Notte Magica 2017 – Three Voices. Two Hours. One Perfect Evening ~~ John From CT

 

THREE VOICES. TWO HOURS. ONE PERFECT EVENING.

March 11, 2017. After thirteen months of dreaming, hoping, planning, saving, preparing, and studying, my second Il Volo concert had finally arrived. The 6000-seat MGM Grand Theater at the huge Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is a fantastic venue for an Il Volo concert due to the exceptional sound quality and amenities that my entourage of TEN fans was able to enjoy. The 55-piece full orchestra was incredible, and absolutely necessary given the type of music involved; pre-recorded background music would not have been acceptable during this tour.  The crowd was visibly “older” than that of the Grande Amore tour, but that can probably be attributed to the fact that this was less “operatic-pop” and a step closer to “real” opera than previous concerts. Nevertheless, there were pockets of under-30 “youngsters” here and there. The cheering and applause and ovations were frequent and very intense, yet it was a different kind of “energy” that we’ve seen on the Italian, European, and Latin American tours. The staging was simple yet beautiful, comprised of elegant curtains illuminated in a variety of colors. I wish there had been backdrops recreating scenes of Italy, or at least the chandelier from the Florence concert, but oh well, maybe next time. My seat was in the third row from the stage, slightly to the left of center, which turned out to be perfect because “the guys” decided to spend almost the entire concert directly in front of me at a distance of about twenty-five feet! Needless to say, I was able to witness every motion, every gesture, every expression, every nuance of their performances. I was in heaven!

Heaven however, comes at a very high price, because in case you haven’t noticed, our favorite hobby is becoming more and more expensive as the years go by. In my previous review I established my IL VOLO Concert Rule#1: BUY THE BEST TICKETS THAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY AFFORD. That rule still stands, but now my third row Notte Magica VIP Meet & Greet ticket had a face value of $385, compared to $225 for last year’s almost identical ticket. Other members of my party had the VIP Merchandise Package with a face value of $170, versus $125 last year. Even considering the perks that one can take advantage of by being a member of the Official Fan Club, any two people considering a “VIP M&G” experience are now going to have to weigh a $770 price tag, and it can be even higher in larger U.S. cities. For me personally, I can justify and plan in advance for this cost but there are going to be some fans that are going to have to draw a line somewhere and potentially not be able to cross it.

Regarding my other “rules” from last year (Don’t waste time recording the concert with a smartphone, Learn some Italian, Prepare for your Meet & Greet, Make preliminary contact) – all of them came into good use this time as well. Although I appreciate the efforts of others posting concert video clips online, having the “Notte Magica” DVD permitted me to concentrate fully on absorbing their every word and movement; I gave them complete attention and concentration and because of this I was even able to distinguish variations between what I was experiencing live and what I had heard and seen on CD and DVD. Add to this my two years’ worth of studying Italian and the entire experience was magnified by having some understanding of the message that each song tried to convey. To top it all off I am a native Spanish speaker so the handful of Spanish selections came to life especially after reading and educating myself on the history of those as well. I cannot stress enough how having some knowledge of the languages and stories can add to the experience; for me, this concert was not just some kind of entertainment or pastime, it was in immersion into another culture. With each standing ovation I cheered and yelled and made eye contact and sent them my praise and appreciation in a way that only a true fan could express.

As for the performances themselves, I was afraid that I might experience some kind of “never as good as the first time” syndrome. To be honest, at my first concert I had no idea what to expect of a live performance, and even after hearing all their songs on CD and seeing all their videos and DVD’s, I could not possibly imagine that a live performance could be any better, but as you all know if you’ve seen them live these young men will blow right through the limits of any expectations you may have and will mesmerize you with their absolute talent. As for my second concert, I asked myself how could they possibly improve on the first especially since only thirteen months had passed since I had last seen them. Needless to say, they blew right through even those expectations by a factor of 2. There is no need for me to list all the songs. There is no need for me to describe Ignazio’s highs or Gianluca’s lows or Piero’s powerful projection or to mention their passion and execution and personality and professionalism. You’ve heard it all before and I can add little to that discussion. What I will tell you is that for me personally, I can sum it up as such:

THREE VOICES. TWO HOURS. ONE PERFECT EVENING.

The Meet & Greet was the standard “wait for an hour and chat for a minute affair” but it was memorable for me just as well. We have had numerous discussions on this site regarding different levels of fan appreciation and “love” for the guys and I thought I would make that a point of our chat. Following my own rule regarding M&G’s, I practiced and prepared because I knew from all of you that time would be short and excitement would be high. So this 205lb 6’2” tall guy with a military haircut looked them straight in the eyes and told them: I love you guys, I love what you do for our youth, I love what you do for your fans, and I love your passion and professionalism in everything you do.” I commented on their decision regarding the presidential inauguration and told them that all my friends and I supported their concept that the artist should decide when and where and for whom to perform without regards to politics or the expectations of the public; they thanked ME for understanding – Piero in particular was very appreciative. We chatted about my other languages and the progress I was making with my Italian. I thanked them for transporting me to the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence for two hours and for giving me an incentive to learn their beautiful language and explore their incredible culture and pay tribute to those three tenors whom they admire so much. Finally, remember what I wrote about making eye contact? The three of them mentioned how at the end of each song they noticed that I would bolt up out of my seat with my arms in the air cheering for them during each standing ovation; they were looking into MY eyes and feeling MY passion! There were hugs and handshakes all around and after this one I almost lost it. It is hard to describe the feeling where for one brief moment you connect with someone in a very personal, profound, and passionate way that is impossible to duplicate in any other setting. This concert will be engraved in my mind forever.

So I had to pay $385 for this? Oh yes, and I will pay it again. For me, it was worth every single cent. What did I get for my $385?

THREE VOICES. TWO HOURS. ONE PERFECT EVENING.

 ~John

36 thoughts on “Notte Magica 2017 – Three Voices. Two Hours. One Perfect Evening ~~ John From CT

  1. John, this was written so beautifully and honestly it makes me want to frame it next to my favorite Il Volo photo on my living room wall.

    Three cheers, two thumbs up, one perfect review!

  2. Great review. Can’t wait to see them again in Tampa this time, with my IL Volo twin Jan. We saw them up close and personal on Dec 05 in Miami for the WLRN PBS taping for the Notte Magica special for their fundraising. 10 feet from our table. As John said the cost is something that has risen over time. But, since these talented young men are our “vice” (lol) we also plan in advance knowing we love and appreciate them enough to pay the price. Thank you Marie and everyone that helps us get our IL Volo “fix” for the day.

  3. What a wonderfully detailed review! You put everyone in your seat John and gave their imagination freedom. Thank you so much!. Recently, someone said “our boys” wouldn’t be touring in 2018 as they will be working on their new project. That said, I wanted to see them one more time this tour. Carpe Diem! Can’t go west so tried Atlanta, Sold out. Not going to Miami, so I figured Tampa would be great — can visit dear military friends and have a leisurely road trip. Got a Meet and Greet at the STRAZ for $473.50 plus fees = $534. 3rd row. That compares with my 3rd row w/M&G at Kennedy Center last year for about $200 total. (It was the last seat left in the row). Heck, I’ll eat “pork ‘n beans” for a month….or year…hee hee., Again, Thank you so much! Your photos are superb! Have never seen better.

  4. Hello John, since I knew you’d be at the concert of Foxwood, and when I saw the photos of the meet & greet your photo, anxious expecting your comment, and as usual you have not disappointed.
    Your review is beautiful and complete, we read that you were excited about this concert and I’m very happy for you.
    You have been very good to make the most of the little time that is granted in the meet & greet.
    I thought the audience’s age was higher, certainly due to the type of concert, but perhaps also to the price of tickets, which you are very high.
    I know that you are involved in coming to see this concert several friends, liked them too?
    Now your next concert will be Verona, I aspect also read your review highlighting the differences that there is, both in concert and public.
    A hug

  5. I am looking forward to my second concert in London on 23rd May and I just can’t wait.. I cannot afford a meet and greet opportunity this time but I have met them and they would never remember me from one year to the next (although I did present them all with Union Jack cuff links when I did meet them) Il Volo are so talented, and such lovely, caring young men.

  6. Thanks for sharing your evening with the boys. I have tickets to the Las Vegas concert and hope I make it but every day some obstacle seem to pop up. But I am determined to make it.

  7. Wonderful critique John thank you so much. It is only 10.00 a m where I live but I have already read your words several times over to catch every word and feeling.So, once again, thank you for your descriptions and observations, of Piero’s, Gianluca’s and Ignazio’s incredible talent.

  8. As others have already stated John, your review was so complete and beautifully written. I have to mention that your stature and enthusiasm during the concert and at the M&G is strikingly similar to Gary’s from All Things Il Volo! Check it out!

  9. Great review John. I do appreciate that Il Volo is traveling this time with their own orchestra and bringing us this beautiful music that has limited the number of concerts they can provide and still protect their voices. For me it is worth the additional cost. My only regret is that I had to make a choice of getting two tickets for my daughter and I for the concert and M&G, or taking two additional friends. I opted for the later and although we will be in the 4th row, we will not get to enjoy their hugs and enthusiasm up close. As many of you will understand, sharing their stunning performance with people who appreciate it, is a joy.

  10. Oh, John! While I can’t share your proficiency of the languages, I certainly share your feelings for these exceptional young men! I am 85 years old and have seen and heard many vocalists, BUT none to compare! They have touched me on many levels! My m&g was not as civilized as yours….I was almost in total stuper! Thanks for sharing your feelings and your pic with them. It was good to put a face with all your interesting posts! Grazie, Dot on Texas! ❤ ❤ ❤

  11. Wonderful review. I am one of those you mention that can’t afford hundreds of dollars for tickets, I have seen them 3 times and I will need to be content with that. So I especially enjoyed reading your review, just picturing it all in my head.

  12. John, your review was amazing right down to the wonderful details of your M&G. I could have kept on reading and reading. I didn’t want it to end. You were smart to memorize what you wanted to say at your M&G making it much easier when you are face to face and only have a short moment with each. What you chose to say to them was perfect.
    Thank you for taking the time to put together this great review and share it with us.

    Our concert is this Monday in Minneapolis. I didn’t think anything could make me more excited than I already am, but your review just pushed it up another notch!!

  13. Thank you John for that beautifully written and picture perfect review. You took us all along on your experience. These guys are indeed special and exceptional.
    Now I am looking forward even more to the concerts in Las Vegas and San Jose.
    I am wondering if the friends you brought with you to the concert commented on their experience. I would imagine they had a positive response too.

  14. Wow John WoW sounds like you had the kind of Il Volo experience we all want to or have had since we fell in love with the boys way back when. I’m so thrilled for you that everything worked out so wonderfully. I know you won’t forget this experience for a while.

  15. A wonderful review, John. Like :Jane said, I didn’t think I could get any more excited about my concert in ;Minneapolis this Monday, But suddenly I found myself running around, getting my suitcase ready, and making sure I knew where my ticket was. Yes, these concerts are getting more and more expensive for those of us on “fixed” incomes – in other words Senior Citizens. But to my mind, worth every single dollar I I have to spend to see my beloved Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca, even if I have to live on beans and hot dogs for a while!

  16. Always great to hear the news from the tour concerts prior to us (and also after us). Very fine review and good advise. I am not going to by a new TV even though my current one is on its last leg, I am not going to trade in my car this year, I am not going to get some other things done this year – the reason is that I am getting the best seats in the house for their concert here. Is that good advise ? to some people that probably is silly. Oh well, “tough bananas” – it is Il Volo !

  17. Oh John, you did it again. You not only made me feel like I was there, you made me very emotional! THANK YOU for the amazing review I will have my excitement tonight here in Chicago. I do not have the meet and greet but I have amazing seats and am looking even more forward to it than I was before I read your post. Now you have memories to last……..ENJOY
    Lisa

  18. John , I join the echo of praises on your excellent review. You painted a picture of all the excitement at the MGM Grand theater. I felt that I was sitting in your row, cheering and being part of the standing ovations. When IL Volo sings things happen in your heart and soul that brings felling love and happiness! John I hope and pray that there will be a 2018 tour, If it happens I’ll see you at Foxwoods next time around.

  19. John, your way with words in describing each moment, it was like I was there. I couldn’t go this year and after what you wrote I can see I missed probably one of their best shows to date. But your words also gave me hope that even though there won’t be a 2018 tour, I know our guys are putting everything they have to make the New CD absolute perfection!! I also know that in 2019 , I can’t believe I’m saying this, but they will be even better than in 2016 Grande Amore tour. Hearing what our guys have stirred in you is so inspiring. My great-grandparents are from Abruzzi and our guys have stirred in me the desire to try to reconnect with my family in Abruzzi. I don’t know what it is about Il Volo, but they are a gift from heaven and remind me of angels that touch your life in ways words can’t describe. My friend that made it possible for me to see them 2x last year was a true blessing to me after losing my sister to metastatic breast cancer and she said she paid for the second trip because since Donna died this was the first time she saw me smile again and when Gianluca came out starting Volare that I was gone, she’s right, they took me to Italy with them for a short visit and she said she’d pay anything to see that smile again. But she has not been bitten by the Il Volo bug. There are people that enjoy their music and there are people like us that just want to be immersed in the music, the culture….everything that is Il Volo. Thank you for taking me with you as you recall that amazing night!!!!

  20. Thank you, John, for your amazing report. You have just further whetted my appetite for what i am going to see on Monday night in Mpls. As my friends, Jane and Allene have already said above, we are so anticipating the great event….we three, along with 7 other MN fans will be attending together and joining in on the standing ovations and bravos.

  21. Marie, Why were you not standing next to Ignatious
    In your meet and greet photo? He will be starting to think you are not interested any more!
    When I had my picture taken with them in Vegas, I did a little “backward’s wiggle” and squeezed between Ignatious and Piero, but I still was too shy to look at him, and I’m not usually a shy person.

  22. Thanks to all for your kind comments.

    To those of you that have not yet heard the Ave Maria performed live, prepare yourself because this masterpiece will bring tears to your eyes. Even if you are not particularly religious, their very uplifting spiritual message will surely stir your heart.

    As for the other members of my group, five were repeat concertgoers and four were newbies. All of them went out and bought their CD’s & DVD’s. All of them begged me to notify them of any future concerts or new music. Some of them asked me if there were any more concerts in our area because they would consider going again!

    To those of you not doing the Meet & Greet or not able to attend a concert at all, remember that the most important thing in this whole adventure is their music and their voices. Create your own concert at home and make an effort to listen to every note. Make your favorite Italian meal and then have a glass of Pinot Grigio while watching the DVD. It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to take you away to Il Volo Land.

    • John, I LOVE the create your own concert at home. Mary, my friend who after listening to me go on and on about the guys gave them a listen and now loves them as much as I do. She goes with me to see them all the time. We take one Friday a month and I make dinner and then we turn off the lights and light candles and have wine or another drink and watch the guys either on You Tube on my big screen or one of the concert DVD’s. Most people would laugh at our ritual but I know you and everyone else here get that! While watching the concert her at the Lyric on Saturday, I watched and listened to things I may not have noticed before, like Piero’s beautiful hands, or how really good Ignazio sounded, or up close , just how beautiful Gianluca really is. And on top of all of those little things, how every beautiful note filled me with Joy!

  23. Wonderful recap of the concert. I will be at the Mpls concert with my husband and a friend and will be wearing the flight crew badges, i’ll be the one jumping up and down and my husband trying to keep me calm. LOL. (not a chance)

  24. You write a fantastic report John, thank you so much. It excites those of us still waiting with our tickets displayed royally and anticipation increasing daily. I have to have montpulciano d’abrusso with my DVD though

  25. Saw the boys tonight at Chicago’s Civic Opera House. What a joy they are to watch and hear. I appreciate your advice on eye contact and enthusiasm, otherwise I would have thought it didn’t matter in a sold out crowd. They love to connect with their audience and the audience loved them.

    • Sandra , it really was a MAGICAL NIGHT wasn’t it? I loved how with every song, they received a standing O and how they came to the edge of the stage to acknowledge the people with their bright and beautiful smiles.

  26. Wow John! Thank you for articulating your experience so perfectly. I will be doing my fourth Il Volo concert but my first meet and greet in Los Angeles this Thursday. I have been studying Italian as well although being 100% Italian, I have listened to it being spoken all my life from members of my family. My plan is exactly as you said…I want to speak with them in Italian and I absolutely cannot wait!! Thank you again for sharing your experience. I feel like I have a better understanding of what to expect.

  27. Amazing report John! You made me feel I was there in the concert jumping with you after every song! Y es fantástico que hables castellano! Que tal sorpresa para mi! Gracias por tu reporte.

  28. Pingback: Il Volo takes America! – Il Volo conquista l’America! | All About Il Volo

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