MY IL VOLO CONCERT EXPERIENCE: It has been exactly two months (Thursday, March 17th) since I saw Il Volo at Majestic Theater in San Antonio (and also in Dallas on Saturday, March 19th). I’ve created several drafts, but haven’t been able to complete them. None of them seemed special enough, and to be honest, I’ve been in mourning; just wondering if and when I will ever be able to see Il Volo face to face again. It was just as everyone has said; all their videos are totally wonderful, but “Nothing” compares to seeing them LIVE.
A SHORT HISTORY: I first saw Il Volo on American Idol and fell in love immediately. I started looking everywhere for information, shows they might be on, YouTube videos and of course, fan clubs. I have followed them faithfully, viewed thousands of videos, performances on PBS, their first and second U.S. tours, Latin America, etc. One of the best, most fun and enjoyable discoveries was finding Il Volo Flight Crew! My salvation… “home” at last, where everyone was just like me! Obsessed, crazy in love with these three most adorable young Italian men, whose voices lifted me to Heaven, even though I could not understand a word they were singing (I’m so thankful for the recent translations being posted). I cannot go to sleep at night until I hear/view one, maybe ten – twenty of their music videos.
AND SO IT BEGAN: As soon as I heard about their latest North American Tour, I KNEW, I had to make plans to see them. I thought about Detroit, Florida, California or the big Las Vegas venue being planned. Although I live in Dallas,and they were coming to Dallas; I decided I did want more of a little get away, so when I saw the beautiful ornate San Antonio “small” theater, I knew that’s where I wanted to go (although the minute that concert was over, I thought I have to see them again when they are in Dallas, only two days later). I looked at the “who’s going where” list to see what Flight Crew sisters might be attending the San Antonio concert, there was only one: Dorothy Henderson, along with her daughter, Jennifer Roberts. Perfect, just what I needed too, and asked my daughter, Angela Hranicky – who was not a fan “at that time” (more on that later), to drive down with me. I watched closely for what day the tickets went on sale; Jumped online as soon as they did and got FRONT Row seats!! It was a LONG seven months wait from August to March 17th!
THE CONCERT: We had a nice leisure drive down Wednesday afternoon, but I was so excited, I could barely sleep that night. We stayed at the Sheraton/Gunter Hotel, which was right across the street from the Majestic; and I did request a window view of the theater. So all day Thursday, the day of the concert, I kept looking down to see if I could see Il Volo going in for rehearsal. No luck. We went out for a few hours, walking the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk, full of restaurants & gift shops, then took a calming riverboat ride and had a nice lunch. We took a trolley back to hotel around 3pm…I knew I had to rest a little and have Plenty of time to get ready. I wore a sparkly green pant suit – in honor of St. Patricks’ Day! We were ready by 6pm (concert at 7:30), but when I looked out the window, there was ALREADY a line! It was all the fans waiting to get in for Meet & Greet passes, so we hurried down and thankfully when the doors opened, the line moved quickly. While at the M&G table, I turned around and noticed a woman wearing the Flt. Crew badge; I said are you Dorothy? It was her daughter, Jennifer, with Dorothy right behind her. It was so much fun to chat with them. I had brought a present for the guys: M&M’s with a candy dispenser for each of them, which a M&G person took from me and said they’d give it to the guys. I was glad I didn’t have to keep up with the big bag, but disappointed I didn’t get to personally give it to them. I had white M&M’s printed with their names, Gianluca, Piero, Ignazio and Il Volo; red M&M’s with words: Love – as Il Volo is, Romantic – how Gianluca sings, Explosive – how Piero sings, and Passion(ate) – how Ignazio sings, then brought several bags at Christmas of red, white & green Crunchy M&M’s to mix in for the colors of Italy’s Flag. Crazy huh! Finally, the long walk down to our front row seats (Dorothy & Jen were right behind us, we exchanged Facebook contacts & chat frequently now). As soon as Grande Amore music started playing and the lights went down, I was in a trance. Then there they were; so handsome, funny, and their voices so beautiful and more powerful than can be described: I was in heaven the whole evening. I do love each of them for their own special personalities and magnificent voices, but have to confess: Ignazio’s voice, his eyes and forever smile, just makes my heart do flips! I had watched a few of the videos from their other concerts and knew it was close to the end when they started singing Surrender, so with tears in my eyes I was trying to enjoy every note and every move on that stage: All of sudden I looked up and Piero was dancing on stage right in front of me, he locked eyes with me, jumped down from the stage, grabbed my hand, pulled me up and started dancing with me (while I am praying “Please God don’t let me fall!”) What a delightful incredible experience. Also, by the end of concert, my daughter, Angela, is now so definitely a huge fan.
THE MEET & GREET: The guys were so sweet to everyone, and I anxiously awaited my turn; intending to tell each of them how much I love their music and, of course, to give Ignazio the biggest, tightest hug possible. I just froze and only said Hi, but DID manage to give a kiss to each side of Ignazio’s cheeks. Sigh………… Then they clicked my picture with them. It was over too too fast.
My daughter was next and she walked right up and hugged Gianluca (I believe he makes her heart flutter a bit). She now understands my obsession. We ended the night joining Dorothy & Jennifer for drinks at the hotel bar. What fun.
DALLAS CONCERT: Again took my daughter, who was just as eager as I was to see them again. We had second row seats. Their performance was even more exciting, beautiful and overwhelming as our first concert had been two nights before in San Antonio. I stayed in the moment, was in heaven again, swooning & swaying to their indescribable magnificent voices. I brought another gift; just one single Yellow Rose for Ignazio (letting him know I’m forever HIS Yellow Rose of Texas), which I gave to him after “Unchained Melody”. He looked right into my eyes, smiled the sweetest smile and allowed me to again kiss each cheek! A memory I’ll forever cherish. Too soon they were singing the final song “Grande Amore” while my teardrops flowed.
MEET & GREET TWO: I saw Barbara and asked if the boys had shared their M&M’s with her; she said they shared them with everyone, including the band. That tickled me. I “STILL” did not tell the guys how much their music means to me, what joy & comfort their beautiful voices bring to me every day. All I said was Hi, I hope you enjoyed the M&M’s (have no idea if they knew I meant from San Antonio concert). I did manage to give Gian & Piero a hug, plus AGAIN kissed Iganazio’s cheeks. Sighing……..forever! Angela again hugged up Gianluca.
THE END: No this story has no ending, as I’m still obsessed, still listening, watching all the latest videos, reading the latest news from Il Volo Flight Crew, and WILL forever.
In closing, I want to share a couple of song titles and phrases to help describe my experience and what Il Volo means to me: “I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE”….No, I never felt like this before. Yes, I swear, it’s the truth and I owe it all to you. “YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS”… no one could ever miss you, not half as much as me. The Yellow Rose of Texas will be yours forever more.
“YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE”…so many nights, I sit by my window, waiting for someone to sing me his song. So many dreams I’ve kept deep inside me, alone in dark, but now you’ve come along. “MEMORIES” ….all alone in the moonlight, I dream of the old days, life was beautiful then. Just so perfect that Ignazio sings this. I believe it describes the exact reason Il Volo is so adored by all of us. Their music brings back our memories; all those feelings of love, romance and when we were beautiful then. Of course, we still have beauty, but it flows so much deeper now….into our souls. Il Volo IS LOVE.