This is a tale of another partial concert. I seem to be pestered with those things. I did see Il Volo in L.A. at the Grove shopping center yesterday, Sunday, Nov. 17 – thank goodness. However, I did not see the entire program. I had promised to get a friend to the LA airport for a late “red-eye” flight, so we left at the time the program was to finish – 9:30. Only trouble – it was not finished yet. I had been told that Il Volo was to sing a second song later but could not stay for it. I did see the song that they did early in the show. Here is a short run-down.
This was a taping for television which meant that when something goes wrong they start over again until it gets right. First up – Mary J. Blige. I know her and she is a fine musician but that was not a good night for her. She sang “Favorite things” from the Sound of Music . She forgot the words half way through and had to start again. Then it happened a 2nd time and later a 3rd time. The audience was surprised and getting restless because each take took so long to do. She was followed by Jewel. She got the words right but goofed some rhythms and had trouble with the ear piece (the instrumental background in the ear). So we started again. Audience getting more restless.
Nancy Odell was hosting and then introduced “family traditions at Christmas with Il Volo” which, was to be a pre-taped segment to be inserted in final editing. We did not see that video at the Grove last night. It was just dead time while they reset the stage. Next up was Gavin Degraw. He got through his song and wanted to start again because he could not hear the band, he said. However, the producer said it was fine and a good “take” so we continued (thank goodness). Next: IL VOLO
Up to this point the songs had all been slow songs but Il Volo came out and sang a fast and lively version of “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” which really jazzed up the crowd. After all the starts and stops earlier in the show, it was a real breath of fresh air to have something fast and something where they got the words correct, got the rhythms right and had no sound problems. Our boys got the job done right. They were dressed up very formal and in the holiday style. They engaged the crowd and the crowd loved them. AND there were people there with big IL VOLO signs which they held up.
I was able to contact Barbara via cell phone, we could see each other in the distance and I got a wave from the guys but all from about 30 ft. That place was so packed (no seating. Everyone just standing there packed in however then could.). After I said my “hello’s and congrats on the tour” I had to leave for the airport. At that point the show was running about 40 minutes late.
The guys had just flown in from Panama City rehearsed the Christmas music and did the
show that same night. Now that is being a real trouper ! They had the energy but they really looked tired. I hope that today. Monday, they start getting some real rest.
It was very short but I am glad I went. Was the show worth it? Only for the connections they can make. As a musical event it was terrible. They had sound problems all night long. The quality of the speakers was the main problem. That mall is NOT a good place to watch a concert with all the Christmas decorations in place. Only a small number of people could actually see the performers. The rest of us had to watch on jumbo monitors – UGH !.
All in all, I was very proud of our guys. They were the most professional people there and they were exciting for the crowd. This show will be on the air later.