It is well-documented nowadays, that Greece has a very strange and untimely affection for stoner metal and as a result, bands clearly influenced by Kyuss and Down are appearing left and right the last few years, forming the closest thing to a music scene this country has ever seen, at least in terms of rock and metal. Not that I can complain. We have got to know and enjoy numerous notable bands, the last few years and you know that, as soon as a music community is formed somewhere, there are going to be opportunities for a lot of people to express themsleves and exchange music ideas within that community. On the other hand, music scenes like this are bound to include a lot of cliche, average, not-that-good bands that just take advantage of the trend. It is the way it is.
Well, obviously that is not the case for 1000mods. They are right now the Stoner Kingz of this community and deservedly so. With two very strong albums in their arsenal and the confidence of true rock stars, they are at the peak of their popularity and that makes for an enthrilling live act that
should not be missed if it comes in your town.
So when they visited Principal Club, Thessaloniki, I made sure I was there.
When a band can play a song like El Rollito to start their live performance, only to follow it up with Road to Burn, you automatically know that you are going to have a great time. At first, El Rollito’s powerfull riffs challenged everyone at the front to start dancing/jumping/moshing around. Sweet stuff. And then, Road to Burn, the band’s arguably most well-known song, with its otherworldly-yet-familiar, mid-tempo melody in the verse, gave half the attendees the golden opportunity to sit back, light up their MJs and enjoy the show. We are talking about stoner rock, after all and 1000mods really provide a very suitable musical background for some blazing. But, as soon as they made it to the chorus, it was made clear to me, why is having a local band make it big time, is magical. The crowd erupted to a crazy, almost emotional sing-along, that made you feel part of something special:
AT THE BACK OF MY HAND!!”
Having seen them for the third time in as many years, I already knew that 1000mods have a loyal fanbase that has a very active role in their live performances, but this was something else. According to my terrible math, there were at least 1000 people in there and the fact that most of them where singing, at their top of their lungs, the lyrics throughout most of the songs, made me realize that the music of 1000mods is masterfully comprised of sing-along-provoking vocal parts, melodic yet dynamic riffs, and a general vibe of pure awesomeness. They have found the way to keep their fans engaged using only their music. I bet the audience knew more lyrics, than the average audience at a, let’s say, Queens of the Stone Age concert. That’s crazy! The highlights of the gig were many, such as the slowly-building-anticipation-until-BOOM-the-whole-place-is-on-fire Low, or the mindfucky and trippy Vidage (HOLD ME BABYYY!!!), but I want το mention something else.
We have seen bands that, as soon as they go on the road and start playing a lot of gigs, they lose that inner fire, they begin to just go through the motions, they simply stop liking their music like they used to. Nightstalker, as much as it pains me to say it, is one of those bands. When they used to play 2-3 times a year, they were electrifying on stage, somewhat dangerous, the most rock ‘n’ roll live band this side of Monster Magnet. When the gigs pile up, being in a band starts to resemble working and of course, no one wants that. I am saying that, because 1000mods gave me the answer to how you can avoid that. Jamming, of course! It’s one thing to play the same songs, in the same way, each and every night and it’s a whole other thing to improvise your parts and create “new” music every time you are on stage. It gives both the audience, but most important yourself, that element of unpredictability you desperately need in order to have a little good time. And speaking of good time, the guitar solo duel, the two guitarists gave us at the end of one song, was taken from the wettest dreams of Ritchie Blackmore.
1000mods manage to keep me excited every time I see them live, but after this show, I am also excited with the fact that if you ask a regular dude who listens to heavy staff, or a teenage girl who just now is discovering the magic of this music, or a middle aged guy who believes that the 90s were the best thing that ever happened to music, what their favourite band currently is, there is a strong chance they are going to say 1000FUCKINGmods..!