October 8, 2012

SHOW REVIEW: Orange Goblin does Larissa

2012 is a big year here at TZEEEAC HQ. Marco has become a full-time law student, ready to pursue his dream of becoming a greasy, unwashed, goofball Italian lawyer working for the mob and getting paid in guns and free hookers, while I have moved to Larissa, Greece to get a Master's Degree in Management, thus sending me to a fast-track on the road to a McDonald's upper management position. That's the best case scenario, anyway.

Even the Greeks can't spend ALL their time chilling in cafes, so I was glad to discover the position of a rock/metal bar in Larissa, called Stage Club, which frequently hosts all sorts of metal and punk concerts. Sweet! The first one I attended was the last show on the Greek segment of Orange Goblin's European tour, three nights ago.

Right off the bat, I have to say I missed the opening band, Black Juju. I was already running late when I left home, having just returned from a 15 hour boat trip - I only took a shower when I got home and then I ran straight for the club. Unfortunately, it took me fucking forever to find it and, by the time I got in, Black Juju were already on their last song. Still, they seemed pretty cool, like a mixture of occult rock, stoner and sludge metal with some Black Sabbath vibes. Sorry guys, maybe next time.

The tech dudes then started putting together Orange Goblin's stuff, so I took the opportunity to grab a beer from the cute tattooed girl at the bar and have a look around. The place was rather small, but it was very well ventilated and it had toxic waste barrels by the stage where people could put their drinks while headbanging like maniacs. The place was PACKED with huge tall bearded guys that made me feel like a dwarf, but the overall atmosphere was very laid back.

And then, out of the blue, an ominous drone filled the venue, the lights went dark and, slowly, the four British riders of the stoner apocalypse made their way on stage. A second later, the room EXPLODES with the opening riff of Red Tide Rising and people go nuts. Orange Goblin are obviously in a good mood and are excited to be there. Singer Ben Ward looks like a long-haired Obelix with lots of tattoos, joyfully singing and throwing the horns to the excited audience. Guitarist Joe Hoare is KILLING IT on the guitar, with heavy riff pilling upon heavy riff. Martyn Millard lays down the groovy, rumbling bass lines to provide a suitable background for Hoare's scorching hot solos, while Chris Turner, who sort of looks like Sons of Anarchy's Opie, thunders away on his rather sparse drum kit (NO BLASTBEATS? WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!).

The band tears through the best pieces from their latest album, A Eulogy for the Damned - Stand for Something, The Filthy and the Few, The Fog, Acid Trial, Death of Aquarius - and throws in some older stuff too - Aquatic Fanatic, Round Up the Horses, Some You Win, Some You Lose, Time Travelling Blues - while saving the incredible Scorpionica for their final moments on stage. The band was having a blast, the audience was cheering and screaming for more, hands were being shaken and the beers were flowing. A great night, in my book.

Afterwards, I grabbed a sweet shirt, took one last look around and got out into the warm night to crawl my way back home on foot, sweaty and exhausted. But hey, it was totally worth it.

The next show I'll probably attend is Birthday Kicks/Eternal Hatred/Slab/Planet of Zeus, which should turn out to be another awesome night of local stoner rock madness. But until then, school is starting and I need to get some reading done. Pax.

** More shitty cellphone shots after the jump

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