Sunday, September 13, 2015

Live: Viet Cong vs. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Viet Cong, live @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, September 2, 2015)
The summer weather still holds well here in Athens but the fall live season has already kicked off with two very sweaty and very loud gigs in the first week of September.

For starters, on September 2, we headed downtown to the tiny Six D.O.G.S club where Canadian post-punks Viet Cong presented their excellent debut album under less than ideal circumstances, with support from local psych-rock act Chickn. I'm sure on another day, another place, Viet Cong could have given us much more, but under the problematic conditions of this night (extreme heat, sound problems and failing gear) only epic set-closer "Death" came close to representing the true potential of this band.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, September 6, 2015)
Four days later, it was time to revisit the Gagarin 205 club where the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion made their Athens live comeback, 11 whole years after their last visit here. Back then, on the same stage, they had given us a truly unforgettable performance which started with a "best of" set before playing their classic "Orange" LP in its entirety, in celebration of its 10th anniversary. This time the dynamic trio had a fine new album to present, "Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015", their second full-length since ending their hiatus in 2011,  and they did so with excellent style (as usual) and without neglecting their formidable past. They even threw in the 90-minute explosive mix a cover of the Beastie Boys' early classic "She's On It", to make this New York No Wave dance party complete. As always, watching the Blues Explosion testifying on stage, was an absolute pleasure and a testimony to the transcendental power of rock 'n' roll!

BLML, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, September 6, 2015)
For the opening of this night we enjoyed an hour-long set by BLML, a.k.a. George Karanikolas' Blackmail, who presented his project's new album "Panopticon", a fine addition to 2015's local rock production from one of the most important players in the Greek scene of the last three decades, starting the count, of course, with his work with the legendary Last Drive.

Check out more photos from both gigs below as well as videos of Viet Cong's "Continental Shelf" and Blues Explosion's "Cooking For Television":

Viet Cong - Continental Shelf (live @ Six D.O.G.S, September 2, 2015)

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Cooking for Television (live @ Gagarin 205, September 6, 2015) 
Viet Cong with Chickn @ Six D.O.G.S:

Viet Cong
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with BLML @ Gagarin 205:

PS: As it is obvious, the JSBX / BLML gig prevailed in the first, furious live clash of September. Join us again next week when we'll be comparing the on-stage prowess of Angel Olsen and Parquet Courts, both appearing at An Club in the coming days - our live entertainment is guaranteed!

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