Vincent Nguini - Guitar
Bakithi Kumalo - Bass
Steve Gadd - Drums
Mark Stewart - Guitars, Cello, Saxophone, selfmade instruments
Tony Cedras - Accordeon, Keyboard, Guitars
Andy Snitzer - Saxophone, Synthesizer
Jay Ashby - Trombone, Percussion
Jamey Haddad - Percussion
Alain Mallet - Keyboard, Accordion
Steve Shehan - Percussion
Jim Hynes - Trumpet
Harper Simon - Guitar
Hello to everyone! I'm just back now from a 3 concert tour, Rome-Montreux-Berlin and will try to write down the most important things I can remember.
After our first show in Munich I was surprised how relaxed Paul is this year, and didn't think that he can top that, but I was wrong because Rome was thrilling.
We arrived there at 6:20 in the morning by train and had our breakfast at the Mc Donalds at Roma Termini station. Paolo and Nicolas should both arrive at about 9:30 but the only one who came was Paolo - Nicolas' train had something typical 'Italian' which no one can describe or explain, and so he arrived at 12:30.
We went immediately to the Villa Borghese and after we've found the stage we were a little bit surprised - the first fan's were already sitting there under some trees. It was Michail a 23 year old girl from Israel and 2 older friends (I first thought maybe here parents, but they were only friends of her) who had seen Paul also in Israel 1978. They came by plane to Rome only to see Paul this day, and so they've been waiting there since 10 in the morning. We were happy that we aren't the craziest. ;-). We also took place in the shade under the trees and ate some fruits and thanks to Paolo some italian specialities
In the afternoon we spoke a little bit with one of Paul's crew member who is the chief of merchandising. He was surprised about the T-shirts I and Mandy were wearing (he maybe thought they were from another dealer who doesn't have the right to sell them) and we explained that they are self-made.
Between 4 and 5 more fan's came and we decided to reservate our front row places. We had luck, because a few minutes later the band came and did their rehearsal for the show. It was only the band without Paul and they did 7 or 8 songs (Kodachrome, Loves me like a rock,...). Mark was singing lead vocals, but only the first words of every verse. Bakithi remembered us from the first show in Munich and showed me that I should come to the side of the stage to talk with him. He asked me and Mandy where we got these T-shirts and that he also wants to have one of these. I said that I could give him one in Montreux or Berlin and that I'll maybe get a backstage pass so that we could speak after the concert.
Then we had to wait again for about 3 hours until the show started. Paolo really got 'Guest' passes for us, but it was sad that they weren't worth a lot. People with these passes only could stand at the side of the stage in front of the speakers, so finally we didn't use them.
About 10 minutes before the show started Jim Haynes the trumpet player suddenly stood in the front row behind the fence. Nobody knew him there, but then he saw me and walked to us. We had a short chat about his free day in Rome and the concert in Brescia. What a nice guy!
The show started at 9:45, with a politican (or whatever that man was) who was introducing Paul in a longer speech. That was nerving and we could see that Paul didn't love it very much.
He started his set again with 'Bridge', but the audience in Italy was much more lively than in Munich. They sang along with Paul every verse and began to dance when the second song 'Graceland' started. Paul was excited!!
Paul's son Adrian was again there and made a lot of pictures from the band, and also some of the fans in the first row.
Bakithi did his now very famous dance during the drum solo of 'Diamonds' and the audience was shouting louder than the drummers could play at this moment - they were only louder when they heard the first guitar chords of 'Al'. After that song he pointed to one of the spanish fans and suggested that he want's his cellphone and then he sang 'Call me Al .... Al hey Al' into it.
When they played 'The Boxer' another person with guitar came on stage taking Vincents place - but Paul didn't introduce him to the audience. It was his son Harper, but as always you couldn't hear his voice or guitar playing. He was very shy, no mimic in his face and he also didn't have a spot light. I think most of the audience didn't even recognize him. But they recognized Adrian playing on the percussion with Jamey Haddad 'Mrs. Robinson' and dancing around. He has the music-talent in his blood from his father and mother
The show ended very late this time, it was 12pm when he played the last song. After the show, we tried to walk around to the side to see some band members, but it was hopeless because about 1000 fans had the same idea - and the band went into the buses and drove away immediately to Lucca.
About the audience: It's the best one I've ever seen. Maybe because they didn't have to pay for the tickets ;-) , or because Paul never played in Rome before. The newspapers said there have been about 50.000 people, but I think that's too much. The park wasn't that big - about 150 - 200 meters away from the stage there were a lot of trees and 15 meters behind them was the fence to the street. There were 2 further areas with trees and bushes inside this place where you couldn't stand and there was also a big light & soundboard tower. I believe there was a maximum of about 20.000 people.
We were tired after the show because we couldn't sleep the night before (sorry Paolo and Nicolas) and got some sleep in Paolos car and his house. Thank you very much.
On the next day at 7:30am we drove away to Montreux... you can read our next review from this show here.