Since last February, due to financial austerity I had to make difficult choices on which concerts to attend. Sadly, I saw that Riot (V) decided to punish me hard for my choice skipping their gig with the release of “Unleash the Fire”, so this year I wouldn’t miss them for anything in the world. Favorite band and my expectations were huge since their last release, so no more chatter. Let’s get to the point.

Unfortunately, I arrived late in Athens, due to the traffic jam caused by an indifferent play-off match, so my delay was a fact. When I entered the venue, Angel Perlepes with Mystery were already hitting the stage and the audience was warmed up for good. I got to listen to “Destiny”, “Sign Of The Crimson Storm” (cover Riot) and “Show No Mercy”, so I didn’t manage to catch the feeling of the concert fully. The reactions of the crowd, however, showed that their performance was powerful.

After all that, the time was ripe for the headliners. “Narita” was Riot’s introductory track. Since then mayhem filled the venue until the last note of the second (!) encore. Personally, with Riot being amongst my top 4-5 favorite bands, there’s no place for objectivity. The band played 23 songs (22 actually, as they performed “Take me Back” twice). The entire gig felt like a 10-minute gig. Indeed, back in 2006, when I attended Riot’s gig with the late Reale still in the band, one couldn’t get enough of watching them perform; hence the public demanded a multiple encore.

If I try to stay impartial, I should note the very good choices they made as far as their setlist is concerned (I mean apart form the classic tracks), like “Hard Lovin ‘Man” and “Road Racin'”. Also, there was a very good flow in their set with swings among the most Heavy Metal and Hard Rock / punk pieces. Their latest album served as an ally after all, because the crowd reacted to the new songs as if they are already classics. The performance of the band, of course, was excellent, but not perfect since Todd forgot the lyrics once or twice (but otherwise his voice is tailored for Riot). Finally, I expected better sound, since Kyttaro generally on this issue is always consistent. All this, of course, is fine print for an external observer of the crowd’s reactions, who couldn’t believe what they witnessed the concert of the decade. Imagine that four days later, during Dokken’s gig, Riot was the hot potato in all discussions.

I wish the album that will follow to be equivalent to the previous one and see them again soon.

Ride Hard, Live Free
Fight Or Fall
On Your Knees
Johnny’s Back
Hard Lovin’ Man
Metal Warrior
Wings Are For Angels
Black Leather And Glittering Steel
Sign Of The Crimson Storm
Angel Eyes
Take Me Back
Flight Of The Warrior
Fall From The Sky

Encore 1:
Road Racin’
Swords And Tequilla

Encore 2:
Altar Of The King
Take Me Back
Fire Down Under