Sacred Reich @ Gagarin205, Athens (GRE)


Date: 07th June, 2012
Venue: Gagarin205
Ticket Price: €26/29 ($32/36)
Promoter: Alterground

They came, they thrashed, they conquered... the last time American ‘social’ thrashers SACRED REICH had visited Greece was in 1990 so it virtually was two generations of fans having missed their energetic music performed live. I was a mid-teenager in 1990 and all I can remember was that the band from Arizona had performed in full speed and high level but it’s always nice to revive and re-live great occasions when it comes into well-played music. Hence, on a hot summer evening the machines were ready to spark with the appearance of a so-and-so number of fans at a sweaty Gagarin205 club.

No supporting acts where announced for this specific gig, so it was a matter of time to see a huge SR logo being raised in the background behind the drum kit. Initial applaud turned into frenzied reactions as soon as the classic quartet hit the stage. Ok, the main menu would be a crazy moshpit in the center of the arena with occasional stage-diving giving that extra something to the dance-and-mosh procedure. Needless to say, the SACRED REICH members were in top mood and I bet they also charged their batteries witnessing what was going down in the pit. Frontman/bassist Phil Rind did not ever lose his smile while singing quite nice and speaking fluently in between the songlist. The rest of the crüe delivered the goods in ease too, with especially personal favorite drummer Greg Hall (I think SLAYER had approached him after Lombardo’s first runaway) nailing it down each and every time it was needed; I always considered this man a top drummer from the early SACRED REICH years but I could not see if he was playing barefoot this time!

Two things that need to be mentioned are: i) the approach and spirit of the music and lyrics in SACRED REICH’s discography never sound outdated and this is something both the band and fans understood that evening (we’re speaking about a gig taking place in the capital of Greece in a period the whole country’s being tortured from both politics and ‘external’ factors). Rind himself spoke a couple of words regarding this issue and the crowd’s response was thunderous, ii) the US band performed in top accuracy (really minor mistakes, if any) and backed by a very good sound they really delivered what is normally considered as an elementary action but enough times tends to be a luxury: a neat dynamic gig that the whole audience (probably) enjoyed to the max.

Ok, the ticket price was a little bit costly but it was satisfaction guaranteed seeing a band that tours in order to honor their discography without commercial gimmicks and/or up-to-date pale patents. They do not wish to put up a new album in the near future, as far as I’m concerned, and that’s fair enough as soon as they continue to hit the lights in each appearance they make. Thanks a lot, SACRED REICH. You put our problems aside for 1½ hour.

SACRED REICH setlist (in discographic order – may be missing one or two):

01. “Death Squad”
02. “Ignorance”
03. “Violent Solutions”
04. “Administrative Decisions”
05. “Surf Nicaragua”
06. “One Nation”
07. “War Pigs”
08. “Love…Hate”
09. “The American Way”
10. “Crimes Against Humanity”
11. “Who’s To Blame”
12. “Independent”
13. “Free”