Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vasco Rossi, Stadio Friuli Udine, 12/09/08

Great show in Udine’s Friuli stadium by Italy’s veteran 56 year-old rocker from the town of Zocca, located in the Modena area of the country.

Rossi, a former radio disc jockey who began singing at the end of the 1970s, attracted some 30,000+ people to Udine’s stadium, just two days after the 2006 World Cup winners, the Italian men’s national soccer team, played in front of 30,000 in a 2-0 victory over tiny Georgia for the 2010 World Cup qualifier in South Africa. And the fans for Rossi came naturally in all sizes, shapes and colours (some fans lined up as early as 3am on the day of the concert, which took place at 9pm that evening, while others included dads and moms who accompanied their teenage kids!).

The only major drawback to the show, which had quite the impressive stage, was the lighting, or rather, the lack of it: the Udine area got hit shortly before Rossi’s show by high winds (80 km/hr) and heavy rainfall which ended up pretty well knocking out the delicate and intricate lighting software/hardware. The show wasn’t totally in the dark mind you, but had the rain not fallen that evening, no doubt Vasco’s performance would have been even MORE spectacular than it actually was. Vasco, affectionately called “Blasco” by his armada of devoted fans throughout Italy (some came as far as 1,000 kms!), was wearing his traditional greenish-olive cap, a leather jacket and a t-shirt underneath with the letter “V” emblazoned on it. This tour was part of his latest album, “Il mondo che vorrei” (The world that I’d like to have) and included new and old hits, such as some of my favourites, “Gli spari sopra” (the video was shot in Los Angeles) and “Rewind”.

Blasco concluded with the soft and beautiful ballad “Vivere” as his encore. The show went on for nearly 3 hours and no doubt left NO fan unhappy after having paid 40+ euros to see him. Fans just under the stage were treated to a further delight: at one point the “old” rocker (together with Luciano Ligabue, the two are the closest thing to an Italian version of Bruce Springsteen) threw his cap to the audience below, then his a long coat-like shirt and then finally the very t-shirt that he was wearing, leaving him as a Tarzan-like figure on stage. Well done Blasco, no doubt Udine will always be happy to see you sing again (all pics by M. Rimati)!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gianna Nannini, Villa Manin 03/09/08

Italy’s 53 year-old rocker Gianna Nannini packed a small and yet mighty punch in front of about 5,000 fans at the splendid Villa Manin venue near Udine. Nannini, who is the older sis of former Formula 1 driver Alessandro (anyone remember him? He had had an accident with the family’s helicopter and ended up having his forearm severed by the helicopter’s blade), is perhaps Italy’s most famous female rocker who began her long career back in 1976 (she’s also famous because along with a Neapolitan singer. Edoardo Bennato, she sang the popular theme song to the 1990 Italian World Cup, “Notti Magiche”, which was actually the first time in World Cup history that the major soccer event really had its own theme song. Your correspondent STILL has fond memories of that great sporting event as he was not only Korea’s interpreter but he took in several matches, such as the Argentina-Cameroon opener in Milan, the semi-final between Argentina and Italy in Naples and the W.Germany-Argentina final in Rome).

The V.M. concert opened, luckily on time, with “Mosca Cieca” and followed with some of her older hits, such as “Bello e Impossibile”, “Radio Baccano” and “Sei Nell’Anima” all the way to more recent hits such as “Io”. A nice ditty was “Meravigliosa Creatura” which the folks over at Fiat’s advertising company have recently used to launch on tv. networks one of their newest cars. Gianna was backed up by 6 fine musicians who helped her through a 90 minute show. Apparently, on May 24, 2008 at Monaco’s Olympiastadion, Gianna’s energetic performance even impressed a fellow by the name of Bon Jovi as she opened for him in front of some 60,000 people. She’s also one of the few musicians in Italy who also happens to have a university degree (University of Siena, 1994). She’s also sung together with Paolo Conte (all pics by M. Rimati).

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