Saturday, 22 December 2018

Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul in Rome

What do we do when Bruce Springsteen is not on tour? Well, we go to see one of the E Street members solo tours of course! The truth is, that I had never seen any other of the E Streeters live but Steve Van Zandt had built a strong case for himself. He already had a solo career after he had left the band in the 80's and on top of that he had a brand new (and exceptionally good) album out "Soulfire" and he was on tour with his band The Disciples Of Soul. I didn't manage to see them during the 2017 leg of their European tour, but another leg was promised for this summer and Stevie didn't disappoint.
As a taster of the gig to come, I had the chance to see the man himself the day before at the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome. He used his iPod to play a dj set of his favourite songs, starting with Bruce's "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out".

We would have spent more time with him but the problem was that the few people who had gathered at The Hard Rock Cafe were pushing to get an autograph or a selfie and as a result he started feeling claustrophobic and had to leave twice towards the safe haven of the kitchen (He didn't even finish his drink).

And all this happened on a very rainy night in Rome which left me thinking about whether the weather would be good enough the next night.

Well, I needn't have worried. The next morning was sunny and bright, a typical Roman summer day! And the venue was wonderful, an amazing park in the suburbs of Rome. As an added bonus the band's live album "Soulfire Live" was available at the merchandise stand and I had the chance to buy it before it was officially available!

Finally, Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul came up on stage, a little bit late, but they rewarded us with a 2 1/2 hour set.

And this was a unique experience because as Stevie himself said "this is a history of the music we were listening as we were growing up". He used the introductions to the songs to tell us more about each one and in fact, when introducing "The City Weeps Tonight" he explained what doo-wop is and how it came about. So he played different kinds of songs and different kinds of music throughout his set including of course several covers. What I did not expect to hear though was a U2 cover! He even did that by playing a cover of "Out Of Control"!
And so, after almost 150 minutes of music Stevie said goodbye and I went off in the Roman night towards the city centre and finally to Trastevere, a mission made easy by the city's night bus system. (I actually met some interesting people from all over the world outside the Termini station while I was waiting for my second night bus of the night, the one towards my room in Trastevere).
All in all, it was a wonderful experience, a great conclusion to my 4-day summer trip to Rome and what's more it can be relived again and again by playing the Soulfire Live triple CD that I bought on the night!

01. Sweet Soul Music
02. Soulfire
03. Lyin' In A Bed Of Fire
04. Inside Of Me
05. The Blues Is My Business
06. Love On The Wrong Side Of Town
07. Until The Good Is Gone
08. Angel Eyes
09. Some Things Just Don't Change
10. Under The Gun
11. Saint Valentine's Day
12. Standing In The Line Of Fire
13. I Saw The Light
14. Salvation
15. The City Weeps Tonight
16. Down And Out In New York City
17. Princess Of Little Italy
18. Ride The Night Away
19. Bitter Fruit
20. Forever
21. I Don't Want To Go Home
22. Out Of Control
23. Out Of The Darkness

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