Tag Archives: Il Volo North American Tour 2016

In The Blink of a Camera’s Eye

I was reviewing my March concert photo’s again and made some interesting discoveries. It’s the camera’s eye view of what really went on. It captured more than expected. Take a look…

DSCN1411aHere’s our talented Gianluca sitting on the edge of the stage, looking dreamy, singing his heart out for his audience. And the other two are discussing what to order on their pizza after the show. I think Piero is about to say either pineapple or pepperoni.


DSCN1418a“Gimme that dimple!”



That silly Piero! Thought he could pull a quarter out of Giovanni’s ear.


DSCN1414aIgnazio: “Gianluca! It’s your turn! Quit smiling at that girl and sing!”


DSCN1412aIgnazio: “Hey Piero, look how fast I can snap my fingers!”
Piero: “Yeah? That’s nothing. Look at this…”


DSCN1398aPiero teaching Giovanni how to play guitar.


DSCN1379aHey! How did that quarter get in my ear?”

Every now and then I feel the need to keep it light. Besides…what else am I going to do with pictures that don’t turn out right?  I mean… it’s still our Guys!  



Dancing With Piero! ~~ Liz Vines

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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 FlagCrazy 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 liz 5of 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.
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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.

~Liz Vines~



Fabio Ingrassia

This fellow has been in the news a lot lately.  Could it be partly because of another reason Italians are so uniquely wonderful?  Have you noticed how they give fellow Italians a “leg-up” on their career through viewer exposure?   It was done for our Guys and they have paid back the favor many times now.  We can do no less.

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Remember me telling you about the Ft. Myers concert and the artist, Fabio who did their drawing (upside down!) on stage as IL Volo sang?

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Leelee, Ineke and I were lucky enough to spend a little time with him at the hotel.

fabio 5aFabio with Ineke and Fabio with band member Patrizio (Bass guitar).

During the concert, The boys signed the artwork and presented it to a beautiful young girl in a wheelchair who was sitting just to the left of me.   When I got up to leave I stopped and congratulated her on her prize.  She looked at me said, “thank you” and just beamed.

More IL Volo art by Fabio:

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Our friends and affiliate at Music Notes Global wrote this article on the amazing artist and good friend of our Guys:

Artist Fabio Ingrassia Brings Music to Life on Canvas


MNGBlog is expanding its culture section and there’s no better way to celebrate than with this special feature on an incredibly talented Italian artist inspired by music.

Fabio Ingrassia, who also goes by the stage name FAODesign, is a native of Marsala, Sicily, with a love of art that goes back longer than even he remembers. According to his parents, though, his art career began at the early age of four. While he now most often works in oils on canvas, his medium of choice, he also creates in graphite and airbrush.

“I think that art is a way of communicating. Whether it’s music, song, poetry, painting, the important thing is that what you want to say reaches the viewer creating an emotion. If there isn’t this communication, it’s not art but decoration.”

— Fabio Ingrassia

Not only is Fabio a Guinness World Record holder (in 2012, he and 373 of his colleagues achieved the feat of creating the longest painting in the world), but he is also a musician, playing piano, guitar, and violin. Therefore, it is not surprising that he finds his inspiration in the place where the worlds of music and art collide. “Music has a very important role in my artistic being,” he explained. “…I try to unite the art of music with that of painting in a single message.”

During the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work on a variety of music-related projects. From scenery to album covers, he’s done it all. A few examples include a cover for the single “Superdisco” by DJ Tumba, a cover for “Our Anthem” remix with Nikka Costa, and an album cover for Romano Anonimo’s Five.

IMAGE COURTESY Fabio Ingrassia

As one might imagine, Fabio listens to music while he creates his one-of-a-kind masterpieces. He has a varied scope of favorites that ranges from Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi to Stevie Wonder and more; and, when asked to name a few songs on his iPod right now–among them Wonder’s beloved classic “Ribbon In the Sky”–it turned out we had one in common: “Grande amore” by Il Volo.

MNGBlog loves Il Volo and it is crystal clear that Ingrassia, like so many others, finds incredible inspiration in them and their music. In fact, you might have seen the video in which he painted the 2015 Sanremo-winning Italian trio, which proves that music has the magical ability to manifest in an array of mediums, especially through the hands of an artist who is so deeply connected to its powers. He told MNGBlog: “In my videos where I paint upside down with Il Volo’s song, I tell the story of a great love. Then turning the canvas, Ignazio, Piero, and Gianluca are illustrated, and I end the video saying ‘Painting music can be done.'”

Il Volo invited Ingrassia to perform live at their concert on March 5 at Bank United Center in Miami, where painted an inverted portrait of the trio in front of an audience of almost 8,000 people. When recounting the experience, he stated: “Initially I was a little tense because I had to finish the upside down painting by the end of the song ‘Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella).’ I turned the finished painting around and the audience exploded in a great and long applause. I think it was one of the greatest emotions of my life. Miami will always be in my heart.”

Fabio’s trip to Miami was an important step in his career, allowing him to meet many new artists. It was also there, he said, that “I realized that art speaks different languages but that they are all united in a unique message: that of emotion.”

And speaking of that upside down painting technique, or “dipingere a testa in giù,” it is now becoming a trademark of sorts for him that is mesmerizing thousands of spectators. Surprisingly, he began painting upside down “by chance” during an art event in Petrosino. On stage alongside his friend DJ, in front of about 1,000 people, he revealed: “…we created a union of music and art. In front of a black canvas, with my back to the audience, I wanted to create a landscape, so with two hands I began to paint. During the performance, I noticed that I was creating a face upside down, so, continuing, I finished and rotated Marilyn Monroe. The audience appreciated my performance so much and since then I began to do it at many events all over Sicily and beyond.”

In all this discussion of music arose the curiosity as to which of history’s greatest artists and painters impact Ingrassia’s artistic vision. He graciously provided some insight:

MNGBlog: Who are your favorite artists/painters?

FI: It’s difficult to say precisely who my favorite artist is. Each has his own style and story…from Caravaggio to Dalì, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Picasso, Guttoso, Lucian Freud…to more/most recent artists like Corella, painting is like a book–you can’t begin to read it from the end.

MNGBlog: Name three artists you would want to have dinner with.

FI: I would definitely go to dinner with Corella, a Spanish hyperrealist; with Picasso to better discover his cubist world; and with Dalì to understand his genius.

Fabio sells his works all over the world. From the United States to Japan to his native Italy and everywhere in between, he communicates his passionate, music-inspired message with all who listen.

“Art is the desire to live, to communicate, to discover, to admire…Art passes over the shadows…in black and white, among the colors.”

— Fabio Ingrassia

Follow Fabio on social media:

Twitter: @faodesign1989

Instagram: @fabio_ingrassio_design

Facebook: FaoDesign Marsala

Check out his website: faodesign.it.

Leggete questo post anche in italiano

All images courtesy Fabio Ingrassia

What’s – His – Name… ~ Marie

Does it seem to you that we have written about Piero and Gianluca a lot lately?   It’s true we have!   There’s a reason for that.   I don’t much like that other one.   Don’t be angry, please, but the young guy is a clown who’s going to break his neck jumping off high things like concert stages,  stairs,  piano’s,  etc.   That crazy lad likes to drive and ride all kinds of stuff including Planes, horses, race cars, Vespa’s, Harley’s, and homemade mini-bikes to name just a few. 

He even recently tried to play on our sympathies with his arm in a sling… Saving a kid by wrenching his own shoulder. I didn’t buy that phony maneuver. 

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He tries to play a multitude of instruments… Some very badly.   Did you hear him on that saxophone?  Yikes!  And with poor Gianluca trying to sing!
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He loves dogs, kids and his mom  (Eww, grow up fella). 

Some people think he’s all that and handsome in black.  Not me!  Plus he’s covered with tattoos and not one of them has my name on it.  (I know I said one did, but I  lied.)

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He isn’t an American!  He’s ItalianHe speaks Italian.  He eats Italian.  He breathes Italian air.  He even sings with an Italian accent…Is that suppose to be romantic or something?  

And now he thinks he’s in love and it isn’t with me?

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He’s really nothing but a tall, nicely built, hairy kind of guy who can sort of sing.  Truthfully I can hardly stand to look at him or listen to him.  I can barely tolerate being around him at a M&G or in my dreams…I mean nightmares.   So that’s why we don’t often write about whats-his-name.

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Il Volo’s Last USA Concert at Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio CA.

I would like to share my experience of Il Volo’s last concert at Fantasy Springs, Indio Ca. Finding the videos of that last concert inspired me to share my experience with my Il Volo Family.

As always Il Volo saved their best performance for last… They were charming as always but they were ELECTRIFIED…. They audience loved them… Joanie Greenspan and I were in the second row, and we could see Il Volo’s enjoyment of the crowds response to each of their songs by the excitement plainly on their faces.

Sitting next to me was a couple who had never been to an Il Volo Concert… They had seen the PBS Pompeii Special and thought, why not see them in person… This couple had no idea what they were in store for… They screamed, they yelled, the whoop, hollered… We had gathered in a group… Joanie, Kristine Kelly, Karen Raupp, Carol Coates, and our new friends… Together we took a group picture with Il Volo… Il Volo was happy to see us, they knew us from previous meet and greets… I only did five concerts and meet and greets this year… I think Joanie has done about ten, not to mention the ones in Italy… They are beginning to know their groupies… They greeted the new couple with the same charm and grace as they did us… Afterward, this beautiful couple said they were celebrating their 47th Anniversary and asked us to have a drink with them… We carried our evening to the wee hours of the morning.. .Laughing, sharing Il Volo stories of our past concerts and our Fan Convention in Las Vegas… By the end of the night we were life long friends… Two more Il Volo lovers in our Il Volo family… It was the last concert of the Il Volo USA Tour, and the greatest way for us to end our love for Il Volo by adding two more Il Volo fans to our wonderful Il Volo family…
One last quick note, we met up with the band members as we were leaving the meet and greet and they were as charming as Il Volo… Happy to chat with us and laugh with us.. What a fine team of nice men that support Il Volo…

Videos of the Fantasy Springs Concert  April 2, 2016



Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!