Ross The Boss, Marauder at Texas Necropolis (2009)

Texas Necropolis (Athens, Greece)

Ross The Boss, Marauder
Theatre occurs when one or more persons, isolated in time and_or space, present themselves to […]
By Grigoris Chronis
May 11, 2009

Theatre occurs when one or more persons, isolated in time and_or space, present themselves to another or others (Bernard Beckerman) while circus also describes the performance given, which is usually a series of acts that are choreographed to music (Wikipedia). Did come up with such a versus reference many times while watching the Ross The Boss gig in Athens, Greece yesterday evening...

MARAUDER is one of the best bands you can come across when searching for some notable Greek Metal; next year they're celebrating their 20th birthday as a band (read their bio here). Being said multiple times in the past; the Athenian quintet is a solid rock of classic Metal dignity and - even if I would not consider this performance as an exciting one - they can assure the listener regarding their quality and appetite for Speed/Heavy/Epic music. They climbed onstage at 9:00pm (doors opened at 8:30pm) and portrayed a set based on the whole of their discography.

Their sound was not vivid enough, while not being a crucial drawback on the other hand; I'd only hope there was more power in the guitars, so as to enjoy the killer duo's impressive leads themes. Giging at their hometown, all songs performed were familiar to the crowd's taste, thus tunes like Power From the Sky, Free Like An Eagle, Born Again, The Return Of The Warrior, Born To Rock and The Greek Revolution Begins created enough of headbanging and an ending grand applaud by something more than 100 metalheads as soon as the band walked off stage.

Let's recall the 'theatre vs circus' intro now...
A couple of hours prior to the gig it was announced that Patrick Fuchs (vocals) had caught the flu, thus it would be impossible for him to sing that night. In brief, it was decided that the concert would take place anyway with two major updates being made: i) the band would focus only on the MANOWAR part of their setlist and b) the vocal lines would be delivered by 4-5 singers from Greek Metal bands (I think the whole world knows the devotion of - among other countries - Greek metalheads to the Auburn, NY Metal legends' mastery) in order to form something more of a unique event/party.

Hence, it was around 10:15pm that the figure of ex-MANOWAR axeman appeared on-stage in order to set up his gear. The greeting-screams were obvious, and everything was ready for some kick-ass MANOWAR Metal to blow the venue's speakers. In total 5 singers shared the stage in order to try and capture the MANOWAR feeling; most of them did, even if that was not the main case anyway (the call to arms was heard a couple of hours ago and they all ran to help - thumbs up!). At least, for MANOWAR fanatics that meant nothing, I guess, since just watching Ross The Boss and listening to such legendary riffs was enough to set the place on fire. Not even bothering that - from some time and beyond - anyone could climb up on-stage and sing along, growl, dance, headbang, raise fists, 'destroy' some of the songs etc etc...

I have the impression that Ross himself was a little bothered that - even under these specific circumstances - the stage soon became an open alley; his playing was affected by this scenario, since he seemed quite amateur in his leads while being unstable enough playing the riff parts. The rest of the band was more calm in order to back up the MANOWAR setlist displayed, again fighting with the mediocre - but not bad - sound.

Gazing at the crowd's response, the groups were already categorized: i) the die-hard warriors mentioned above, ii) normal metalheads willing to follow the party mood but - unless they were friends of the singers_organizers_wide family affair thing - being left aside, iii) mumbling lads wishing they could have their money back watching at this parade with not that much in common with a normal band show, iv) beer-drinkers calmly watching at the bar, gradually getting a little bit tired but yet focusing more on the sociological/regional or once-in-a-lifetime-occasion aspects of this multi-dimensional event. Because, this was not a band gig, I think, with every good or bad consequence carried along...

I do not know if the promoter had (and missed) the chance to cancel this Ross The Boss show. Dunno, too, if someone willing to get a payback for his returned ticket could act as such. Literally speaking, it was a both a wish and a curse to witness and be involved to what happened on a shiny Monday afternoon in the country of Olympian Gods. One is for sure, only: it was really an honour for amateur Metal singers to stand next to such a legendary guitarist and perform songs from their favourite band's discography. These guys should be feeling really lucky now...

[Dimk] In general, I agree with the above described situation but I would like to add some thoughts of mine. Usually, we are bitching about the promoters (provoking their rude response) and the venues (some of them should not be called that way) when something goes wrong on a gig. In almost all situations the bitching is justifiable but -as it -also- always happens- nothing happens. This time I got the feeling that the party atmosphere was messed up due to the lack of musical mentality of the Greek metalhead. I mean, why do you want to get on-stage and try (I repeat try) to sing when some professional musicians are trying to work? And of course you have the rest of the crowd that just wants to listen to professionally performed music and not the average die-hard fan who wants his picture taken beside his idol. So, this time I won't put all the blame to the promoters but also to some of the Metalheads that forgot to pay respect to the artists' sweat...

ROSS THE BOSS setlist:

01. Manowar (vocals by Trampakoulas - ANORIMOI)
02. Death Tone (same)
03. Hail To England (same)
04. Shell Shock (same)
05. Thor (vocals by Johnny B. - CRIMSON FIRE)
06. Blood Of My Enemies (vocals by Alexandros Kostarakos - MARAUDER)
07. Hail And Kill (same)
08. Gloves Of Metal (vocals by Nick Varsamis - LITANY_WRATHBLADE)
09. Fighting The World (vocals by Nick - SOUNDTRUCK_VIOLET VORTEX)
10. Metal Daze (same)
11. Kill With Power (same)
12. Battle Hymn (same)

(photos by someone)



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