Since it was announced, Gimme Shelter Open Air Festival was one of the most anticipated events of September 2023. We would enjoy the Greek stoner metallers Lazy Man’s Load, Nervosa, Timo Tolkki’s Strato and Firewind. Unfortunately, a sudden health problem didn’t let Timo Tolkki come to Athens, Greece, with his band. It was a big disappointment, however, I was sure that the rest of the bands would give their everything for a really nice gig!
A quarter past seven, Lazy Man’s Load entered the stage. I personally had seen this band live one year ago – then, I liked them, now I loved them! More mature and more confident now, the Greeks played their mix of hard rock and heavy metal furiously, and won the audience, who was already at Technopolis, Gazi. They had a very nice sound, they performed excellently, they knew how to stand on the stage and deliver the goods. I am looking forward to their new studio release!
After a show of 45 minutes, Lazy Man’s Load left the stage for Nervosa. It is true that we waited more than thirty minutes for Nervosa to start their show, something tiring enough, but the girls finally hit the stage. Nervosa presented us some of their best songs and played passionately for one hour. I liked their attitude, I liked their commitment, but I wasn’t satisfied with their sound. Their highly technical thrash/death metal requires a very loud and clear sound, something that Nervosa didn’t have. Nevertheless, the all-female extreme metal band was well-prepared for this show and managed to warm-up the audience, who applauded Nervosa. I am sure that Prika Amaral and her company save the best for the future!
Nervosa left the stage and as some minutes passed, everything was ready for Firewind. Gus G and his band appeared on stage triumphantly – the fans went crazy, as the Greek power metal gods took their place in front of us. With pyros and tons of passion and good energy, Firewind started playing their fantastic songs, having an amazing live sound. The setlist was wisely compiled and we had the chance to listen to some of Firewind’s best songs. Gus G was phenomenal on the guitar, Herbie Langhans sounded great behind the microphone and the rhythm section was unbeatable! It was crystal clear that both the band and the audience had an incredibly good time – the band was super-satisfied with the response of the audience, the audience was so much pleased with the marvelous set of the band! For another time, we admired the fantastic guitar playing of Gus G, who expressed his enthusiasm every time he talked to the audience. It was a captivating gig from Firewind, who set the whole Technopolis on fire! The only thing that I didn’t like was the absence of keyboards in Firewind’s sound. The rest was pure magic!
We left the place with a huge smile, having experienced a superb live show from Firewind plus some very good moments from Lazy Man’s Load and Nervosa. This concert will be long remembered, and for sure, we wait for the next events of Gimme Shelter Film Festival, who organized this mini-festival!
Pictures by Iro Kalligeri