Ufomammut, Last Rizla // AN Club, Athens, Greece // 29.03.2014
For the first time I’m going to start a report in a reverse order because I cannot take my mind off the experience that Ufomammut provided for us this Saturday night. I started suspecting something big was about to go down when I came across a photo of them just chilling with their CUSTOM MADE GREEN AMPLIFIERS. Imagine the colossal sound settings we hear in their studio albums filtered through Green amplifiers. Now, that’s what I call a sign of impending doom and I can assure you that these 3 crazy Italians did everything in their power to make the sign come true.
I’ve never heard such devastating sound ( without being annoying of course, because it’s easy to play on 10, but rare are the cases where that doesn’t prove unwise) in a live performance before. If I tried to describe it, it would be something like “Imagine a titan playing sludge with an equally gigantic guitar” or “What would a collision between an earthquake and a volcanic eruption sound like”. It was brutal yet spacey, totally intoxicating. When the riff of “Mars” burst out of nowhere I wanted nothing more than to headbang till the end of time and don’t even let me get started on “Stigma”. The whole concert could be that same riff played over for 2 hours and I wouldn’t give a damn. I practically watched the 3/4 of their performance with my eyes closed, because I was daydreaming, spacing out in my own world and moving back and forth like an automated machine by their unbearably crushing sound. I am literally running out of words here, feeling unable to describe the quality and severity of their sound. How on Earth could I describe their performance of “Zero Sette” or the opening with “Super Junkhead” to someone who was not there? Impossible stuff I tell you, impossible…
Add to the equation the prolific, psychedelic visual effects and the frantic movement of the guitarist and bassist each time they played one of their humongous riffs, the paranoid vocals and the majestic use of the effect pedals and you have yourselves a wonder, an outlandish experience that I wished would never end, by a band so infatuated with their job and sound that motivated you to ask for more and more. You know that feeling you get by the end of a concert sometimes, the tiredness from standing up so long, maybe the band played more than a couple of fillers you don’t like and you kind of want it to end? Well in this occasion I wouldn’t mind if Ufomammut returned on stage and said “We are going to jam something off the top of our heads for the next 4 hours”.
They granted us the gift of their music for almost 2 hours, with their double encore of “Stardog” and “Dog” (excuse any mistakes on the songs mentioned since after some point I generally lost sense of the tracks played. And of space and time. And life altogether.) being one of the most fascinating and adrenaline-pumping moments of my concert life. How could they not drag their show on and on with all these frantic cheers of the crowd below? We are talking about a standing ovation, a nonstop applause from the fans that were magnetized by this monumental show which automatically became a candidate for the best concert of 2014. And whoever wants to top it, trust me, needs to work extra fucking hard.
And of course a few words for the opening act, Last Rizla, who were an excellent choice for supporting Ufommamut, baring a resemblance to their sound and songwriting. They also had a great sound and gave us a lovely 40 minute introduction to the mayhem that was about to follow, with their groovy sludge rhythms, the slow dragging riffs, the crazy drummer and the crazier vocalist who participated in 3 or 4 songs with his amazing raw and harsh vocals, making these tracks quite more interesting than their instrumentals. Nice warm up for an excellent show.
So from all your fans that sweated, screamed, headbanged, dreamed and watched in awe the 120 minutes of your annihilating performance here in Athens, GRAZIE UFOMAMMUT!
P.S On my last report I congratulated SmoketheFuzz gigs for their efforts in booking upcoming and generally underground bands for concerts in Greece and I feel it’s only fair to do the same for CTS Productions. The list of bands here is too long but let’s just say that only this spring, besides Ufomammut, we have names like Windhand (which I hope will top the Ufomammut experience), Long Distance Calling and Samsara Blues Experiment. For their past efforts you can track CTS Productions on Facebook and witness for yourselves the great work they’ve done.
Check S&D Photography for more photos.
Report: Axilleas Pantogios
Photos: Dimitris Balabakis