Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zucchero - 10/25/11

No play list because I was too busy enjoying the concert to keep track.

Some weeks are indisputably more special than others, and this week started in a very special way indeed with a concert by Zucchero, Italy’s reigning music artist of his generation. For decades now his boyish face, wild hair, cool hats and, above all, unrivalled voice, both ancient and primal, have been as unconditionally beloved in his native country and beyond as his unique blend of rock, blues, gospel and soul influences. So even after swearing off amplified sound and oversized venues over a decade ago, he had remained the one and only for whom I would have happily made exception to the rule, should the opportunity arise.
And it eventually did. That’s why on Tuesday night I was exceptionally thrilled at the prospect of finally having a chance to experience his famous magic live in the lavishly decorated and comfortably intimate (Yes!) Beacon Theater, one of the Upper West Side’s prized historic jewels, not to mention conveniently located a 15-minute walk down Broadway from my apartment.

Kicking off the party with songs from his new album Chocabeck, the man made it unequivocally clear where his immense popularity is coming from as his dynamite performance and genuine talent to directly connect with his audience turned the whole concert into a memorable musical adventure. While infectious dance tunes such as “Baila Morena” and “Diavolo in Me” neatly alternated with lovely ballads like “Occhi” and “Cosí Celeste”, my personal highlights of the evening were the two hits that put him on my radar in the first place: “Il Volo”, without a doubt one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, and “Miserere” with the recorded voice of Pavarotti, a heart-felt tribute to his “grand’amico Lucio”.

Grazie mille, Zucchero, e per favore torna presto!

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