Faithless in Zagreb

The blue caterpillars that are the Zagreb trams snaked past us, but we barely noticed as we walked along Ilica toward Šalata. Faithless was playing tonight and nothing else mattered.

Going to see a gig in Zagreb is always an experience. It’s never quite what you expected. Šalata is a curious venue. Like other venues in Zagreb, it wasn’t designed for music or even theatre; it’s an old ice hockey rink. I wonder if this is the first time Faithless have played an ice hockey rink?

Whether by design or accident, the whole venue is so very civilised. There’s a lounge bar looking out onto the rink/dance floor. And, wonder of wonders, there’s a bar about every four and a half metres. Civilised. From the moment we arrived and our first beer was poured by a very smiley, very pregnant bartender, we were never more than 30 seconds from a beer.

The first band that played was Zagreb locals Nipple People. They are referred to as Croatia’s Daft Punk. But apart from some samples and the use of helmets I don’t think they’re so similar. Nipple People have their own style and they’re definitely a little bit Balkan. But they are fabulous to dance to, so we danced.

But of course, the main act. I’ve been a long-time fan of Faithless thanks to my sister-in-law (hi Raye!), but had never had the opportunity to see them. I wouldn’t have seen them this time, either, except C bought us tickets. Thanks C! What can I say? These guys have been touring for a long time and they know what they are doing. The light show was superb, the set was great, Sister Bliss’s music was awesome, and Maxi Jazz was the consummate frontman. We had a blast.

It’s not every night you get to stand in an old ice rink, on a hill overlooking Zagreb, watching Faithless tear up the sky. Thanks C for a smashing night out.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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