Riot V @ Kyttaro, Athens (GRE)

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Date: 09th February, 2014
Venue: Kyttaro Live
Ticket: €23 ($32)
Promoter: Musicbox Productions

This was one of the most astonishing moments in the history of Greek gigs ever. RIOT V travelled to Athens in order to pay tribute to the founding RIOT member and guitar extraordinaire Mark Reale who sadly passed away in late January of 2012 and what happened that evening was a huge celebration of the RIOT legacy in front of a thirsty crowd... only wish we were more that evening to feel the magic of this extremely unlucky band that should have been quite big in recognition – and sales – throughout the whole Metal years.

It was quite on time when the lights went dim in order for POWER CRUE to step on stage. The Greek Metal band celebrates more than 25 years of existence and it was easy for them to deliver the goods in front of their fans. The band performs a mix of traditional and Power Metal style based on fast speeds but also harmonic moments with some nice vocals leads at the foreground. The quintet was in fine mood and won the crowd at ease with the rhythmic malignance and metallic dignity. Performing songs from the vast majority of their discography, POWER CRUE stepped off in a warm applause that they undoubtedly deserved. It’s one of the best performances they have ever done, to tell you the truth... and I’ve watched them live dozens of times, huh!

With no antics decorating the stage, RIOT V stormed in shortly after and the main question was whether we were gonna see just a cover band and nothing more or not. Thankfully, all doubts went to the recycle bin as soon as the first notes of the mighty “Narita” instrumental were heard in the venue. RIOT V now consists of longtime RIOT guitarist Mike Flyntz and “Thundersteel” / “The Priviledge Of Power”-era bassist Don Van Stavern along with newcomers Todd Michael Hall (BURNING STARR, REVERENCE) and RIOT’s “Army Of One” drummer Frank Gilchriest (VIRGIN STEELE, LIEGE LORD) and rookie but sensational guitarist Nick Lee. This lineup was responsible for 100 minutes of sheer power and melody that was served and spread that evening and I think no one will argue on the band’s performance in general.

And this, because every band member performed not only great as an individual member but also as a part of a band that was willing to kick ass onstage and show no mercy to the audience. Hence, every song was performed more than adequately and there were many times you’d actually imagine Mark Reale was onstage too. And this due to the honesty of the band while playing, plus the magic of the songs themselves that have already stood the test of time and most of them are genuinely considered as classics. Of course, the “Thundersteel” album was honored the most but RIOT V tried to perform at least one song from every ‘vocal’ period of the band (hence the “V” extension now). A new nice song from the band’s upcoming album was also performed and as you can see from the setlist below, there was too much magic to handle that evening...

The sound was excellent, the performance of RIOT V was immense and the tracklist ideal... what more one should ask for? Many times I felt that Mark was somewhere up above watching and smiling in delight during the entire evening. RIOT V truly honored the legacy of RIOT and Mark Reale and this was one of the most entertaining and heartfelt gigs I’ve watched in a long time. Nothing more to add here, there’s no need to spoil magic.

RIOT V setlist:

01. “Narita”
02. “Fight Or Fall”
03. “On Your Knees”
04. “Metal Soldiers”
05. “Wings Are For Angels”
06. “Johnny’s Back”
07. “Hard Lovin’ Man”
08. “Fire Down Under”
09. “Metal Warrior”
10. “Sign Of The Crimson Storm”
11. “Angel Eyes”
12. “Still Your Man”
13. “Altar Of The King”
14. “Flight Of The Warrior”
15. “Bloodstreets”
16. “Road Racin’”
17. “Swords And Tequila”
18. “Warrior”
19. “Thundersteel”