Il Volo Flight Crew ~ We Are Love September 29, 2013 Music Notes – Myron Heaton
NORTH AMERICAN CONCERT TOUR – A Look Back
Tonight, September 29 in Wallingford, CT, marks the final concert of Il Volo’s North American Concert Tour. Borrowing from experiences of our friends who attended each of the concerts and my own experiences at several others, I thought I would review the whole adventure.
The concert venues ranged from classic theaters like the Chicago Theater, Heinz Concert Hall, Fox Theater and Radio City Music Hall to large arena-style or open-air set-ups like Concorde or Toronto. In terms of acoustics and environment, I would probably place the Chicago and Radio City Music Hall at the top of my list for choice places to perform for Il Volo. RCMH has the added extra incredible history in New York that makes it extra special. Earlier in the tour, my favorite place was the Comerica in Phoenix.
Il Volo brings its own sound equipment, lighting equipment, staging equipment (platforms, stairs, large screens and LED light curtain) and other decorations for the stage. The sound system was very good quality, although sometimes balance between instrumental and singers needed some attention. That can depend on the venue.
General lighting and special effects lighting was very good and very interesting most of the time. Sometimes the follow spots were not “following” correctly, but they are local people who run those usually, not someone familiar with the blocking of the program.
I found the staging to be much more effective this year than last season. The premise of three screens and stairs was still there but use of the round platform in the center and curved stairs really helped add class. Beautiful stage work. Also, the staging of the boys was much better this year with better usage of the stage space and more interaction with the audience as well as between themselves. In most venues they were able to come out into the audience which is always exciting.
In regards to the music repertoire, I think we all agree that this is where Il Volo has no peer in this business. They start with 200 hundred songs and narrow down to 40 of the best and then refine to the 26 they actually use. The boys choose, and all three must agree on each song. They pick beautifully written, well crafted songs with beautiful melodies, great harmony and sweeping lyrical lines; songs with strong texts that say something. These songs receive great treatment with wonderful arrangements and beautiful orchestrations. Humberto Gatica and Tony Renis oversee this part of the work, and they are very good at it.
This year’s North American tour saw some of the best of last year added to the best of this year: this year’s “Luna Nascosta” with last year’s “Tous les Visages de l’Amour”, and this year’s “Il Canto” along with “E Pie Ti Penso.” And of course, the wonderful comparison/translation of “O Sole Mio” becoming “It’s Now or Never” and “Torna a Surriento” becoming “Surrender.” The “accidental song”, “El Triste,” was a great addition along with the great “Il Mondo.”
The classic solos were so superb, displaying the power of Piero’s “No Puede Ser,” the emotion of Ignazio’s, “Caruso,” and the raw passion of Gianluca’s, “En Aranjuez con tu Amor.” The new pop song solo this year, “Night and Day,” gave us Ginaluca’s taste of the great Cole Porter channeled through Frank Sinatra, and it was wonderful.
For the next tour starting in Guadalajara, the music will change a little bit. Some songs will be dropped and some that are in English or Italian will be in Spanish.
In singing and performance, this is another place where Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca have no peer. They are called young men, but no; I’m going to make this point and say, ” teenage boys.” In terms of maturity of the human voice (35 years), they are still teen voices to a certain degree, but that is what makes them so incredible. They are not 35 year olds, but they sound like they are at least 25 or 30. Such rich, full sound, great tonal control and fantastic breath support. I cannot say enough about the wonderful singers and really fine musicians these guys are.
It is so wonderful that they have real talent. They do not need “autotune” to sing in tune. They can actually read music, not just guitar chords. They can sing a capella and rule the day. There is nothing fake about these gentlemen. Then you add that to the wonderful personality and unique character each of them is and, oh my god!
This North American tour should have gone to some other Midwestern cities (that we have all discussed) during this tour because this series helped raise the standards of popular music in this country even to certain degree. It really is hard to go back to listening to other groups of the current scene.
If I am pressed to make a choice, I would say that the Radio City Music Hall concert was their best and certainly the climax of this tour.
I will be anxious to hear from the concerts in Latin America.
As always, everyone ask questions and discuss! 🙂