Thessaloniki’s Summer of Concerts: The Moni Lazariston 2024 Festival

The Moni Lazariston Festival returns to Thessaloniki this summer, boasting a packed program of concerts that span a wide range of musical genres.


Thessaloniki’s famously good concert and nightlife scene has long made it a favorite destination for culture aficionados, with shows all throughout the year. This summer will be one of the fullest ever – the 2024 Moni Lazariston Festival is packed with close to fifty concerts from June through September (there’s a pause from late July through mid-August).

The Moni Lazariston (Lazaristes Monastery) is in the city, easy to reach by bus or a short taxi ride from Aristotelous Square. The outdoor venue is at a former monastery built by Catholic monks of Paris’ church of St. Lazare, and was active until the Balkan Wars of the early 20th century. Now the restored complex houses the city’s favorite outdoor venue, as well as an indoor theater and the MOMus Museum of Modern Art, which is also worth making time for – it’s home to the Costakis collection, one of the finest collections of Russian avant-garde art outside of Greece.

 

The program includes international touring bands and popular Greek bands, both in a span of genres. For an up-to-date program (at this writing, shows are still being added), please visit the Moni Lazariston Festival’s events page on Facebook.

Here are some of the highlights:

June 5th: Konstantinos Vita 

The composer and singer is well known for his pioneering electro-pop work with Stereo Nova. Spanning genres from house, disco, and trip hop, he’ll be playing pieces from his past through more recent works from his 2023 album.

June 12th: Nouvelle Vague

Nouvelle Vague and Thessaloniki have a long and close relationship. Taking their name from the French cinema movement, Marc Colin and the late Olivier Lebaux with long-time and new collaborators reinvent underground ‘70’s and ‘80’s punk through new wave via bossa nova. Songs from Bauhaus, the Dead Kennedys, Depeche Mode, the Buzzcocks, Tuxedomoon, and many others. They’ll also be playing songs from their new album “Should I Stay or Should I Go” named for the Clash original interpreted by vocalist Alonya.

Les Au Revoir will be opening. 

 

This is a free show – a summer party.

June 15th – Archive

It’s been five years since their captivating show at the Herodes Atticus Theater, Londoners Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths put out a new record in the meantime – “Call to Arms and Angels” (the one with “We Are the Same”) – the latest in a nearly 30 year career that spans avant-garde, post-rock, progressive rock trip-hop and electronica. There are plenty of hits among them, including “You Make Me Feel,” “Bullets,” “Lights,” and the always timely “So……. anyway.”  

 
 
 
 
 
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June 17th – Marina Satti

Singer and song-writer Satti’s blend of pop with Greek, Balkan, and Arabic influences hits all the right notes. Thanks in part to her hit “Zari” – Greece’s entry for this year’s Eurovision song contest – this show is already sold-out. More popular tracks include “Lalalala,” Mixtape,” and “Tucutum.”

June 21st – Tzamal

Thessaloniki local and underground rap artist Tzamal started out in the late ‘90s with Voreia Asteria (the north stars) – initially a graffiti group, then a music group of the same name. His recent solo albums are “I Favela” and “I Coupa tou Iouda.” He’ll be presenting his new record “Terra Dannata.”

 
 
 
 
 
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June 26th – Ara Malikian

The Lebanese-born virtuoso with Armenian roots takes the violin somewhere it doesn’t usually go. You might know him best for “Misirlou” – the Rebetiko song first done by Michali Patrino in Athens in 1927. Surf guitarist Dick Dale popularized it in the ‘60s (the “Pump It” Pulp Fiction version).  Malakian also interprets a huge span of works – from Bach and Paganini to Bowie, Björk, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, and Hendrix. Malakian has played some great stages – the Royal Albert, Carnegie Hall, and the Tempodrom among them.

June 29th (sold out) and June 30th (extra date added) – Dire Straits Legacy

Dire Straits Legacy is a project including former members of British rock legends Dire Straits, including keyboardist Alan Clark, saxophonist Mel Collins, guitarist Phil Palmer, drummer Danny Cummings, and guitarist and vocalist Marco Caviglia (a master of Knopfler’s unique guitar technique). Also playing will be Trevor Horn (of Yes) and keyboardist Primiano di Biase. A great experience of the original band’s singular rock excellence and their classic songs. This show is part of their world tour.

July 10th – Thievery Corporation

This is one of the most anticipated shows on the calendar – the (Washington) DC duet is the gold standard in electronic music for many. In the mid-’90s, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton bonded over a shared love of club life and good music – dub, jazz, and ‘60s bossa nova. They released the now classic “Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi” in 1996, following up with “Mirror Conspiracy” (2000), “Richest Man In Babylon” (2002), “The Cosmic Game” (2005), “Culture of Fear” (2011) and the more recent “The Temple of I & I” (2017) and “Treasures From the Temple” (2018). Memorable songs include “Lebanese Blond,” “Warning Shots,” and “Richest Man in Babylon.”

Iota Phi will be opening the show.

July 12th – Steel Panther live in Greece with Gus G., featuring Ronnie Romero

Such committed, camp Glam Metal like this could only come from LA. Forming in 2000 under the name Metal Shop, with their humorous (sometimes profane) lyrics, strong live show that combines stand-up and covers of well-known ‘80s hits, they quickly gained popularity on the Sunset strip, playing at the Viper Room and the Key Club. A decade later they toured with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, and recorded some albums in the meantime (five to date). This show is part of their “On the Prowl” world tour.

Sharing the show will be Gus G. of Firewind, whose album “Stand United” was just released. Gus will be on stage with renowned lyricist and vocalist Ronnie Romero, of Rainbow and other projects. Gus G. – known for his amazing dexterity – was Ozzy Ozbourne’s lead guitarist from 2009 to 2017 and is recorded on his 2010 album “Scream” is among the most internationally respected metal guitarists playing today. Thessaloniki is his hometown; it’s always great to see him here.

August/September

Many shows are still being added for the summer’s second half – the festival’s events page will keep you up to date.



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