This year, Ejekt Festival celebrated its 15 years. To commemorate the event, they managed to get The Cure on the bill, something that was to make the festival a success. It proved to be to largest outdoor summer festival in Athens for 2019. The lineup had a bit of everything. The opening act was the Greek band The Steams, that I missed. Then came Khruangbin, a US band from Houston, Texas. The trio played their rock/funk tracks like "People Everywhere" that are widely known since they have a lot of airplay. They were followed by Ride and them by Michael Kiwanuka, the British soul/folk musician known for the song "Cold Little Heart" that was used for the television series Big Little Lies. He also performed other of his known songs like "One More Night", "Black Man In A White World", "Home Again" and "Love & Hate".

The indie/shoegaze band Ride gave a great performance despite playing in daylight. They started with their new single "Future Love" and then they delivered older classics like "Seagull", "Dreams Burn Down", "Leave Them All Behind", "Taste" "Vapour Trail" that Andy Bell sung, and "Drive Blind", sending shivers down our spines, taking us back to the early 90s. Mark Gardener was in cheerful mood, who with the others they delivered a nice set of old and newer songs like "Lannoy Point" and "Charm Assault" from the 2017 album "Weather Diaries". The ended with a new track "Kill Switch" from their forthcoming new album.

As the stage was being prepared for The Cure, it was nice hearing the track "Sea Borne" from Dead Can Dance’s latest album "Dionysus" played through the speakers.

Headliners, The Cure, played a set that was more focused on the albums "The Head On The Door" and "Disintegration", but also playing something from almost all their albums, leaving out something from "Pornography" unfortunately. They began with "Plainsong", a really great choice for opening a Cure concert. From the first sounds of the chimes at the intro we knew which of the two setlist they would play. Robert Smith, on an illuminated stage of blue light, was standing at the edge staring at the crowd before he took to the microphone to sing. Then "Pictures Of You", "High", "Just One Kiss" (one of my standout from the performance), "Lovesong" and "Last Dance" followed. The band, with Simon Gallup on bass, Roger O’Donnell on keyboards, Jason Cooper on drums and Reeves Gabrels on guitar, was in great shape and played flawless throughout the set. The song selection, although safe picks, kept on coming with favorites like "Burn", "Fascination Street", "Never Enough", "Push", "In Between Days", "Just Like Heaven" and "From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea". Another memorable moment was with "Shake Dog Shake" that was delivered in a very dynamic way. Then "A Night Like", "Play For Today", "A Forest", "Primary", "Want" and a powerful take of "39" followed with "Disintegration" ending the main set.

For the encore, they played all the crowd pleaser pop songs like "Lullaby", "The Caterpillar", "The Walk", "Friday I'm In Love" that was received with the most enthusiasm from the audience. On "Close To Me" and "Why Can't I Be You?" Smith, who seemed full of energy and in great spirits that night left his guitar and moved around the stage with only his microphone. They ended their two-and-a-half-hour show with "Boys Don't Cry". Right after the concert finished, fireworks lite the sky, for the celebration of the 15-years of the Ejekt Festival, leaving the crowd with a spectacular sight.

Review + photos by Nick Drivas