Al DiMeola World Sinfonia 2010 – 1/30/2010 The Egg

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.

5 Responses to “Al DiMeola World Sinfonia 2010 – 1/30/2010 The Egg”

  1. 1 ericstraus
    February 1, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Just a couple of additional comments: Gumbi Ortiz, the percussionist, is from the Bronx with Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage.
    One of the most fascinating parts of the show was the way Di Meola went effortlessly from one guitar effect to another. There was the Spanish acoustic sound, then a weird synth effect that made the guitar sound like an echoing keyboard, and then the distorted electric sound. And it’s not that he changed effects for each song – he changed effects several times during each song!
    There is something to be said for playing complex, intricate compositions with complete precision, as all the musicians did on Saturday. The songs styles changed from Latin percussive rhythms to prog-rock to European gypsy music with amazing fluidity. It was a feast for the eardrums.
    Di Meola is known for his lightning-speed flourishes on the guitar, and at times those moments seemed almost gratuitous – like he was just showing off. But showing off or not, he is amazing to watch, and it was obvious that he truly enjoyed playing with these new band mates (save for Ortiz, who he’s been playing with for 20 years). I never thought I could enjoy “jazz accordion,” but Fausto was great, especially the duels with him and Di Meola – back and forth from guitar to accordion. Truly original and beautiful.

  2. 2 Wendy12
    February 3, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    Great review! I posted your link on the aldimeola.com forum. Hope you don’t mind, since your review is the first I have seen from this current tour.


    • 3 jacobull
      February 3, 2010 at 10:16 PM

      Very cool! We never mind free publicity and are actaully quite shameless about how and why people hear about us, so thanks much!

      Did you check out the link to YouTube? I will upload one more song that is from his new album in a day or so, it was an incredible show.

  3. 4 Wendy12
    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Can’t access youtube here at work, but I will when I get home.

  4. February 24, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Wish I could have been there. Sooo jealous.

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