There are a few times in your life when you would wish a concert would never stop, Al DiMeola’s perfomance at The Egg (Albany, NY) on January 30th, 2010 was one of those nights. DiMeola had not played in the capital city of New York for nearly 4 years; fans had been anxiously crossing their fingers hoping that DiMeola would play Albany on his return trip from an exhausting European tour. Nixing out Boston and NYC to our surprise, we in Albany, NY would get a chance once again to see the master in action; and he would not disappoint.
The concert was held in the smaller of two concert halls that make up the unique Egg Performance Center. The smaller Swyer Theatre held roughly about 450 patrons in a cozy, personal, and intimate setting; there was not a bad seat in the house whether you had 4th row (as your HiFi Reviewers did) or 20th row. I’m sure that DiMeola could have filled the much larger 980 capacity theatre, but it appeared as if DiMeola wanted his best friends close by to get a quality performance. The Swyer was an appropriate space (especially with the negative degree weather raging outside) the venue cozy, the mood was perfect, the fans respectful, and the acoustics simply top rate.
DiMeola clearly has decided to take his music in a new direction, focusing on world music influences of the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, and The Carribean. Surrounding himself with a bass player from Cuba, a drummer from Hungary, a percussionist from the Bronx ( with Latin American roots), a second guitarist from France, and an accordian player from Italy; the cultural ingredients and flavors of his new “World Sinfonia” combined to satisfy everyones palette that night.
DiMeola mainly played music off of his new studio album (yet to be named or released) and o his credit it was surprisingly entertaining. I feel that many wanted to hear a variety of new and old DiMeola material. I’m sure that many of us that night wanted to hear classics such as “Short Tales of the Black Forest“, “Casino” or “Race with Devil on a Spanish Highway“; but no. DiMeola played one song off of his Consequences of Chaos album and ended the night with an encore of his own rendition of “Strawberry Fields” ; the finale was the classic song “Elegant Gypsy Suite“. It was a fitting song to end the night, but many of us wanted simply one more song before he departed; sadly he left after that one encore.
With the $35.00 ticket pricetag this concert was worth every penny, however my colleague and I were a bit bummed that after 40 minutes he and his band took a 20 minute break and returned for 40 minutes for the second set. The show was rougly less than two hours, we thought that a 4 year absence to our area would have resulted in a bit more, but no. I would recommend seeing DiMeola if he comes to your town, his US tour is playing only select cities, so if he’s in yours get your tickets. The show was sold out and I would imagine following dates will be as well if they are not already.
If you are interested in seeing a portion of this show, click here I’ve uploaded Al’s rendition of “Strawberry Fields” played that night; sorry the sound quality is blah. But hey, “The Egg Nazi’s” would have grabbed my camera if they saw it.
Al DiMeola World Sinfonia 2010 Tour gets 4.5 out of 5.