After a dry spell, April looks like it’s going to be a great month for live music in Athens. In the next few weeks we’re expecting shows by Swans, Twilight Singers and No Age among others, while the month started spectacularly with the first ever Black Mountain gig in Greece.
The Canadian psychedelic rockers took over the controls of the Gagarin 205 sound-ship and led us on a journey beyond time, in a land where the spirit of pure rock reigns supreme. Their last two albums, 2010’s "Wilderness Heart" which expertly mixed heavy '70s rock with folk and blues influences and 2008’s more psychedelic and spaced-out "In the Future", had an equal share in shaping up the evening’s terrific set list.
|Black Mountain's Amber Webber and Stephen McBean (Athens, April 1st, 2011)|
The trip started out with the driving, heavy grooves of "Wilderness Heart"’s title track and "In the Future"’s "Evil Ways", and hit an early high with two of the band’s best tracks played back-to-back, the majestic "Old Fangs" and the entrancing space-rock of "Wucan". Other highlights of Black Mountain’s dynamic 90-minute set included Amber Webber’s imposing vocal performance in "Queens Will Play", Stephen McBean’s raging guitar in the astonishing "Let Spirits Ride", the storming "Stormy High", the roller-coaster ride of new single "Rollercoaster" and "The Hair Song" with its great vocal interplay between Amber and Stephen. The band’s eponymous debut album from 2005 was not forgotten and it provided no less than three of its outstanding tracks, the anti-war "Set Us Free", the playfully funky, mind-freeing "Druganaut" and the show’s epic closer "Don't Run Our Hearts Around".
This definitely wasn’t an April Fools’ Day joke but one of the best rock shows we’ve seen here for quite a while - a truly great performance that both the audience and the band hope it will be repeated sometime in the near future.
|Black Mountain, live @ Gagarin 205|
Black Mountain - Old Fangs, live@Gagarin 205 (April 1st, 2011)
Black Mountain - Druganaut, live@Gagarin 205 (April 1st, 2011)