PART III – Los Angeles – the Dolby theater in Hollywood – March 26, 2016
Program order– Las Vegas 2016 Order for Los Angeles
Il Mondo same
Tonight (west side story) – Ignazio same
E Aranjuez con tu amor – Gianluca same
E lucevan le stelle (Tosca) – Piero same
Piove (Ciao, Ciao Bambina) same
Beautiful that way same
My Way (duet – Piero & Gianluca) same
Quando l’amore diventa poesia same
Unchained Melody (duet – Ignazio & Ginaluca) same
Si me Falta tu mirada same
O paese d’ ‘o sole (duet – Piero & Ignazio) same
Anema e Core (Heart and Soul)Gianluca Hablando de ti (Ignazio )
The day after the Las Vegas “blow-out” and the Fan Faire a few of us went to Los Angeles to take care of some business with Barbara Vitali of Il Volo and to attend the Il Volo concert at the Dolby theater. This is the theatre where the Oscars- Academy Awards are presented each year. At 3600 seats the place has about 1000 more seats than the Pearl (2500) and one of the largest stages in the country.
I have attached the program order for both concerts so that comparisons can be made. The biggest difference is in the last third of the concert. That difference was another “mind-blowing” experience for those of us in the audience.
Singing: As in Part II, the guys are employing great sophistication and artistic power with the greatest of ease and absolute control that most singers never achieve even if they go on into their 80’s. The guys’ singing was superb. Regarding their singing, you have to have sound tech sitting at the sound board who is on task properly. Friday had been perfect but Saturday he missed about three entrances – when a singer enters stage singing the opening of a song and the mic is not on right away but a split second later. Generally small item but professionals should not miss those key things. This is not the guys’ fault. The guys were superb once again.
Orchestra: they decided to use an orchestra half again larger than Vegas since it is a much larger stage and a much larger theater. They had a problem from the start keeping tight in their ensemble since the addition of a additional conductor. On the tour to that point they got used to Giampiero as conductor and music director. But now, they, in effect, had two until they settled down to trust the tempo. The guest conductor on one side of the stage referring to Gianpiero on the other side of the stage also conducting from the piano. For the first 4 or 5 songs it was a little tricky since they only had the one rehearsal as a full orchestra. However, the instrumentalists were very, very good.
Please understand that most groups like this travel with an inner core of 5 to 7 key musicians like piano, bass drums and guitar and maybe a few others and then they add the full compliment of strings and winds from the local musicians. Il Volo does too.
All other aspects of the Dolby concert were great.
I want to call special attention to the two biggest highlights of the concert which were a total surprise to everyone (you could tell from the audience response – no one expected these two things to happen). These two songs were NOT performed on any other concert up to now. Why they waited this long to present them I don’t know.
A new composer and his song:
First, instead of doing his usual solo, “Memory” from Cats, Ignazio went over and sat at the piano and announced that the next song was going to be (finally) a new song that he, himself, composed. IGNAZIO , himself, as composer as well as pianist and singer. The song (see list) was “ Hablando de ti” . When I saw him after the concert we chatted just briefly about this song. He has written several songs and this was written about 4 ½ years ago and he “tweeked” it over and over for a couple of years and it is just now being released for the first time on this tour. I loved the song and he sang it very well. I hope they do more of this.
The second incredible and unexpected event was a solo that Gianluca decided to do.
He had been scheduled to sing “Anema e Core” as in previous locations but he changed that Saturday night. I must say that it is very difficult to write with normal, English words what happened after his introduction to the song. He talked about the need for peace in the world and mentioned that many singers through the years have used this song written by Paul Simon many years ago. But Gianluca’s most personal and emotionally favorite performance is that of Elvis Presley. The song : “ Bridge Over Troubled Water” . A song that we need so badly right now. To add even more power to the scene was the fact that Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ former wife, was in the audience (just a few feet away from Jeannette and me) in the Dolby Theater that night.
Up to touch the face of God:
Then, just when you thought the emotional level could not get any higher, Gianluca started to sing. I could not believe it. The people around me (including Jeannette) and the whole audience could not believe it ! Gianluca took himself and us to an entire new level of passion. I am telling you this young man went to where he had not been before. We all were in tears and he was in tears. Way beyond the other songs in the show. When he was done he could barely breath and we were totally emotionally spent. The tears flowed like a river. This song stopped the show. The audience would not stop the applause – it went on for over 5 minutes. That kid was overwhelmed by the response and we were too. I know this has been put to video by people in our group and has been posted so you must take a look. But the only way to understand is – sorry – you have to be there live, in person to feel that kind of power.
When I saw him backstage after the show, Gianluca asked (after I mentioned the song) if I liked it. The humble kid has no idea how big it was. I could only hug him like my son.
The remainder of the show was very, very good but the audience was almost numb by that time from the power of the one song. Interesting that is was Easter Sunday because the spirit moving in that audience that night was so uplifting. To borrow a famous phrase: lifting us up to touch the face of God.
Coda: call it the “kitchen chat”
A little personal reflection on the Fan Faire: while our crowd was waiting up on the 52ndfloor in the View Room for the boys to arrive, I was getting conflicting reports of which elevator they were going to use – the two main ones that we all used or the west side one. Turns out there is another one in the back of the kitchen storage room. When the word came to me I asked them to hold in the rear kitchen so that I could talk with them before letting them loose (or should I say letting you guys loose on them). So as soon as they arrived out of the rear elevator (you could not see where they coming from where you were seated) I went back in there and we met again.
It was all hugs and wonderful statements of support and apology for being so late. I did not care about the apology because I was just happy to see them there. Piero and Ignazio found a table-top shuffleboard unit about 10 ft. long being stored there and they started to play it. Piero just about got stuck to that thing. I was laughing all over the place. Then I finally said “hey, guys! We are on my time now so please continue the game later”. It was all just in fun anyway. Those three came over and we formed a little huddle to talk about what we were going to do with the limited time. I tell you it felt like I was home with my family – just the four of us talking together to come to a solution. I had them all to myself for nearly ten minutes before Barbara came over to see what we were talking about. It was cool. We were back there for nearly 10 minutes and very few people even knew they were there already.
Love those guys. Love the fact that they came to us even though there was no contract and no money changed hands to get them there.
To those of you that came to the Fan Faire, it looks like they want us to do another and have offered to help out this time. I do hope that you remember this event for along time.