile on the frontman’s face said all about what had happened. With tracks such as ”Slapfuck” from the first album ”Pussysoul”, how couldn’t we act like maniacs? If they played ”Leaves Of Three”, there would have been nothing left in its place. Tommy Buckley on drums was so happy after the show, that he personally told me he will do anything he can to bring Crowbar to Greece. If you do this my friend, wherever you are, praised be the Gods of Fortune, always in your way. What a duo these two bands were…

Voivod had a difficult task from what we had witnessed so far. Many people were wondering ”How the fuck are they going to be better than these two?”, but believe me, even the ones not being familiar with their music that night, couldn’t help but admitting that Voivod are not only a large name but a mostly large band on stage. ”The Unknown Knows” from their beloved ”Nothingface” opens the show and ”The Prow” follows. I am starting to dance like epileptic, the fans start stagediving from the first five seconds and when the duo of ”Ripping Headaches” and ”Ravenous Medicine” enters, there is no turning back, all of us became captive of the Canadian maelstrom for the next 85 minutes. Blacky remains a cult figure after 25+ years, Away was and will always be a drummer who plays first with his mind and then with his acres, Dan Mongrain (hello Chewy) proved why he is the ONLY one who could be in Piggy’s place and of course, Snake always smiling and sounding either like a cyborg or a thrashing maniac where needed.

”Forlorn” from ”Phobos” was a great surprise, as Snake doesn’t sing on this (hails to Eric Forrest), but the trademark song ”Tribal Convictions” makes me lose my mind and feel rather touched, it was ”Global Warming” from the last album ”Infini” that brought me back, just for a while though, because ”Brain Scan” sends me to ”Dimension Hatross” much earlier that I ever imagined. It seems like a dream to live this and it’s more dreamy that I am able to put all of them to lines, I still wonder how I can remember all these, regarding my state at this specific point. ”Nothingface” and ”Overreaction” (total mayhem) follow, before a new song called ”Kaleidos” is played, rather good, sounding like a mix of ”Killing Techonology” with ”Nothingface”. Before they come out for the encore, they put fire to the place with ”Tornado” and then is when the party starts for good.

The familiar scream ”VOIVOOOOOOOOD” echoes and the club transforms into a bottomless pit with arena fighters, ready to kill each other, ”Nuclear War” makes matters even worse and the show triumphantly ends with the Pink Floyd song ”Astronomy Domine”, in memory of the great Dennis D’Amour, a.k.a. Piggy. Needless to say that the band was in perfect mood and shape throughout the whole show, the fans showed their deep love for them and if it was up to Voivod, they could have played every day in Greece. Hopefully after this,they will come back again pretty soon, and also hopefully, there won’t be only 300 people (or maybe some more). One of the best live combo packages I have witnessed in my whole life, with all bands being more than great. Let’s hope we’ll be seeing bands who haven’t come to Greece more often. Until next time…

In memory of Dennis ”Piggy” D’Amour (September 24, 1959 – August 26, 2005)…

Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.

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