I remember an old TV commercial which said something like: could you imagine life without music? I can. Really, I can. But what I see looks like a nightmare worse than 1984, Brave new world or "Marzo 3039". There is another frightening image I could picture if I tried: could I imagine Luxembourg without Panoplie? Of course, it is possible. I imagine this country would be something like The Wasteland. Without Panoplie, there will be the same money, welfare, big cars, multiculturalism and a peaceful atmosphere, but Luxembourg will be a place without a significant dose of one of the most primitive and most enriching artistic (or holistic) experiences invented by humanity: listening to live music. Without this little but hyperactive association, this country would never have met some great musicians. And living without some of them would mean living at a five percent (yet again another literary reference: I apologize).
This long preamble is only meant to introduce this note about Daniele Silvestri's gigs last Friday and Saturday (and to thank the wonderful people behind Panoplie). The two footprints stamped with ink on my wrist are not gone yet. Neither is the deep impression both performances left.
I knew Silvestri since last century. When tapes and snail mail where still common practices (and not a reminiscence from ancient times), a Sardinian friend of mine was trying to introduce me to Italian music by sending me a tape of Il Dado, by Mr. Silvestri. I have to say that I've listened to this tape at least a hundred times. When I moved to Luxembourg, even if tapes were already something from the past, this Dado travelled with me. I liked the unique blending of styles around rock, and the dreamy atmosphere it created at some points. I could not judge the lyrics at that time as I knew no Italian but this only added some mysterious charm.
All that to say that I could not miss the concerts.
On Friday, he looked slightly tense. I imagine that the d:qliq is not an easy place: the audience is literally on the band (in 30 m2, there is not much space to place 200 people at a safety distance). Playing there for the first time, after years playing in football stadiums, must be something of an experience. On the other hand, maybe he was somehow feeling that the audience was also composed by some misbehaved riffraff without any knowledge of polite concert-going. Saturday was better: he was more relaxed, interacted more with the audience (a few inches closer than the night before) and treated us to some improvisation and some less usual songs. However, let me say something negative about Saturday: WE MISSED COHIBA!
I liked his new versions of his own songs, which made them sound very different but always lovely. Silvestri combines very intelligent lyrics with melodies and rhythms that put your feet into dancing even before your ears realize. He is charismatic and learned how to cope with the always demanding audience at d:qliq in only a few hours. The band was equally excellent (including Andrea, maybe the only one who did not have a good time on Saturday). Complimenti.
What else to say? Nothing: try and go to one of his concerts. After London, he should be now on his way to Paris. All this by train. Mr. Silvestri, could you please come back here for a short call? We need a new fix.