Ligabue

Campovolo 2.011

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Ligabue's celebrations for the 20th anniversary of his career became an extended, resounding triumph. It all started with the 2010 release of the hard-rocking Arrivederci, Mostro!, followed by its extremely successful tour, crowned with a mega-concert at Emilia Romagna's Campovolo airport, the same location of his 2005 show that broke European records for a single concert attendance. Campovolo 2.011 took place on July 16, 2011, with Ligabue bossing over a 300-foot stage in front of 120,000 adoring fans. Ligabue was joined by all of the musicians who had worked with him so far, namely his three supporting bands, Clandestino, La Banda, and Il Gruppo, as well as special guests Mauro Pagani and Corrado Rustici. The show was captured on film for a 3-D documentary (the first of its kind in Italy) directed by Marco Salom, which opened in theaters in December 2011. Given such a hyperbolic context, this three-CD live set seems almost like an afterthought, not in the least because Ligabue has already made several excellent live albums. In that respect, Campovolo is closest to Ligabue's first live album, Su e Giù da un Palco (1997), rather than the acoustic Giro d'Italia (2003) or the symphonic Sette Notti in Arena (2007), because it is eminently a full-throated electric rock & roll affair. It contains the entire three-hour concert, plus one previously unreleased song per disc: "Mi Abituerò" and "Sotto Bombardamento," both written in the 1990s but left out of any studio albums, and "Ora e Allora," the trademark pensive ballad released as a single that closes the record. Those are just about the only surprises this release brings: the concert was strictly a fan fest, and Ligabue dutifully obliges by performing incensed versions of his most famous songs, with as many as five each culled from both his 1990 debut and his commercial breakthrough Buon Compleanno Elvis (1995), and seven from Arrivederci, Mostro! Needless to say, Ligabue and his pals have long moved eons away from their thinly produced beginnings, and sound better and rock harder than ever in this thoroughly enjoyable (if hardly essential) set.

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