CULTURE

Beach volleyball arena to host new rock event

A new arrival on the capital’s widening landscape of summer concert events, G Fest brings several major acts – old, new and diverse – to the Olympic Beach Volleyball complex, or Faliron Open-Air Theater, over the next few days. The event’s organizer, Astra, operator of the winter season Gagarin club, plans to establish G Fest as an annual summer event at this facility, constructed for last year’s Athens Olympics. American «stone rockers» Queens of the Stone Age headline G Fest’s first night tomorrow, hard-rock band Megadeth tops the bill on Friday, and the groundbreaking German electronic band Kraftwerk is Saturday night’s main act. Also wired up with electronics, the newer act Aphex Twin plays at the festival next week on June 22. One of the bigger acts in contemporary rock, Queens of the Stone Age are currently riding high. The band’s fourth and latest album, «Lullabies to Paralyze,» has generated rave reviews and widened the act’s fan base. Also included on Wednesday’s bill are Eagles of the Death Metal, a side-project for Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. The band’s name is misleading. Stylistically miles away from «death metal,» this act’s work sounds more like early Rolling Stones and garage rock. On Friday, the festival presents Megadeth, a major draw for hard rock over the last two decades. Led by Dave Mustaine, formerly of Metallica, the group’s most recent album, «The System Has Failed,» rated as one of last year’s best hard-rock albums. Kraftwerk, one of the most influential acts of contemporary music, performs at G Fest on Saturday night. The musicians of Kraftwerk are considered pioneers of electronic music and the numerous sub-categories that have emerged over the years, including electro-pop of the ’80s, techno, trance, dance, experimental electronic music, and ambient. Long before technophobic musicians had even begun thinking about curing their condition, Kraftwerk had already started injecting musical life into the computer. Thirty years later, the German act’s robotic sound remains relevant in today’s music. A batch of Kraftwerk albums released between the mid-’70s and early ’80s – «Autobahn,» «Radio-Activity,» «Trans-Europe Express,» and «Computer World» – proved immensely influential both in music and other fields of art. Just days ago, Kraftwerk released a new album, «Minimum-Maximum,» a live work featuring 22 tracks recorded during an extensive tour last year. The band’s roots stretch back to the 1960s, a fertile period for experimental music in Germany. Founding members Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter joined forces while studying classical music at Dusseldorf’s music academy. They formed Organisation, Kraftwerk’s precursor, and made one album before dissolving the project and returning as Kraftwerk. Considering the band’s emphasis on technology, Kraftwerk performances tend to be spellbinding audiovisual events. G Fest includes a fourth night next week, with the ambient techno star Aphex Twin as the headline act on June 22. That evening’s agenda also includes Le Tigre, an all-girl trio that mixes punk directness, playful samples, eclectic pop, and lo-fi electronics. Formed in 1998, the trio put out several indie scene releases before making a leap to the majors for last year’s «This Island,» an album distributed through Universal. Also on Wednesday week’s bill are Four Tet and Kid 606. The festival’s organizer has announced that more acts will be added. G Fest tickets are on sale at Ticket House (42 Panepistimiou, Athens), the PMW music store (Panepistimiou & Patission, Athens), and through i-ticket (www.i-ticket.gr).