Sunday, June 12, 2016

Live: The Last Shadow Puppets, Suede @ Rockwave Festival (Athens, June 5, 2016)

The Last Shadow Puppets, live @ Rockwave Festival 2016

It's been quite some time since my last visit to the Terra Vibe site for the Rockwave Festival, the longest lasting rock festival in Greece (now in its 21st year), which in recent times did not make the best of line-up choices, at least as far as new music is concerned.

Thankfully, in the last couple of years there is an effort to have at least one day headlined by some popular, "new rock" name and after bringing The Black Keys in 2015 to celebrate the festival's 20th anniversary, this time it was the turn of The Last Shadow Puppets to make their live debut in Athens as the headlining act of Rockwave.

The collaborative project of Alex Turner and Miles Kane has recently released its sophomore effort, "Everything You've Come to Expect", an album that might not have left as strong an impression as its 2008 debut "The Age of the Understatement", but added another batch of strong, melodic pop songs to the group's arsenal, including "Aviation", "Bad Habits" and "Used to Be My Girl". 

Add next to them the hits from their debut album, like "The Age of the Understatement", "Standing Next to Me" and "My Mistakes Were Made for You", plus a few cover versions including The Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", Leonard Cohen's "Is This What You Wanted" and (surprise, surprise) The Arctic Monkeys' "505" and you have some pretty good material in your hands for at least an hour-long set. 

For the one hour and 45 minutes that actually lasted The Last Shadow Puppets appearance, I think it was inevitable to have some intervals that didn't exactly hit the spot, and although it is undoubtedly fun to watch the interaction between Turner and Kane on stage (now this is what I call a big "bromance"), the truth is that for once I wished for a shorter set from the headliner.

The Last Shadow Puppets, live @ Rockwave Festival 2016
On the other hand, '90s British pop legends Suede who played on the Terra stage right before the new Britpop heroes, made every minute of their set count. To be fair, Suede didn't have to base their performance on their last two records. Actually, only a handful of songs on their set list came from this year's "Night Thoughts" and 2013's "Bloodsports", the two albums of Suede's comeback after an extended hiatus.

Suede, live @ Rockwave Festival 2016
Brett Anderson, who was in truly magnificent form, and his band started off with a couple of new tracks ("When You Are Young" and "Outsiders") before launching with "She" what was essentially a greatest hits set, filled with some of the best songs of the '90s British pop scene.

I don't think that you have to be a devoted Suede fan (and I am not) in order to enjoy songs like "Trash", "Animal Nitrate", "So Young", "We Are The Pigs" or "Beautiful Ones", especially when played with such electrifying energy and conviction. For 70 minutes, including an encore with "New Generation", Suede played like they were the true headliners of the festival and despite the fact that there were some sound issues during their set, they undoubtedly won the day.

Suede, live @ Rockwave Festival 2016
Check out below the complete set lists of the performances by The Last Shadow Puppets and Suede at Rockwave Festival, in a line-up that also included The Dropkick Murphys (the crowd seemed to enjoy them, but I'll pass), Turbonegro, The Subways and The Callas

The Last Shadow Puppets: Black Plant, I Want You (She's So Heavy),The Age Of The Understatement, Used to Be My Girl, Calm Like You, Dracula Teeth, Everything You've Come to Expect, Only The Truth, Aviation, The Element of Surprise, Bad Habits, The Bourne Identity, My Mistakes Were Made For You, The Dream Synopsis, Standing Next To Me, Miracle Aligner, In My Room. Encore: 505, Sweet Dreams, TN, Is This What You Wanted, Meeting Place.

Suede: When You Are Young, Outsiders, She,Trash, Filmstar, Animal Nitrate, We Are the Pigs, Killing of a Flashboy, Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away, Everything Will Flow, Can't Get Enough, By the Sea, She's in Fashion, So Young, Metal Mickey, Beautiful Ones.Encore: New Generation

The Last Shadow Puppets - My Mistakes Were Made For You (live @Rockwave Festival 2016)

Suede - Beautiful Ones (live @ Rockwave Festival 2016)

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