Friday, June 19, 2015

Live: Shellac @ An Club (Athens, June 4, 2015)

Each and every time I've watched Shellac live, from the very first time around '93 or '94 at London's Garage when the band had only a few singles under its belt, up until the two recent gigs, firstly at Barcelona's Primavera and then this one a few days later in Athens, I was left absolutely amazed by the sheer power of their playing and their electrifying energy.

The magnificent trio of Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer are the punk rock equivalent of a well-oiled racer car that accelerates from zero to a hundred at the drop of a hat. Just one strike from Trainer's drum sticks and their turbo-charged rock engine starts roaring at maximum velocity.

Their set list is also faultless, methodically built to perfection; they have kept in play key tracks from their past ("Wingwalker" was present at that very first gig I saw 22 years ago and remains to this day a glowing highlight of their sets) while they select just the right ingredients from their recent work. Songs from "Dude Incredible" blend perfectly with career highlights like "My Black Ass", "Copper", "Prayer to God", "Watch Song", "Steady as She Goes" and, of course, the magnificent "The End of Radio" which never fails to amaze.

It's no understatement, and I'm sure that almost everyone present at the packed An Club on that night will agree, that Shellac's killer 90-minute performance, the opening event of Plisskën Festival 2015, was not only the best one of the festival, but actually the gig of the year for Athens.

We have, of course, to give credit also to local heroes Bokomolech who opened for Shellac, exactly as it happened 18 years ago at the same club, when Albini (who recorded their second album "Jet Lag") and his gang made their live debut in Athens. Let's hope we won't have to wait this long for the next one!

Bokomolech, live @ An Club
Shellac - Steady as She Goes (live @ An Club, Athens)

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