ATHENS, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The popular American band Calexico performed live on Tuesday night before a fully packed Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival.
The influential band, that is currently on their summer European tour, presented to an enthusiastic audience of 5,000 people some of their biggest hits, along with songs from their latest album, "The Thread that Keeps us", released this January.
Named after a town on the Mexico-California border and originating from Tucson Arizona, Calexico has established an entirely new musical sub-genre.
Their unique idiom, described as "desert noir", is a blend of traditional Latin music influences (mariachi, conjunto, cumbia, tejano), country, jazz and post-rock.
In their 23-year career, Calexico has gained both critical acclaim and a growing number of devoted fans all over the world.
The band has staged several concerts in Greece and is particularly loved among their Greek fans, who don't miss the chance to fill the venues where they appear. As Tuesday's tickets were quickly sold out, the organizers announced a second concert for Wednesday.
According to guitarist and frontman of Calexico Joey Burns, the loving feelings are mutual. "(When in Greece) It feels like I am back home... The blending of cultures where I live reminds me of that Greek spirit," Burns told Xinhua in an interview before Tuesday's concert.
Calexico is no strangers to the Greek culture and music, either. Their 2015 album "Edge of the Sun" features, among others, a guest participation of the traditional Greek instrumental group Takim, whom they met again with last night on stage to present an interesting take on Calexico classics, such as "Stray".
As Burns underlined, discovering, meeting and working with musicians from all over the world is fundamental for Calexico.
"As musicians we are fortunate to have each other, because we have a bridge, and I think that's the message the music brings: that we can be together, even when we are miles apart, we have music that brings us closer," he stressed.
"So, for me, when I come back here, I am always with an ear open, wanting to hear new sounds," he added.
Other surprises Calexico had in store for the Greek audience included duets with popular Greek singers Monica and Andriana Babali, with whom Joey Burns sang a much-loved Greek oldie entitled "What is this thing called love?".
The 1955 classic first became famous when Italian actress Sophia Loren sang it in the film "Boy on a dolphin" two years later.
"It's a beautiful song, I love the message "S'agapo, s'agapo" (I love you, in Greek), we need that reminder that we are all one and that love is the answer. Love is going to champion hate and racism and division," Burns highlighted.