by MythofRock

This summer, Rockwave Festival was back and on the 7th of July, we would have Deep Purple on Terra Vibe stage, after the postponement of their concert due to Covid-19. Of course, Deep Purple wasn’t the only band of the day, since the Rockwave Festival organizers had contacted other bands too – we would also enjoy the Greek Lazy Man’s Load and Rock n’ Roll Children, the Norwegian band Bokassa, As I Lay Dying, Saxon and Deep Purple. Let’s see what happened, shall we?

We arrived in Malakasa at four o’clock in the afternoon and just caught Lazy Man’s Load. This Greek band plays a unique kind of stoner metal, based on the guitar riffs and the groovy rhythm section. Yet, their protagonist is their singer, who manages to combine his excellent vocal performance with the extraordinary looks. I liked their stuff a lot, and the few fans, who were there, gave their warm applause.

The weather was so hot, but that didn’t prevent Rock n’ Roll Children to make their appearance. This Ronnie James Dio tribute band is very well known in Greece, since they combine their love for Dio and his songs with stunning performances. Yiannis Papanikolaou, Manolis Tsigos and the other guys played again some Dio songs with passion and energy, and the result was touching and evocative. We had some fine moments with Rock n’ Roll Children, it was cool to listen to these classic heavy metal songs live, and we thanked the band for giving their full potential.

The tome for Bokassa had come. Bokassa is a Norwegian stoner rock group, which stormed the stage at full throttle. I liked their nice songs, their beautiful energy and their “stoner meets punk” style, so did the fans, who were already there. This band was a surprise for me, as they were frenetic and relentless, playing with their heart, blowing up the speakers and bringing the fans to a euphoria! I have already checked their name and I am already listening to their stuff – I believe that if this band continue with the same conviction, they will have an remarkable career. The power trio gave us a captivating show and left the stage for …

As I Lay Dying! I was very curious to see this American band, not only because they are a historic metalcore band, but also because they are fronted by Tim Lambesis (he was arrested in 2013 after attempting to hire an undercover police officer to murder his wife. He pled guilty in 2014 and was sentenced to serve six years in prison. Lambesis was released on parole in December 2016). This was As I Lay Dying’s first time in Greece for a live show, and I can surely say that all, group and fans, had a really cool time. However, the whole gig would be a lot better, if the band didn’t face some massive sound problems – after a dynamic beginning, Lambesis’ microphone didn’t work and he couldn’t be heard. After 10-15 minutes of an awkward, forced break, As I Lay Dying came back – and they were more powerful than ever. Obviously, what they just experienced, made them stronger and more accurate! We all banged our heads to the riffs and the refrains of the Americans, we had there even a mosh pit, and I can say that fortunately, As I Lay Dying managed to show what they are capable of! You could tell by their energy and their class that As I Lay Dying is a great band, and their first show in Greece ended in a state of triumph! Thank you, guys!

Time passed, and just a little after sun’s dawn, the mighty Saxon hit the stage. I have seen many times Saxon live in concert and I can easily say that the legendary band is still alive and kicking, still fresh and energetic. Biff Byford is a true legend, he led his gang to victory and we had the honor, the opportunity to enjoy a majestic live show of approximately 70 minutes! Saxon was there playing for us all their classic songs, everyone was excited – and I personally had one more good reason to be happy with this live show, as this was the first Saxon live gig that the one guitarist would be the legendary Brian Tatler of Diamond Head! He was excellent like everyone else in the band, it was a historic moment that both sides will carry in our heart! The set list was perfect, the sound was ideal and Saxon entertained us with their joy and their passion. That was a lesson that Saxon taught to everyone on how a rock gig shall be!

It was high time to welcome Deep Purple. To be frank, I wasn’t expected too much from this Deep Purple show, since the last time I saw them live they were almost a disappointment. But no, this time Deep Purple nailed it! Yes, it was a fantastic live concert by a band, who has the wisdom to rock out! First of all, the set list was super, with all the band’s classics (I know, “Child in Time” wasn’t included), and the sound was superb. We are talking about a big production, a big show that was more than satisfactory! All the band members were playing fantastic, including Ian Gillan, whose classy performance touched everybody – he sang so nice and decently, although he is old now, he sang a lot better than their last visit in Athens, Greece, some years ago. I would also like to mention that Simon McBride was excellent as the new guitarist of the band, his playing was phenomenal and we didn’t miss Steve Morse at all! Generally, the show was a present from Deep Purple to their fans, who have always supported the band. It was a captivating Deep Purple night, an evening that was worthy of the band’s fame, a live show that I am sure we won’t ever forget! A really beautiful classic rock concert by a band, who will always stay young!

We left Terra Vibe, with a big smile …!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos

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