Earlier this November i went to Greece to attend the “Smoke the Fuzz festival”, and to be exact the Post-Mortem part of the festival. I had two days ahead of me where my two favorite bands: Russian Circles and Cult of Luna was to perform. I have seen both of these acts before but since Russian Circles Athens show were the day before Cult of Luna’s (Now legendary) tour ending of their Mariner-tour i could not resist attending both days.
The show started with me arriving to the venue “VOX”, a venue which according to the arranger is a venue that is not used to housing rock and metal concerts.
I can imagine that because the venue was divided into three different three floor’s the sound from the other stories was quite “all over the place”.
When the excellent Helen Money was playing there was quite obvious that their was part’s of the audience that did not like the performance, and they were talking throughout most of her set.
Since her music almost entirely is composed by sounds made live by her Cello the different chatter around the venue sometime were very much protuding when compared to the soundscape’s that were created on stage.
Helen money were a great opening act for Russian Circles but i can’t but think that she was very underappreciated.
Next was the Behemoth of an act that is Russian Circles. This was the 5th time for me seeing them perform and what we got to see was a set filled with mostly new material. Mostly songs from their excellent new release “Guidance”.
Audio-appreciation is the key when handling Russian Circles. They play that kind of music that is impossible to fully handle (as an arranger and as a listener) if the equipment is not up to par with these kinds of sounds. Luckily the Audio equipment and the crew on site made an excellent job in making Russian Circles sound as great as they can.
You know that there is incredible sound on hand when several of the songs begin with an litteral high-pitched feedback noise but it’s still comfortable to listen to and you can still hear exactly which note the feedback is tuned to and what song they are going to play. Kudos to the technicians on site and great choice on PA-system.
This show took place a month ago, it is not like me to take THIS long for an review but the thing is.. The better the show, the harder it is to try to find something to criticize.
Both band’s made an exceptional performance. The venue was after all a great place for rock shows (even though it rarely houses rock shows) and the overall arrangent by the promotors was top notch. All in all the experience was very positive. One of the better curated show’s i have ever attended.
The only two negative things i can think of was the audience (in part). When Helen money played it was so obvious that she was not liked by most of the audience, not that they “booed” or anything but since so many made loud conversations during her set i found it abit insensitive towards her. The way i behave if i dont like an opening act is to simply shut up or get away from the stage area. But the big surprise came when Russian Circles started to play. Then it was apparently something that 100% of the people in the venue really loved and enjoyed. The audience treated Russian Circles with HUGE respect and gave the band ALOT of energy. So i guess that the greek audience is open with their feelings. If the love a band, THEY REALLY SHOW IT. And vice-versa in the other case.
The other thing i had an hard time with was the fact that so many in the audience smoked during both shows, since i dont use tobacco. And since im used to it being strictly forbidden to smoke during concert’s it was quite wierd for me to have so much smoke (that dont come from smoke machine’s) at a concert. But that it more of a national difference towards public tobacco usage than anything.
To summarize. Great show. Great arrangement, Great bands. And when the audience was familiar with a artist then they were actually a great audience to be alongside with.
I am really looking forward to visiting Greece and future Smoke the Fuzz concerts again.
But iv’e yet to talk about the “white whale”. The Mariner tour final with Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas.