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.
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!
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!
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.
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….
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…..
But before the duets, how about some great humor?
Introduction to My Way
Mr. Personality! Ignazio you truly are the whole production!
What’s new and beautiful….
Our favorites were there too….