Live Report: Chania Rock Festival Day 1, BLIND GUARDIAN, Septic Flesh, Sailing To Nowhere, Upon Revival @ San Salvatore Bastion, Chania – Greece (30/6/2017)

Chania Rock Festival completed 10 + 1 years of presence in the field  of music festivals and once again the city of Chania - Crete was transformed into the absolute rock / metal destination, hosting audiences from all over Greece and abroad, the number of which surpassed by far the past years. The crowds could undoubtedly be considered as the 11th band of this years' line-up - which included 10 very important names of the local and international music scene , beloved and experienced one's as well as new promising bands! 

The first day of the festival included live shows from: Blind Guardian,  SepticFlesh, Sailing to Nowhere, SLTheory and Upon Revival! Below you can read full live report from our personal experience... 

Day 1

The first day of the festival, Friday, June 30, started shortly after 17:30 under the blistering hot sun that literally could melt the stones... with the winners of the "George Manouselis" bands contest - the promising band of the alternative / modern rockers Upon Revival from Athens! Despite the fact that the band played in front of few people who stood under the scorching sun, the cool presence of the aggressive vocalist Anastasia Papadopoulou, accompanied by the rest young and talented musicians Babis Papadopoulos and Costas Economopoulos (guitars), Yannis Bakalis (bass) and Thodoris Motakis (drums) filled us with hope for the future of the Greek music scene! It's worth checking out their debut EP titled "Epiphany", songs of which they performed live and with comfort, surprising us with the Disturbed cover of song "Stricken"! Many congratulations to the guys for their excellence among other bands, but also because their presence on the stage of Chania Rock Festival passed the crash test of harsh conditions! Well done!

Upon the Revival Setlist: Blindfold - Never Enough - Disturbed Cover - Change - Erase The Fears


Coming next ... the band who literally went on its own adventure ...the progressive rockers SL Theory passed through ... forty waves ... on their way to Chania since there were various delays as we learned from them afterwards. Still, even with a heroic composition of necessity, SL Theory were up there, even with half a band on stage, and tried not to disappoint those who could withstand the hot sun in order to see them. The adventure of the members of the band unfortunately has deprived the audience of their full-length audiovisual show, but we hope to have the opportunity to see them soon in full composition and as appropriate to their aesthetics!

Their setlist included: "Saints & Sinners, Fakes & Heroes", "Ghostly Train", "Afterlife", "If Only", "Sickening My Mind", "Supersonic Rocket Man", songs from their personal discography, which if you are a fan of this kind of music, it is worth listening for its excellent quality, which deserves the distinctive and sophisticated progressive rock genre!




Baton was passed to the next band, the Italian melodic power metallers Sailing To Nowhere, who turned the scenery into a travelling ship ... sailing to the unknown ... but as it turned out , we had very experienced captains! Their setlist was mainly based on their recent release "Lost In Time" and for encore they played the track Sailing To Nowhere, which set their identity from their debut album "To The Unknown"!

Sailing To Nowhere's show was very organised and with attention to detail, as it included scenes of navy concept, while all members of the band had a look and face paint inspired by the waves of the sea! Impressing effects that did not overshadow their energy and joy at all, as the band and their very interactive and charismatic front-man Marco Palazzi and front-woman Helena Pieraccini along with the other band members literally took us in their own impressive and delightful  adventure! Bravo!



It was about time for the titans SEPTIC FLESH! I was really looking forward to see them for the very first time live but unfortunately we did not manage to enjoy their show at its entirety due to the previous delay on schedule which changed the program of day 1 and so SEPTIC FLESH show had to be limited.  However,  SEPTIC FLESH entered the stage ... loaded and at full throttle ... to satisfy us and that's what they did! Fortunately, we heard live some of the all time classic hymns like War In Heaven, Communion, Pyramid God, Anubis, Prometheus and we got our dose until next time! No matter the short in duration, appearance of SEPTIC FLESH , it didn't missed to impress us, both for the dark and demonic atmosphere of their music and their stage presence, with Seth sowing ... devilhorns and Christos reaping headbangings! It was definitely a show perfectly matched  with the bloody sunset of that moment that slowly brought darkness!
The most awaited moment had finally come! The headliners of the first day, the German bards Blind Guardian appeared on the stage of Chania Rock Festival shortly after 21:30 under the unstoppable cheers of the crowds! The audience of the first day apparently included more Blind Guardians'  fans, with several female presences in the first row ... who had even prepared hand made banners! Blind Guardian started their set with the verses of The Ninth Wave, which ideally blended in with the whole atmosphere ... "As dark night embraces ..." and from then on an unstoppable and ... close to insanity ... celebration began as mentioned by the Welcome to Dying lyrics that followed! Several times during their performance, Hansi Kürsch expressed his impressiveness by the audiences' acceptance and so did the rest of the band who did their best to delight in the huge response of the crowds that literally didn't stop singing along all the tracks verse by verse!
When night fell ultimately , Nightfall came to perfectly fill the atmosphere, which we could say was turning into a Middle-Earth battlefield, leaving us not blind as the lyrics prevailed ("they blinded us all" ...) but speechless! The Guardians took us off with the rhythmic song Fly from album A Twist in the Myth ... which closed the first part of their appearance!

That's how we came through the full-length presentation of the masterpiece "Imaginations From The Other Side" ... one of the best power metal album of the 90's, which the Guardian chose to play exclusively for their appearance at the Chania Rock Festival! As Hansi said, there couldn't be a more appropriate setting for them to perform, and indeed, the San Salvatore Bastion is the ideal for the Guardian's music concept of "Imaginations ...", the medieval circle of King Arthur, full of magic stories! It was a blast!!! 
Blind Guardian's 2-hours show ended perfectly with all-time classic hymns that the audience was asking for:  Valhalla  -of course - ... when the first firework and moshpit appeared in the background as well as the thrilling performance of The Bard's Song on acoustic guitars and constant sing along from the world! Finally,  with one voice we sang Mirror and both melody and memories remain still ...

Mirror Mirror on the wall
True hope lies beyond the coast
You're a damned kind you can not see
That the winds will change ....

So, successfully the first day of the Chania Rock Festival full-filled our expectations and this year's motto that "Valhalla rises at Chania this summer ..." got flesh and bones!

Blind Guardian Setlist: The Ninth Wave, Welcome To Dying, Nightfall, Fly, Imaginations, I'm Alive, A Past And Future Secret, Requiem, Mordred's Song, Mourning Hall, Bright Eyes, Another Holy War, And The Story Ends, Encore : Valhalla, The Bard's Song, Mirror

Αfter such an amazing day ... we can definitely express our satisfaction and give many congratulations to all those who worked for the festival under such adverse weather conditions - the guys are really heroes for trying to serve us with professionalism under the blistering hot sun! Also,"thumbs up!" to the heroic audience who chose the festival for their entertainment and was compensated to the fullest! Of course, a great respect for all the bands that shared the scene of Chania Rock Festival presenting us their best! Guys you rocked us like a hurricane!!! \m/

Stay tuned for the 2nd Chania Rock Festival live report ...

Below you can find rich photo album ... Please feel free to share and tag yourselves! 

For RockOverdose,

ivi iviv - Vivi Zapantiotou

Photos: Dimitris Stratigopoulos