Graveyard, 1000mods // Gagarin205, Athens, Greece // 29.11.13
I didn’t expect to see a Graveyard concert in Greece, not until they were old and with a big career behind them, since fresh bands who don’t get the recognition they deserve don’t normally visit our country during the start of their career. But times have changed concerning concerts in Greece and not only were I surprised when I found out this crazy band would be playing at Gagarin 205, I was more surprised to see the place almost packed upon entering before the first act of the night!
The first act of the night was our own Greek stoner/desert rockers 1000mods. Having built some pretty loud fuss around their name with their demos, their awesome debut “Super Van Vacation” and of course their allegedly explosive live performances, I was more than impatient to hear them play. I believe there are no other comments needed than “If they played for 10 hours straight, I still wouldn’t leave”. There is no way something can sound so addictive and compelling live, it’s just not fair! Their sound was brilliant! Orange amplifiers turned to the max, providing as much fuzz as needed for everything that they played to sound awesome, the bass punching your gut with every finger slip of the bassist, heavy and absolutely groovy riffs driving us insane, there was nothing wrong or boring in their performance!
Their sound felt like a herd of elephants marching through the desert. Beneath the stage there was a party going on. Heads banging, dancing, pushing, shoving, chanting, everybody got their mojo working thanks to 100mods’s titanic performance, with “Vidage”, “Road To Burn” and “Track Me” giving the signal to burn the house down . They also played a nice new song, quite the groovy track. If they keep going on like that, there is no doubt that they can grow successful in an international level. They have nothing to envy from many internationally acclaimed bands of the same genre. A mind-blowing Greek stoner opener, I am sure the members of Nightstalker watching a couple of rows behind me would be proud.
Next up on the stage were the kings of today’s blues, the mighty Graveyard. The venue was now full, arena AND balconies include, a situation quite unexpected to be honest, but it drew a huge smile upon my face. Before they could even play a note, the crowd was already ecstatic. They opened their set with “No good Mister Holden” and when Joakim Nillson’s voice sounded for the first time you could feel the entire crowd holding their breath for a moment, in order to realize what they were experiencing and their breaking out in screaming and frantic cheering. Graveyard are much more rockers on stage than blues players.
Their sound and posture was hard, straightforward, in your face rock ‘n’ roll! Except for the ballad parts though, when the whole crowd went silent and witnessed the majesty upon stage. Besides Joakim’s voice, the highlight of their performance was their breathtaking solos. In particular, I will never forget what happened towards the end of “Thin Line” with the band speeding up the song more and more and more until it was an almost non human sight to behold. Classics like “Hisingen Nlues”, “Ain’t Fit To Live Here” or songs “The Suits, The Law And The Uniform”, “Slow Motion Countdown” and “Goliath” from their latest amazing release “Lights Out” generated a football stadium atmosphere beneath the stage, everybody dancing and pushing each other, singing, screaming.
Then, when it was time for the encore, we all knew that the big time had come. “The Siren” was about to be sang in Greece live for the first time. I really can’t explain it in words; I get emotional even by remembering the experience. One unified crowd with one voice screaming “Tonight a demon came into my head and tried to choke me in my sleep”. I didn’t know where to concentrate primarily, the singer giving the performance of his life or the unbelievable Greek crowd? After that it was “Endless night” and “Evil ways” and goodnight Athens! I hope they come back as soon as possible.
P.S: On the nagging side of this report there is a complaint for the irrationally loud sound at the beginning and some other parts of Graveyard’s performance and some notable omissions in the setlist. “Seven Seven”, “Bying truth” and “Hard Times Lovin’” in and three of the best songs in your discography, “Satan’s Finest”, “Fool in The End” and of course “Uncomfortably Numb”, out? Come on now, I trust you will do better next time (I don’t mean this was a bad setlist in whole, but they had the material to make it perfect)! Oh, and the drummers from both bands made me want to become a drummer. Freaking psychos… (That was a compliment).
Report: Achilles Pantogyios
Photos: Dimitris Balabakis