Last night, my friends and I hit San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall for a live concert by the legendary Italian singer, Zucchero!
First of all, the venue was absolutely beautiful. An old music hall, built in 1907, with carved ceilings and decorated walls, was the perfect venue for an intimate concert. The acoustics were great…the only complaint I have is that it’s not a huge theater and the seating is first come, first serve. Therefore, if you’re not there early, the chances of getting a good seat aren’t great. Nonetheless, even after having to stand the entire night, the concert was entirely worth the slight discomfort! Everyone ended up standing and dancing anyway, so being up on the balcony gave us the perfect vantage point.
Zucchero’s voice live is something that can’t be described. Even though his CD’s are great, they don’t compare to what he sounds like in concert. The rich tones in his voice really blow you away. From the raspy deep tones to a clear melodic voice, he brings so much soul to his music. His ballads were sung beautifully with the words and meaning delivered in such a way to touch you – the true talent of a great soul singer. And his rock songs, performed alongside some incredible musicians, were loud and fantastic! It was impossible not to dance to them! Oddly enough, one of my favorite songs from last night was sung by him in English. “Never is a Moment” is the perfect illustration of his soulful talent.
He was promoting his last CD, La Sesion Cubana, which he recorded in Havana with producer Don Was. Along with tex mex guitars and Cuban rhythms, these songs bring a new element to his style by combining his gospel, soul, blues and rock talent to create an incredible new sound.
After the concert, we got to meet Zucchero’s bassist and musical director, Polo Jones. Throughout his career, Polo has collaborated with mega stars such as Whitney Houston, Andrea Boccelli, Bono, Joe Cocker and lots more! His road to Zucchero began in 1985 when he received a call from producer -guitarist Corrado Rustici, (who performed for us as well!!) to join “Holiday of Hands”, a San Francisco bay area fusion pop band. Shortly thereafter, Polo began recording albums in Europe and hooked up with Zucchero. They’ve been together now for about 23 years!
We didn’t get the chance to meet Zucchero himself, but meeting Polo was definitely a highlight to the evening.