Sunday, November 15, 2015

Live: Calexico @ Fuzz Club (Athens, November 14, 2015)

Calexico belong to a small, special club of bands that could easily apply for Greek citizenship based on the number of times they have performed here. The latin rhythms that spice up their Tex-Mex-meets-Desert Rock sound goes down well with the Greek audiences, while the addition of Eastern and Greek music influences in some of their recent songs has ensured that once again their gig at Fuzz Club was sold out.

The out of the ordinary element that left its mark on this particular concert on Saturday night, came from the resonance of the horrible news coming from Paris where less than 24 hours ago so many people lost their lives, including fellow concertgoers at the Eagles Of Death Metal gig at Bataclan Theatre. All this senseless violence certainly weighted heavily on the minds of all of us and was addressed by Calexico who started their set with Joey Burns and John Convertino playing as a duo the fittingly sad "Wash" (a track from their debut album) which was dedicated to all those in Paris who are affected by this tragedy.

Music though has a special way of healing the soul and even a sad song can make you feel better. So by the third song of the night, the uplifting beat of "Cumbia de Donde" had most of the people dancing and the spirit of having fun on a Saturday night started being restored.

From then on the concert went as expected, with the seven members of Calexico on fine form, presenting us songs from their latest album "Edge of the Sun" and occasionally going back in time to remind us of older favorites like "Crystal Frontier" or "Güero Canelo".

The highlights of the night included the participation of members of Takim in "Roll Tango" and "Stray", successfully adding local color to the Calexico sound (in an usual East-meets-West-Down South sort of way), the dedication of "Fortune Teller" to the late great Allen Toussaint and Joey Burns inviting the whole club to visit Mexico in his introduction of "Coyoacán". From the new songs, apart from the aforementioned "Cumbia de Donde", it was "Moon Never Rises", "Falling From the Sky", "Bullets & Rocks" as well as "Beneath the City of Dreams" and "Follow the River", both of which were included in the two encores of the show, that stood out.

Calexico with Takim

It’s been more than ten years since Calexico’s first gig in Athens, but as long as they manage to lift the spirits of the people even in difficult nights like this one and earn a well-deserved and genuinely enthusiastic applause, something tells me they will keep coming back frequently for many years to come!

The night opened by Moa Bones, the one-man show of Dimitris Aronis, who presented us his folk and blues tunes. His songs have strong melodies and should he decide to present them live with a full band, I think he could have a much more powerful impact. Still, his half-hour performance was a suitable opening for the main act.

Moa Bones, live @ Fuzz Club, Nov. 14th, 2015
Calexico set list included: Wash, Falling From the Sky, Cumbia de Donde, Two Silver Trees, Splitter, Tapping on the Line, Bullets & Rocks, Coyoacán, Inspiración, Fortune Teller, Roll Tango (with Takim), Stray (with Takim), Sunken Waltz, Deep Down, World Undone, Not Even Stevie Nicks, Moon Never Rises, Crystal Frontier. Encore 1: Beneath the City of Dreams, Güero Canelo. Encore 2: Follow the River

Calexico ft. Takim - Roll Tango (live in Athens, Nov.14th, 2015)

Calexico - Moon Never Rises (live in Athens, Nov.14th, 2015)

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