There’s nothing like the first time you see them live and on stage! No jittery camera video from row Q. No people talking as the camera rolls. No song ending early because someone is out of time or iPhone space! There they are…in front of your face! They are more beautiful than you even dreamed they would be. No matter how many times you’ve listened to their Cd’s, they sound like something from heaven you’ve never heard before! Then the Meet and Greet happens!
Many of you will be attending your first Meet and Greet and have asked about the process. I am no expert on M&G’s, but I’ve attended six of them and can tell you what I know. Let’s start with walking in the venue door…Look around and ask at the ticket booth where to go to wait for the M&G after the concert. Usually you stay around your seat while the rest of the audience leaves. A staff member will tell you where to congregate from there. It use to be that there was a table set up in the lobby as you walk in and there were gifts for you, like a tote and scarf with Il Volo written on them. Lately there hasn’t been a table. In fact, many times they don’t have merchandise to sell. Take full advantage of this if they do! I have 16 t-shirts. I only wear the one’s that have a twin.
Find your seat – there are staff to help. Also, if you have a walker or etc. a staff person will be there to gently assist.
Oh come on Allene. You can smile bigger than that! Well..maybe not!
The Concert: Not what this post is about. To answer one on-going question…Taking pictures during the performance is a rule of the venue, not the Il Volo Team. Piero personally told me this, he said pictures do not bother them at all while they’re singing (you may pause here because the “personally told me” part impressed you so much.) Best I remember of the seven concerts I’ve attended three did not allow photo’s. The concert is merely two hours of heaven and you won’t be crying when it’s over. Because…YOU HAVE MEET AND GREET TICKETS!
That’s Prese’s bold hand on Gianluca
You will have about a 30 minute wait while the Guys shower and dress in more casual clothing. Usually you and about 20 of the hundred or so M&G ticket holders are given a paper bracelet ID and are led into a space/room and there THEY are!
Meet & Greet 2013
You look at them and the first thing you will think is that they look like normal people (I have heard this from others too). If you’ve been to one you know what I mean. It’s not like you expect them to be 20 feet tall with sparks emanating from their finger tips, but they surprisingly look like three normal young men. Like Jim Douglas said a while back, “they must tuck in their wings.”
Allene, Mary B. and Jane. I think you know the others. You can tell that Jane doesn’t mind the line up!
Gifts for Il Volo: I don’t take gifts. Many people do and some are amazing! I wonder what they could possibly do with them all, plus I think they should give me one. You are usually asked to put your gift and purse on a table before greeting them.
What a fun pose of Suzy and the Guys
Now you get to watch the people in front of you greet Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero. This is so fun! Surely you don’t think your going to be the only one who looks like a star struck fool, do you? You are now a little shaky, but hang in there.
Jeannette, Greek Theater, 6/7/14
OK…now the person in front of you is with them. You are next. I always find that this is a good time to make deals with God, like..you promise to go to church more often if He lets you get through this without throwing up on Piero’s shoes. Breathe! I am proud to say that I have never chosen the next moment to cry, faint or wet my pants… at least until I think about it later. (Thank you God.)
Remember this? Got caught going for an extra dimple! I gave him fair warning.
The Next Moment: Now it’s your turn! You may go up to them alone or with your group. You have been waiting for this moment for a long time! Take it! Hug each one of them and/or shake their hands. Cheek kisses are also in order. Try to remember what you planned to briefly say. Of course they’ve heard all of the praise words before, but not from YOU! And they will love hearing them. By-the-way, they hug back really well!
We all saw them on stage with our gift of the Book last summer, “Love, From The Flight Crew”. Let’s ask them how they liked it. Maybe they will remember your greeting!
While Mary and Loretta were getting ready for our group shot I had a conversation with Gianluca. Yeah, I knew Ignazio was listening and touching!
I must take a moment to talk about SMELL!!! The guys have just showered and applied cologne! Take a sniff! After a hug, if you’re lucky, you can still smell them on your clothes. Happened to me in Chicago. I could smell Ignazio for hours. Alas, by morning the smell was gone. I swear to you I know someone who, as soon as she got back to her hotel, ripped off her blouse and put it in a plastic bag to preserve the smell. That’s creepy. I, on the other hand, ordered Acqua Di Gio by Georgio Armani (Ignazio’s scent) from Amazon. Not at all creepy.
Bring one thing for them to sign, a CD cover, a picture from a prior concert or M&G, your Flight Crew badge. I’ve had them all signed.
Mary’s daughter took this when Piero jumped in our cab. I had him sign it in July. It says, “With love, Grande Amore, Piero.”
During one M&G this year I will ask them to autograph the “Grande Amore” CD cover. Don’t worry, they will each have their own permanent Sharpie in hand. Take your time, but don’t overstay your welcome. Remember, they may not love you quite as much as you love them.
They Don’t mind “set-ups”. In fact they think it’s fun… Like when Linda couldn’t make the concert.
They were happy to do this. It has much meaning for me now. The Boys were important to Linda and her family used this picture at her memorial.
Or when I “pretended” to steal Ignazio. They are such good sports.
He may look scared, but he is holding both of my hands with one of his!
Be sure to have the friend behind you snapping pictures with THEIR OWN camera, as fast and as many as possible of your moment with the Boys. When your time is over, turn and do the same for your friend. When it’s your turn a staff person will take your camera from you and snap a shot or two for you. Also, usually there is a professional photographer who will take two posed pictures. After you pose, it’s your time to leave. (Yes, you have to do it eventually) The photographer will hand you a card with his email address. In a day or two you can log on and buy the pictures. Last concert season I think they were 10 or 12 dollars. Didn’t matter…I bought them.
At this M&G Mary B. gave Piero a 21st birthday gift. I love the expression on all their faces when he “blew out” the candle.
Do not forget your Flight Crew Badge! It is distinctive enough for the guys to recognize and they will usually smile and/or nod at it! Yay! Afterwards is a good time to look around to see if Barb or a parent is around receiving accolades. You can tell if they seem to be approachable at the time or if they’re working. If approachable, be quick while telling them how grateful you are that Il Volo is in the world and that you think they are taking good care of them.
Got this beauty of Mrs. Genoble and Barb at a M&G. I also have one of me with each of them!
Then you leave….. You forget half of what you said and 75% of what they said, but it was a moment you will never forget.
Well there it is. That’s all I can remember for this post. Please keep in mind that it could all be different at your venue. What I have given you is the usual way as I know it. I’m sure I’ve left out important things and others will give you more clues in the comments below.
We’ll be looking forward to seeing your pictures, video’s and stories!
One last shot. You all know this one. It’s cropped from a M&G in 2014.
Yikes this is long, but so fun to have relived my own memories while writing!