Thanks to the on-stage shenanigans of Vinicio Capossela and his band of merry musicians this past Saturday (a recent KSPC ticket giveaway), my spring break started out with a real BANG! The energy at the El Rey theater in downtown LA swelled and swarmed during the course of Capossela’s two hour show, and it was clear that he (and the audience!) could have gone a few more rounds past midnight. Capossela, who in his 17 year career has rarely ever toured in the states, seemed quite at home in the El Rey below the baroque faux-crystal chandelier and behind the red velvet curtains. Though he is barely known in the US, he is a mega-star abroad and it’s easy to see why. He is a truly talented musician with a flair for the dramatic, a love for the grotesque, a poetic sensibility, and an appreciation for the gritty side of life. The music was amazing and the lyrics (in Italian) at once hilarious and heartbreaking. Capossela has an incredible range of styles that swing (quite radically) from low-key bar-room ballads like “Con una Rosa” (With a Rose) to the darkly wild and slightly disturbing “Brucia Troia” (Burn Troy). Among my personal favorite songs that evening was the fabulously absurd “Medusa Cha Cha” (which Capossela sang while wearing an actual mask of Medusa) and the sweet little number “Il Paradiso dei calzini” (about the fate of lost pairs of socks who die and have their own heaven). Coupled with the more conventional instruments (piano, drums, guitars) the musical arrangements featured the ukulele, marimba, accordion, trombone, toy piano, and plenty of theremin. The Saturday show also highlighted the antics of a mischievous magician named Christopher Wonder who emceed the madcap ball. A character with an outrageous act and the heart of an old-time carny, Wonder filled the air with laughter, glitter, and confetti. It was truly un gran’ spettacolo (a great show) and the whole experience made me seriously consider running away to join the circus, which is always a good sign. Capossela’s most recent album (and the name of this tour) is Da Solo (2008), an import from Phantom Sound & Vision Records. Keep on listening to KSPC 88.7 FM for more ticket giveaways to shows like this one!!
abbracci e arrivederci!