Phenomena by Susan

The last time I wrote a story like this was when the guys were in Verona doing their wonderful Concert for Rai and PBS. I called it Phenomenal. I totally lost count of how many times I used that word phenomenal in my story!
“The beat goes on,” Radio City Music Hall was a Phenomena.

Where do I begin to talk about the three amazing men who stood in front of me at Radio City Music Hall and totally blew my mind!

They have matured in body and mind and their voices have gone to another level of magnificence! 
Yes, we watched them grow but this is different. There’s a beautiful presence about them now. A certain elegance! After thirteen years they haven’t waned, they’ve increased in strength and intensity! There is a certain power in their voices that grabs you from the first note of the concert to the last.
Each guy has grown into his voice and is showing a maturity and style the likes of which men who are approaching the end of their careers can only have imagined! Thirteen years of a lifetime! A lifetime full of wonders and experience which most entertainers will never have the honor of knowing.
I’ve worked in this industry, and I’ve seen young people achieve fame and throw it all away on foolishness! Many have achieved fame but what they do with it makes the difference!
These men have shared the fruits of their fame. They didn’t take their fame and run with, they cherished it and used it to help others. They could have gone home to their families until the next tour but no they shared their good fortune. This is what makes them so great. This is what makes them incredible. For this reason, these entertainers are loved by their fans in the most incredible way!

Standing in line at Radio City Music Hall, waiting for an Il Volo Concert, you get the feeling that you aren’t going to a concert rather you’re going to a big party that is being thrown by a member of your family!

Speaking with some of the fans, I asked what it is that they love about the guys on a more personal level. Many said their openness and generosity with the fans. They consider them like family. Some said they are the son they never had or the grandson they admire. Much like the fans who write to me each week. There is a beauty about the relationship between the fans and Il Volo. Il Volo is family!
The fans were the ones who got them through it all when they were young, and they never forget to say thank you! They attribute their fame not to their talent but to the fans who come back time after time, year after year to be with them. No, the fans are not followers in a sense that most fans are! No, they are family that always wants to be there for their boys!
It wasn’t always easy for the guys but when they had a goal, they went for it!
I remember Ignazio saying in a video when they first came to New York. “This is Radio City! We hope, I hope, everyone hopes to go there to do a big concert for the American people.”
What a dream! Who could possibly have thought that three Italian teenagers could have achieved this dream and stepped on to the stage at Radio City Music Hall and brought us all to absolute ecstasy with their voices!
Most entertainers want to perform at Radio City once in their lifetime! It’s a dream, it’s every entertainer’s dream! Our guys have done it year after year to sold out audiences! And every time is better than the last.
And the guys are honored to have achieved this wonderful opportunity to appear in the greatest and most well-known Music Hall in the World!
So, let’s follow these three extremely handsome men, who have the world in the palm of their hands, to Radio City Music Hall!


First instruction! No videos! Photos are okay!
As we enter the theater, we can’t help but notice the quietness of the stage! The dim lights reflect the different movements on the stage. In the shadows we see the skeleton of a band. As we get closer to the stage, we see Ignazio conversing with Giampiero. Always instructing, always advising! We see Piero making final arrangements for his pieces.
We begin….

Ignazio never ceases to amaze me. His natural demeanor, his ease of movement. As he moves everything around him becomes a production. Ignazio is the production, and we are watching him move into action! No detail goes unnoticed by him! Lights, microphone, everything technical within his reach is looked at. His eyes miss nothing! He’s on a roll. A few verses of a song to make sure it’s right and then….

Piero steps up to the mike and belts out a song and we are immediately aware of his greatness!
Recently I said Piero has expanded and grown during this time of isolation. It’s never more evident than in this moment! Though we are supposed to be quiet we can’t help but applaud at the end of his song! A few instructions to the staff and Piero moves on!

In the meantime, Ignazio is preparing for his song! He steps up to the mike and, Mother of God save us, he blows our minds with his beautiful voice! At the end, forget the silence, Applause! Applause! Some instructions to the staff and he moves on.
So, here we go Gianluca has appeared. Strolling around saying hi to everyone. Is he even awake yet? Not sure.

Gianluca steps up to the mike and I guess he is awake after all because he thrilled us with his magnificent voice! So strong, so enticing!
You will notice that I did not mention what they are singing that’s because we were not able to video the event so in order for you to get the full effect of the soundcheck experience I’m not going to tell you what they sang!

Time to gather around Giampiero for an absolutely beautiful song then it’s the orchestras turn!

The guys listen to the orchestra and then it’s time for some duets!
Group picture with the fans and then back to the soundcheck!
All is well and time to go! The guys tell us they will see us in a little while! Farewell applause and out we go!
The soundcheck was amazing because we got to hear their voices up close and see their true expression and feel what they were feeling in their delivery! A totally awesome experience!
Out in the lobby, we spend the next two hours talking about the guys and greeting people we know and some we don’t!

There were people here from all over the United States. Actually, all over the world!  My friend Berenice Castro Rom with fans from Mexico and the ladies from Argentina. I heard Gianluca say at Soundcheck something about fans from Puerto Rico.

Many of the fans like Sanna Frediksson and Kathleen Banaszkiewicz also told me they were at some of the concerts in Europe! What fan flies halfway around the world to see a concert! Very many went to Taormina and Verona! Totally amazing!
So now we’re ready for another phenomenal performance!
Let’s set the stage….

The new scenery….

With the exception of the Verona concert in June 2021, Il Volo never has a fancy stage set! They don’t need it. All the elegance is in their beautiful voices and a fancy stage would only distract from their magnificence! This stage is actually elegant in its simplicity!
Simple silver drapes that reflect the changing light around them is all that is needed. The shades of red and blue and purple constantly change the scene and the atmosphere!  It’s a feeling of movement within a shimmering glow of color! We watch the guy’s appear and disappear within the shadow of the brilliant colors!

The Orchestra….

A simple stringed orchestra of at least a dozen violins, cellos and a harp. Always a flute and horns. Drums and guitars and the ever presence Giampiero Grani on piano and conducting!
Stage set!


Black and White and elegant!
When the white suits first appeared in Toronto, I have to admit I wasn’t totally on board with it. Then I saw some photos of the guys and I had to admit they were drop dead gorgeous in them! But when the guy’s walked out on stage I finally saw how elegant they were. Perfect in every way! Who would have thought they would ever see three guy’s singing bel canto in white tuxedos. The time has come to change their direction and clothes and go to a new comfort zone!  Great choice guys! You look marvelous!
During the performance they do change into the black and for a while we watch the black and white play off one other!
A wonderful new vision! Bravo!

So let the show begin!

After the show I did a review on Ticketmaster. So, let’s start with my summary to them.
The best 2 1/2 hours I’ve spent in over two years when I last saw Il Volo at Radio City Music Hall. The new show is an event not to be missed! Along with their bel canto they have exciting new songs that will go to the core of your heart! They are three voices that form a symphony. Individually and together, they will capture your inner being and leave their mark on your heart forever. If you haven’t seen them yet, it’s time you did!

This concert was different….

I remember when the guys first recorded the Morricone album, I thought this is going to be different. It certainly was! The guys were moving out of their comfort zone. To some degree, they were taking a chance. They certainly try new and different things, but this was even different from their normal different.
When the guys wanted to go to Sanremo they debated it and went back and forth and finally everyone was onboard. The decision to do this album and production had to be very much like that. It was risky. They had no idea if this would work but they took the chance because they believed Morricone’s music was important and they wanted to share it with the world.
I always say that Pino Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio and here I have to say Morricone wrote his songs for Il Volo. There were no words until Il Volo appeared. This music is so perfect for them. The genius of Morricone and the genius of Il Volo what a combination.
The result is an album which brought Morricone’s music to life and catapulted our guys into a new musical direction. Bel canto and beyond!
The greatness of Morricone was hidden for so many years. After receiving an Honorary Academy Award from the Academy, people began to notice Morricone and those who snubbed him for so many years, were forced to admit he was one of the greatest composers of the century.
The guys were in the middle of the pandemic, and they knew when they came out of it, it would be like starting all over again. So, you might ask, why take the risk with this music? I think the answer was simple. During their quarantine, something amazing happened, these three men had the opportunity to be at home, to live normal lives and to finally be in a position where they could take the time needed to consider their next move.
Coming back after the pandemic wasn’t going to be easy but, during that time something else happened, Morricone, who the guys had a great respect for, died.  When the project came to them, it wasn’t just the opportunity to do this album but to be a big part in the decisions about this album. For one, they could select which music they wanted. Over five hundred pieces were available. At this moment, they had an opportunity to take a good look at their future and they decided to go for it!
When they stepped on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, they already had a successful album and people loved the new music.

The Production….

But how was it possible that people were able to jump onboard so easily with this music? The answer is in the opening number. The one song everyone knows is The Ecstasy of Gold and so that’s where we begin….

What a way to start a show! Now the adrenaline is flowing….
The next song touches our heart every time….

Your Love

Have you noticed the strength in their voices. Very mature! Crisp and clear! Fine-tuned! They went from amazing to phenomenal. They truly took my breath away.
What I also noticed is the audience was more attentive. Not jumping up and down but truly paying attention like they never did before. I think they were experiencing something new, and they liked it! And at the end of the songs, they applauded and stood to acknowledge them every time. They truly showed their love to the guys.
During the songs people were listening and following each guy as he moved around. It was like surround sound. Their voices were coming from everywhere. A true Symphony!

How about those duets…..

Always amazing!
But before the duets, how about some great humor?


Introduction to My Way

The Solos….

Mr. Personality! Ignazio you truly are the whole production! 

What’s new and beautiful….

Our favorites were there too….

Did you notice how their voices can change your whole state of mind?

And how about those little moves that can drive you wild….

Okay Gian! You almost got it! Now move!

So, if you’re going to start all over, why not try something different. They did and it worked! They presented a concert that was a marvel, a sensation, a curiosity in other words, a Phenomena!

And so, I end this story with my favorite picture of the evening! Me and the guys! Thank you for a phenomenal evening. You truly swept me off my feet. Each of you knows what you did for me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! See you in LA!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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To read more Il Volo stories visit us at

22 thoughts on “Phenomena by Susan”

  1. Loved the article. I’ve been a fan since 2012 and saw them in Orlando in 2014. I recently referred to the guys as “my nephews” when telling a friend about following them all these years, So excited to go to sound check and performance in Clearwater on Friday!! I’m flying down from Raleigh since the NC date didn’t make the cut but works out well since I can visit with my brother nearby, too!

  2. Yet another great story Susan and they just keep on coming. For those of us who cannot get to a concert, your stories transport us there as though we were. Keep them coming please, and thank you once again. ☺️💐💐 Kate

  3. In July 2011, Ignazio said that they would like to perform at Radio City some day. 26 months later they were performing at Radio City. Sold out!
    Thank you for describing the sound check. It really sounds fun and interesting to see how they work.

  4. As always – an Amazing article- it’s all so true! Their voices are like nothing else- just gives you goosebumps every time!🤞💕 it truly was a magical night, and it was perfect to meet you in person🥰 I can’t wait to be at the LA show! See you there!🤞🤗

  5. I have loved these boys since 2015 when my husband died and I had knee surgery. Discovered them by chance on Facebook and now am a big fan. They helped me through the pain. I would listen to their music. You tell their story so well. I saw them in Cleveland sound check and all and was so disappointed to miss them in Atlanta because I had Covid..They do remind me of my grandchildren. Keep on writing!

  6. Susan, your comment about waiting to get into a concert is like waiting to attend a party was what ran through my head when reading “Fun and Games in Atlanta”. I, too, envy those dedicated fans who have the health and means to travel the world to attend concerts. Thanks to you for the next best experience; it is a treat to be able to follow Il Volo on their journey through this tour.

    1. Eileen Charnas
      I love in South Africa and have been following these phenomenal guys since TLUC but they have never come here and I have never seen a live concert. They are grand and I live in hope. Thank you Susan for the lovely article. xoxo

  7. IL VOLO giving benefit show for Ft. Myers on Oct. 9. Livestream, buy a ticket? Details on FB. Any techies out there to explain procedure to us dinosaurs?

  8. Susan, such a wonderful article for those of us who could not be there. They never let us down with their singing magic. I will enjoy all the stories and pictures as they move through the USA and onward through the world.

  9. Thanks for this, Susan – what a terrific concert! And congratulations on your photo with Igna’s arm around you, rockin’ that black leather jacket–lucky girl! I’m going to try for something like that in Clearwater–wish me luck!

  10. Susan THANKYOU for that article. It brought everything about il Volo alive. I am so excited because I am travelling from New Zealand to Sydney Australia to the concert on 24th October. I’m just sooooo excited. Only hope my QR card works!

  11. Such a wonderful article, Susan! Thanks so much. One can tell by your reporting that you have a great love for our Il Volo.
    One that is shared by one and all who listen to them, see them in concert or get to meet them personally. I had the most amazing time in Toronto and a happening I will remember and cherish until I’m 100 yrs. old!!! Just have ten years to go to meet that age and hope I get to another of their concerts before that time. Hugs, Dol

  12. Hi Susan. I took my two granddaughters to New York for the concert. What a beautiful night. I was totally in awe of our three gorgeous men. I have to agree, those voices are absolutely phenomenal. I also had chills. Ignazio is so, so talented. He is absolutely adorable and adds so much fun to the evening. Without explaining, we also had the surprise of our lives and we also saw them again in Pennsylvania. We were invited as special guests and our meet and greet was truly amazing. Igna wrapped his arms around me, hugging me from behind. It’s a beautiful memory that I will never forget. I have to add that he is one of the sweetest young man ever. I don’t have enough words to describe this amazing trip to New York. I have had kisses and hugs to last a lifetime. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful account of the concert. I can say with all honesty that my experience was all of that times two.

  13. Susan, this story was almost like being there. I have been to the first three Il Volo concerts at RCMH but was not able to be there this year. Cleveland and Atlanta were heart stopping! The guys give 100% every time, everywhere but they took my breath away… again!!! Of course the cherry on top is always the meet and greet! I just want the world to know that my life is significantly richer because Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were born to sing and I have been blessed so many times over to be in the many audiences! This is another great story!

  14. I was at the Atlanta concert! OMG! OMG! From start to finish it was unbelievable!! My very first IlVolo concert!! (It won’t be the last!!)They walked out on stage and my heart just flipped, Omg!! how handsome they are!! What a wonderful night! They got standing ovations after standing ovations!! Ignazio joked about us getting our excise going up and down so much!! the meet and greet was very short but they were funny and happy and so sweet and they treated me like an old friend! Ignazio hugged me and told me I had on a beautiful “orange” out fit( it was hot pink) Gian told him ” No it was pink,”! Ignazio said “wait” And whipped his own phone and made our photo himself!! I had heard their concert were fantastic and Now I know what everyone was talking about!!! Thank you for your review!! You hit it on the head!!!!

  15. Susan – Thank you sincerely for your stunning detailed account of the “boys” you have an amazing heart to take the time to share your experiences with those of us who can only have the joy of seeing them on “YouTube” or “Facebook” – how fortunate are we to have you share with us through your eyes – you truly love these boys as we all do – they have been gifted to us from a higher power – their humility is the secret of their success – they are loved by all generations & cultures all around the world – how profound!! – thank you once again Susan – you are a lovely soul.

  16. Merci encore une fois Susan ton article est au Top et je me suis régalée a le lire !Tu decris tout si bien !Les gars sont phenomenaux tu as raison ,mon dieu ce qu’on peut les aimer pour toutes ces qualites et bien sur leurs voix phenomenales je suis comme toi je dis et redis ce mot !Superbe ta photo a la fin j’en aurai une peut etre un jour !Merci encore <3 <3

  17. Thank you so much, Susan. Yes, true, IL VOLO does not need a fancy stage. As it would only distract from their elegance and magnificence, which you have said so well. Ignazio looks so happy with you on his arm. He felt your love. They all know how much we love them. They are the best.

  18. I missed the NY concert because I had a cruise planned out of Boston. So moved my tickets to Ct and Boston. Cruise was cancelled but we to the shows, outstanding. Then we came home and I was going through withdrawal- not happy. Got good tickets for Bethlehem but missed NY. And now you brought me there. Thank You.

    Excited to see the Florida live stream, and to help out our hurricane victims. WOW. I love it. I have sent the notice to everyone I know. Hope it goes well.

    I made good bread for Ignazio in Bethlehem so he did not have to eat the terrible “Italian bread”. That was so funny.

  19. Susan, this was an excellent review! As someone who attended this concert, it was wonderful to relive it with your great comments and beautiful videos. This concert was beyond amazing!! Thank you so much!

  20. Susan – as always – I do thoroughly enjoy reading your stories. You are great ears and eyes to your readers – I was with you throughout the story 👍😋.
    Sounds like you have had a grand time at the Sound Check – I would love to join one of them and truly get up close and personally with them watching them at work. The Soumd check is so important to the performers so I am really amazed that the guys let us fan in during same, hence so much appreciated.

    I like your detailed descriptions on everything incl. the stage set-up. Seems that they have changed same somewhat since this summer. I agree that Il Volo do not need any distracting crazy light show or dancers etc., but then again I truly liked the beautiful and elegant light show provided at Arena di Verona this summer. A totally dark stage suddenly lit up by millions of golden, blue or red glittering “dots” exploding. And my husband liked the background videos from a western movie or Elvis sort of softly underlining the story of the song. But yet again focus should always be on the guys as I love to watch their expressions and movements.

    Like you I didn’t exactly know what to think of their white tux, but now I love them 😋❤️. I do know now, however, what did bother me in the start – and still does – namely the black shoes! That kind of ruins the glamorous white look – it would make a huge difference if they ie wore white loafers as well. That’s my humble opinion. But who is looking at their feet anyhow😜😍

    I am so glad on your – and the other flight crew fans – behalf that you had a successful M&G and got a great photo. Must be so cool to meet them this way. The price for this extra treat is, however, out of my economical reach – but who am I to envy you as I was one of the few ones lucky to have a handshake from Ignazio when he entered the stage via the aisle in Verona👍❤️
    Greetings from Kirsten🇩🇰

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