Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cranberries - Live in Athens 14/07/2010

I had not been in a concert in a while. I had tickets for the Cranberries since March or April, when they were issued. I was expecting this concert, as I had not seen the Cranberries live up to now. And I love this Irish band, and of course, I consider Dolores' voice to be one of the most beautiful I've heard.

The Cranberries performed in a little theatre in the centre of Athens, under a big rock, and that is why it is named Theatre of Rocks. It needs a bit more maintenance but as a small place for beautiful concerts it is a good place to go. The theatre was full, but we were comfortable.

The support group was a band named Rosebleed, who have a CD out, named White Balloons. It is a new but known greek band, with english lyrics. Their biggest hit has been a song named Until Next Time, and you can watch it online at their MTV UK site:  Rosebleed on MTV UK

I like Rosebleed quite a bit. They have good songs and they have inspiration; but they lack a presence on their live shows. Despite having good strong songs, they lacked movement on the stage. They did not even move from their place on the stage at all! Not even the singer!

But now, we cut to the chase and talk about the Cranberries themselves. they came out around 10:30, I think. They played for one and a half hours, although they could have played for another hour and time would have flown just like that. Just by listening to Dolores' voice. She was great. She moved all along the stage, singing and dancing and performing the Cranberries songs. From Animal Instinct which was the second song in their playlist to Just My Imagination and Salvation, the Cranberries performed a number of their best known songs.

But the best was still to come. And the best was the live performance of Zombie. For me that's their best song, and one that will remain carved in my memory for ever. It is a brilliant song, one of those that "irritate" in a good way, that you cannot forget. A song about war, and the hurt that it brings. The whole theatre was performing with Dolores. In your head, in your head they are dying... With their tanks and their bombs...

One of the best moments ever in a concert. An unforgettable moment, and I think that everyone who was in the concert yesterday night, will remember that moment.

So, the first part of the concert, closed with Zombie. But we wanted more. And they gave us more. Came back on the stage for the encore. A few more songs, and among them Promises, and again everyone singing together with Dolores. All the promises we made...

The final song of the evening was Dreams.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Small Gods - Terry Pratchett

If there is just one Discworld book that anyone should read, I would recommend this one: Small Gods. This is definitely one of the best Discworld books, and its subject is religion.

Brutha is a wanna-be priest and devout believer in Om. He is about the only true believer Om has. And that's what makes Brutha special, to a lot of people and supernatural entities. Om wants him because of the flame of belief, Vorbis and the Quisition because he will not question them, but what does Brutha want?

This is a book about religion, and its practices. Pratchett criticizes harshly both religion and the quest for power using religion, and rightly so. Even the story of Jesus Christ does not escape Terry's expert pen, and made me laugh! But this is something that readers should find out for themselves.

This is not a book to be read by fundies or anyone that cannot stand criticism to religion. Because Pratchett here, does show, through satire and comedy, the true nature of religion and gods. It is not we, the people, who need god(s); but god(s) and religion that need us. Because religions survive because of their followers, and devout believers. And this is the truth that Brutha will find in his journey and adventures. From devout believer to a kind of atheist Prophet, Brutha will be shown the truth about the nature not only of his god, but of all gods.

As for the rest, read the book. I highly recommend it. This is the best book I have read this year so far. There is not much more that I can say about the book, other than that I agree with Pratchett about his criticism of religion, about his attack on dogmatism, through the pages of Small Gods. Because gods are the product of people's imagination...