Monday, June 26, 2017

Live: Ejekt Festival with The Killers, The Kills, Circa Waves (Athens, June 24, 2017)

The Killers, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
The summer festival season is upon us and as the first heatwave of June made its presence felt this Saturday, we paid our first visit this year to Plateia Nerou by the seaside to checkout the first ever performances in Athens by The Killers, The Kills and Circa Waves.

Actually this was not the first time that The Killers visited Athens, but a sudden hailstorm on the day they were supposed to headline the Rockwave Festival of 2009 pulled the plug of that gig. Eight years later, the road finally led the band back to Athens and although personally I have stopped following them for sometime now, I have to admit that they still put on a great, crowd-pleasing show and it is no surprise that they are still in high demand as headliners for big festivals.

In the 90 minutes of their set, The Killers revisited all their previous albums, from the big hits of their ace debut "Hot Fuss" ("Mr. Brightside", "Somebody Told Me", "Smile Like You Mean It", "All These Things That I've Done") up to their latest release, "The Man", the funky first single off their forthcoming album "Wonderful Wonderful". They even included a couple of songs from their b-sides compilation "Sawdust", Joy Division's "Shadowplay" and "Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll", the track that perhaps best describes their musical aspirations. All in all, a well-executed, professional hit by The Killers that pleased their fans who have been waiting a long time to see them in action.

Our favorite performance of the day however came by The Kills, the dizzying indie rock roller-coaster created by the supremely talented guitarist Jamie Hince and the amazing Alison Mosshart, whose singing and explosive stage presence is always captivating.

The Kills, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
The chemistry between the two of them remains strong after all those years together and the sparks fly as soon as they hit the stage. Their 70-minute set pulled mainly from their latest album "Ash & Ice" ("Heart of a Dog", the ESG sampling "Siberian Nights", "Doing It to Death", "Whirling Eye") but did not neglect their rich past, including a few older favorites like "U.R.A. Fever", "Tape Song", "Sour Cherry", "No Wow", "Kissy Kiss".

Admittedly there is a lot of material in their back catalog that I would love to listen to live, but the force of their performance is unrelenting no matter what they choose to perform, so a great show is guaranteed every time you get the chance to see The Kills on a stage (check out here our impressions from the first time we got to see them up close, 5 years ago in Lisbon).

The Kills, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
Early in the afternoon we also sampled the melodic pop-punk of Liverpool's Circa Waves. The young quartet presented their new album "Different Creatures", giving a confident performance in front of a rather small crowd, as the intense heat made most people wait for the sunset before making their way to the festival. Their anthemic sound, however, had enough energy to earn the good will of those present who seemed to enjoy the performance despite not being familiar with the material.

Circa Waves, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
A good start this year for Ejekt Festival, finally deciding to bring over some bands who had never played in Athens before. The second day of this year's event is scheduled for mid-July and we are planning to be there, mainly to see the return to Athens after around 20 years of The Jesus And Mary Chain. We are hoping it's going to be a blast! Meanwhile, here are a few of the highlights of the first day of the festival:

The Kills - Whirling Eye (live @ Ejekt Festival, Athens, June 24, 2017)

The Kills - Sour Cherry (live @ Ejekt Festival, Athens, June 24, 2017)

The Killers - Read My Mind (live @ Ejekt Festival, Athens, June 24, 2017)

Circa Waves - T-Shirt Weather (live @ Ejekt Festival, Athens, June 24, 2017)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Killer Tracks: The 2017 Playlist Vol.2

A few weeks ago we presented a selection of ten tracks taken from some of our favorite releases of the year so far. As we are getting closer to the actual mid-point of the year, the list of excellent new albums increases and it looks that 2017 is going to be one to remember! Soon we'll have a more thorough presentation of all the albums that stood out for us in the last six months, but 'till that time comes, here are seven more great tracks you should lend an ear to, among them "Cleveland", the latest track to surface off Algiers new album "The Underside of Power", out next week, and Waxahatchee's "Silver" from the album "Out in the Storm", out on July 14th. If the strength of these two songs is any indication of what to expect from the respective LPs, them it seems we have already found two of the Albums of the Year for 2017!

Algiers - Cleveland (from the album The Underside of Power)

Waxahatchee - Silver (from the album Out in the Storm)

Priests - Pink White House (from the album Nothing Feels Natural)

Jay Som - Baybee (from the album Everybody Works)

Girlpool - It Gets More Blue (from the album Powerplant)

Cherry Glazerr - Nuclear Bomb (from the album Apocalipstick)

Amber Arcades - It Changes (from the EP Cannonball)