CULTURE

Sounds like much of the same, but it isn’t

If we overlook artists who visit the country frequently or who were likely pulled out of storage, the season is still full of promise, with pop music and more alternative gigs. Here are some of the concerts that stand out: Massive Attack (Karaiskaki Stadium, June 9), the band that changed the course of pioneering pop, is among the stars of trip-hop this summer, while a few days later, on June 13 and at the same venue, is hip-hop tough guy 50 Cent, who is coming to Greece for the first time. Whatever skeptics may be saying about the Rolling Stones being a lot different today than they were in their heyday, they remain a legendary band that keeps turning out great, original rock numbers. The new date of the concert has not been announced as yet. Early July will bring two very charismatic, contemporary acts: Antony and the Johnsons as well as Devendra Banhart are both at their absolute prime and are coming to Greece for the first time. Antony, an artist discovered by Lou Reed, is a gifted composer with a heart-wrenching vibrato delivery and an emotive stage presence, whose last album, «I Am a Bird,» met with widespread critical acclaim. He will be at the Vrachon Theater in Vyronas on July 2. Texan-Venezuelan Devendra Banhart has stood out for his surrealist lyrics and a musical style that marries Latin, rock and folk in one acoustically pleasing result. He will play at the Gagarin 205 on July 4. On the festival front, the first to launch the season is Ejekt (on June 3 at the former airport at Hellenikon), which includes the great British band New Order in their first Greek appearance. The festival also features the popular Belgian ambient band Hooverphonic. This year’s electronica Synch festival will be spread out across three different venues: the Pireos Street wing of the Benaki Museum (July 6), the Goethe Institute in Kolonaki (July 7) and the Lavrion Technology and Culture Park (July 8). While the bill may not include any headline acts, it does feature a great variety of different trends and styles, as well as collaborations between musicians and artists from other media. The Rockwave festival, an annual staple, has shrunk to two days (July 11 and 12) and does not offer anything very original this year, with the exception of Glasgow rockers Franz Ferdinand. For jazz aficionados this is a great summer as Grammy award winner Diana Krall is slated to take the stage at the Herod Atticus Theater on July 13. Her repertory will cover a selection of songs from all her albums, as well as other classic numbers. August kicks off with 1980s pop legends Depeche Mode at Terra Vibe in Malakassa, while September will also be exciting, with Simply Red and Pearl Jam.