Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Simply Red Simply Fantastic!

Well, the Simply Red concert in Acireale on Sunday was simply fantastic! Except for the tight and uncomfortable seating and the noisy Italians who wanted to talk aloud during songs and take cellphone photos throughout, it was probably the best live performance I have personally ever seen. Mick Hucknall sang for over 90 minutes and every song was a masterpiece of delivery, starting with slow ballads and jazzy numbers and ending with loud, fast numbers. For an aging, moon-faced, short, pudgy 45-year-old, he still has a fantastic voice and great stage presence. Every number sounded exactly like the recording and looked fabulous. He had ten violinists and two bass cellos along with his regular band of guitars, horns, drums, piano, and two female backup singers.

The place was packed and every Italian there seemed to know every word of every song and did plenty of sing-alongs! In fact, Mick encouraged them to by pointing the mike in the direction of the audience. They also loved him because he spoke perfect Italian to them. He owns a vineyard on the slopes of Etna, not far from Acireale! (See my blog post of September 10, 2005.)

Even my friend Pat, who had seriously never heard of Simply Red, greatly enjoyed the concert. (She's lived in Italy a LONG time.) She remarked that his lyrics were so meaningful. I have to agree. I had forgotten all the wonderful songs and lyrics Simply Red has produced. Remember "Something Got Me Started" ("I'd give it all up for you . . . "), "Fairground" ("And I love the thought of coming home to you . . . "), "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" (I die a little . . ."), and "Stars" ("I wanna fall from the stars/Straight into your arms . . . ")?

Or how about "You Make Me Feel Brand New" ("Precious friend/With you I'll always have a friend/You're someone who I can depend/To walk a path that never ends . . . ")?

And then there was "Come to My Aid" ("I feel so betrayed/By the people I love/Come to my aid/It's you I'm thinking of . . . ") There's just so much human feeling and truth in all of his lyrics. Everyone's been there, done that, felt that.

I think my personal favorite though, was a rendition of a Bob Dylan song, "Positively 4th Street," during which the singer's voice got angrier and louder, ending with "Yes, I wish that for just one time/You could stand inside my shoes/You'd know what a drag it is/To see you."

The six of us went out for pizza afterwards. It was kind of ironic that they had a live 3-piece band playing there. The singers kept coming to our table and serenading us face-to-face, not knowing, of course, that they had no chance against Simply Red. They were simply amateurs.


At December 21, 2005 9:30 PM, Blogger liquid metal muse said...

Ohhh Simply Red! And Acireale, that's near Catania, right?

By the way, this is the new blog of La Gatta Nera. Changed my ID on Blogger, felt like it was time for a change.



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