Saturday, May 25, 2013

Plisskën Festival 2013 (Athens, May 18, 2013)

Plisskën Festival continues to grow and for its third edition there was even more bands and shows on offer. The festival kicked off with a couple of small club gigs on May 16 and 17 featuring acts like The Haxan Cloak, King Tuff, XXYYXX and reached its climax with the all-day main event at the Cultural Center "Hellenic Cosmos", the site where Plisskën’s first two edition took place in 2010 and 2012. The festival closed with another small venue event on May 19 with Shigeto, Egyptian Hip Hop and Pattern, bringing the total number of participating acts to 32, an impressive increase from last year’s 23!

The one thing that this fledging new music festival is missing up till now is the ability to add one or two major headlining acts to its lineup that will attract more people to the event and help grow its reputation beyond the limits of Athens. This year’s edition was undoubtedly the best organized effort so far in the festival’s brief history and if the event manages to persevere in the current adverse economic climate, it can certainly grow to become one of summer's important meeting points for alternative music fans.

Here are some of the highlights from Plisskën Festival’s main event on May 18, 2013 at Hellenic Cosmos:

Fucked Up

It doesn't take long for a Fucked Up gig to turn into the Damian Abraham show. The lead singer of Toronto’s finest hardcore punk rockers always makes sure that whatever boundaries may be between band and audience are demolished right at the start of each show, becoming part of the mosh pit within minutes of hitting the stage. The Plisskën appearance was no exception, with Abraham screaming the lyrics to tracks like "Queen of Hearts", "The Other Shoe" or "Police" while hugging and moshing with the enthusiastic fans all over the place, as far from the stage as the mic cord would allow. Meanwhile the rest of the band members on stage made sure that the show would go on regardless of hurricane Abraham’s whereabouts, by unleashing some of the finest, most brutal punk rock noise you're likely to hear on any festival stage this year.

Fucked Up, live @ Plissken Festival 2013
Death Grips

Death Grips may base their music on hip hop and electronic rhythms but their digital sonic attack shares the same punk rock spirit with Fucked Up who preceded them on the main stage. Even without drummer Zack Hill, vocalist Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett and hooded (despite the heat) keyboards/sampler manipulator Andy "Flatlander" Morin gave a powerful performance that managed to rock the crowd despite the fact that by the time they came on stage (past 2 am) most of us had been on our feet for more than 9 hours!

Death Grips, live @ Plissken Festival 2013
Girls Names

Girls Names, live @ Plissken Festival 2013
Girls Names released earlier this year their fine sophomore LP "The New Life", which brings back to life '80s indie pop and new wave. The Belfast band played Plisskën's main stage in the afternoon and despite the day's hot temperature you could feel a chill coming down as the ghost of Dark Wave past was being summoned by Girls Names' striking performance.

Ebo Taylor, live @ Plissken Festival 2013
Other notable performances of the 2013 edition of Plisskën Festival came from Afrobeat elder statesman Ebo Taylor, up and coming singer, songwriter King Krule, Baltimore noise rockers Dope Body, Iceland party people FM Belfast, and local one-man act The Boy.

King Krule, live @ Plissken Festival 2013
Check out below some of the best performances that we were able to capture on video: Fucked Up, Death Grips, Girls Names, King Krule and FM Belfast live at Plisskën Festival 2013:

All photos by alegra, except for the Damian Abraham shot at the top which belongs to

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