Wakeman, Rick and New English Rock Ensemble (July 2001)

Date of Performance: July 28, 2001
Venue: Piazza Della Republica, Jesi, IT

Wakeman amongst the crowdI know that it will be impossible for me to efficiently sum up the colossal flow of emotions that struck me today, but I have to find something to write about the concert of Mr. Rick Wakeman, the keyboard player of progressive rock! So welcome to the eulogy reserved to the English maestro, a person that has a unique touch on stage, and that still possesses an unparalleled gentleness [when] speaking about PR (public relations).

Yes, because the day started in the best possible mood, with an interview in the company of the great musician that proved almost endless (more than an hour!), as Rick couldn't stop talking once he started, taking care of the audience like he was speaking to close friends. Incredible! But the best was yet to come, as this magic feeling transported itself to the night's concert with Rick, [a feeling] that started right away to put the centre of Jesi on fire, surrounded by the great New English Rock Ensemble. And the centre of Jesi slowly caught this magic feeling, with the audience that finally bowed to the feet of Rick and his ensemble, a group deeply concentrated in giving their best with their two hours of music.

Rick Wakman duels!From the wonderful Return To The Centre Of The Earth were taken various songs, one of which was the majestic "Never Is A Long, Long Time," but the past reclaimed its space as well, with scintillating performances of "Catherine Parr", "Starship Trooper" and even [a] Beatles-cover [of] "Eleanor Rigby," played with an unfamiliar fast pace that simply stunned me, the final arrow that ended this unbelievable show. However it must be said that not only Rick shined throughout the songs, [but also] the New English Rock Ensemble gave a flawless effort, with the guitarist (who was substituting [for] Rick's son Adam, [who was] on [a] honeymoon) showing his great skills in various solos (and even dueling with Rick at one moment), and the rhythmic section supporting the music with uncanny precision. A story of his own was the vocalist, great ex-Threshold frontman Damien Wilson: Damien Wilson and Rick Wakeman He sung like on [the] CD, and if you have ever heard some Threshold material you know what that means. The boy has clearly a great pair of lungs (and he is also a great guy. Go Damien!), and he is the perfect complement for the blonde Englishman, entrenched as always behind his historic wall of keyboards. The final say is that this was a night to remember forever, and if you think that I'm biased, you should know that a friend of mine, a disco-maniac, followed me, and to this day he still talks about how much he enjoyed the show. Well, you know, sometimes you don't even need words, only notes -- thanks Rick!!!

Rick Wakeman and his bank of keys

Added: August 16th 2001
Reviewer: Igor Italiani

Artist website: www.rwcc.com
Hits: 1156
Language: english

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