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On July 29 Patti Smith and her band got on the stage of the Macerata Sferisterio, an ancient open air theater located in the central part of Italy and dating back to 1823, to give attendees a performance they will hardly forget.
In a concert organized by Ponderosa Music&Art in collaboration with Ja.La Media Activities, Smith and her band took the stage in an enchanting atmosphere, with delicate lights enhancing the powerful presence of the Sferisterio Theater, which served as a frame to the evening. The audience let the excitement flow, and after only a few words of greeting by the rock singer, the music started.
Two guitars, one bass and a drum set, all played magnificently, supported Patti Smith’s profound and warm voice, which embraced the audience leading people to a special emotional place, like only a real priestess of music can do. Touching several shades of sound, Smith proposed her art rock with a taste of blues along with some of her proto-punk and punk, creating a harmonic ensemble of astonishing music.
Although everything Smith sings, does and says has a rebellious touch in it, she was able to express the rebellion and the raw power characterizing her with unbelievable grace and elegance. The priestess of rock let her positive energy flow towards the audience, being able to transmit positivity and serenity with her presence even beyond her music.
Peculiar emotions ran through the night, due not only to the music played, but also to some special moments Smith created during the performance. She played a tribute to Amy Winehouse, who died two years ago at the end of July. She then went on with a much personal tribute: being July 29 the birthday of her late father, she decided to celebrate it with a performance. After explaining she would listen to a lot of Opera with her father when she was a child, she started singing, with a sweet Italian pronunciation, an extract from Giacomo Puccini’s Opera, ending it with an emotional “Happy Birthday Daddy.”
Later on, during the concert, she played a song celebrating the anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi, another Italian composer, born two hundred years ago. The setting was particularly adequate, since the Macerata Sferisterio is well known for its Opera festival.
During the entire concert, Patti Smith took any chance to incite people in the audience to reach a better state of living, being free and able to love. The union created from the stage was clearly not enough for her, who decided to get down, walking and dancing through the people and greeting attendees. Meanwhile on stage, some serious rock and roll was going on, with the band’s members showing their many talents.
Although it was a sitting concert, many people started standing up as the concert’s tempo was growing. A peak of the night was most certainly the notorious track ‘Because the Night,’ where energy started growing to then explode during songs like ‘Gloria’ and ‘People Have the Power.’ Patti Smith and her band surely do not offer a concert through which one can easily sit. Standing up, jumping, shaking and dancing become, at a point of the concert, a necessity. Patti Smith and her band close the night covering The Who’s ‘My Generation,’ with Smith inciting people to save our earth, for us and our children, leaving with a message of positivity and hope for the future.
The concert was a performance only those who have lived rock and roll all of their lives are able to give. A music lesson for everybody, and an astonishing portrait of a wonderful woman.
Photo Courtesy of Phil King