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Live gigs in Athens > Plenty of musical action promised June 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Hopes of a record-breaking summer of shows, unless there is a repeat of last year’s cancellations

Veteran party band the B-52s is scheduled to play at Lycabettus Theater on July 17.

Calexico has been booked for July 10 at the Olympic Baseball Arena.

It is likely to be an engaging summer for concertgoers in Athens, that is if last year’s considerable number of late cancellations can be avoided. Should all, or most, concert bookings go according to plan, this season will go down as the Greek capital’s busiest ever with a loaded agenda of offerings stretching from new, recent and not-so-recent to Jurassic acts. The action gets rolling this week before gathering momentum later this month right through to the end of July. From that point on, local concert promoters dare not book shows for Athens, a largely abandoned month for the peak holiday season.

Visiting performers expected in the coming days and weeks include Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Calexico, CocoRosie, Placebo, the Beastie Boys, Madness, George Clinton and Motorhead. Bookings for later in the summer feature the popular flamenco-hip-hop act Ojos de Brujo, Saint Etienne, Cesaria Evora, Snoop Dogg, the B-52s, James, Air, and the Blues Brothers.

Beginning to establish itself as an annual event, the Ejekt Festival, back for the third successive summer, returns this Saturday, essentially heralding the start of the capital’s music parade. The one-day event, at the Olympic Baseball Arena in Hellenikon, features a triple-bill headlined by white rap supergroup the Beastie Boys, in Greece for the first time following a failed attempt almost a decade ago as a result of apparent concerns expressed by the trio over instability and conflict north of Greece’s borders. Also appearing at the festival will be the ska-pop top sellers Madness and popular electronica act Underworld.

The Scorpions, Joe Cocker and Juliette and the Licks will gather at Karaiskaki Stadium next Monday.

Hard-rock enthusiasts should consider Motorhead, on tomorrow at the Olympic fencing facility, also in Hellenikon. The popular indie-rock band Placebo will perform at the open-air Lycabettus Theater on Thursday.

Music enthusiasts will have the opportunity to roam around town for free street shows next week when European Music Day, on June 21, is stretched into a three-day celebration. Over 100 acts will perform in more than 10 locations around downtown Athens, including Syntagma Square.

A pioneering musical figure, George Clinton, who led the progressive funk acts Funkadelic and Parliament, will perform June 30 at the Vrachon Theater with his P-Funk All Stars.

The intriguing new-folk duo CocoRosie play the night before at Rematia Theater in Halandri. Also performing out in the northern suburbs will be Omar Faruk Tekbilek and his ensemble, a worthy figure on the world music circuit, at the Papagou Theater on June 28.

Two big festivals feature next month, beginning with the Gagarin Open-Air Festival at the Olympic Baseball Arena over six nights, July 5-6 and 8-11.

Opening night will be headlined by the aging yet very relevant and dedicated Iggy Pop and the Stooges, who will be preceded by Mudhoney and the Soulsavers featuring Mark Lanegan.

July 10 will be headlined by one of this era’s more gifted acts, the Tex-Mex band Calexico, back in Greece after a visit last summer whose itinerary excluded Athens but included shows in Thessaloniki and Crete.

Local bands, including Yiannis Angelakas and the Episkeptes and cult act Lost Bodies, play the festival on July 6.

A new event, the Fly Beeyond Festival, follows less than a fortnight later with three nights of decent mainstream entertainment between July 17 and 19 at the Olympic Stadium’s Arena facility.

The bill includes Avril Lavigne on opening night, James, Air and Tori Amos the following night, and recent top sellers Pink and Sugababes on July 19.

Other concert highlights include >

  • flamenco-hip-hop act Ojos de Brujo on July 5 at the Vrachon Theater;
  • Saint Etienne, a night later at the same venue;
  • Cesaria Evora on July 8 at Petras Theater;
  • the Jan Garbarek Group at the Lycabettus Theater on July 10;
  • hip-hop superstar and bad boy Snoop Dogg on the same night at the Olympic Baseball Arena;
  • veteran party band the B-52s at Lycabettus Theater on July 17;
  • the Original Blues Brothers Band on July 25 at the Olympic Softball Arena;
  • George Michael at the Olympic Stadium on July 26.
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