In the meantime, it takes a short time, just a few songs and it lights up the whole Verona square again as if nothing had happened, as if the epidemic had not stopped the music for more than two years. Soul in the dark. Soul mama. The audience is on their feet immediately. Zucchero kicked off a series of 14 concerts last night that will take place at the Verona Arena through May 11. “I was afraid you weren’t there, and instead, you are all here, you devil pig.” Yay. Full seats, two-and-a-half hours of music being truly played by “one of the best bands out there right now” as he jokes on stage before calmly telling himself at the end of the concert, showing off his cheerful (irresistible) role: “I I love the blues because I’m fresher, but I also have a side to pleasure.” After Verona, he’ll be back abroad (except for a few dates in July in Italy) to attend dozens of other shows around the world, including Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking of the world, will he play in Russia too?
“We had planned a series of appointments in Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, Saint Petersburg, and so on. The Russian audience is very loyal to me but, frankly, it doesn’t seem like it’s playing there. This dirty war has begun and I wonder if people still want to hear music.”
Anyway, the conflict changes the music, too.
“I don’t like being a politician, but there are some songs like This will be the world or we give up that fit perfectly into this reality. And in the preface of Mother Sweetest I changed the phrase ‘Albanians bury the new dead for fear of new reprisals’: Instead of Albanians I put Ukrainians. Inside me, I resent it more than many committed rockers.”
Manskins has openly sent Putin to Hell. What would you do?
“I feel like adapting an old song of mine and turning it into Putin, what the hell are you doing. But I am above all a clown who may point his finger, but he uses sarcasm. For example, the concerts at the Arena started on the 25th of April, and it even occurred to me to say Bella ciao. But then I avoided.
On May 29 he will play in Berlin with Eric Clapton, who has practically become the champion of La Fax.
“I remember when he came to listen to me in Agrigento because he was obligated by his (then) partner Lori del Santo. At the end of the concert, he suggested that I open his European tour and there my career changed. But Eric is a very fragile and sensitive man. He’s gotten vaccinated, he’s had negative reactions, and like Van Morrison or Tom Jones, he’s taken positions that I respect but don’t judge. As far as I am concerned, the vaccine has not caused me any negative consequences.”
On the other hand, what are the effects of the recording revolution on music?
“For an adult contemporary musical artist like myself, or just to give an example, Elton John is very difficult.”
“I have less and less confidence in the Register as the main expression of this profession. My records such as Oro incenso e beer or Miserere exceeded two million copies only in pre-sale. Today, if all goes well, we reach a total of one hundred thousand. Some confident people of society reach 180 thousand, but this is nothing compared to the past. Of course I’ll keep making records, but I’ll make it my way. The future lives on.”
At any price?
“Yes, I want to play wherever possible, and regardless of the number of the audience: three thousand, ten thousand, twelve thousand. With that, it is important to give my music ».
“The Rolling Stones effect”: great repertoire, stage presence, loyal audience.
“Among other things, we are already on the right track to collaborate with them” (Saab duet on San Siro date June 21, likely elsewhere on the European Tour – editor).
By the way, she performed on stage with a charismatic chorus and a voice reminiscent of the wonderful duet of Lisa Fisher with Jagger at Gimme Shelter.
“His name is Uma Yale, he did The Voice in France, and when I heard it on You Tube, I realized how much it was worth.”
The new generation. Like Manskins.
“It’s a breath of fresh air. Musically, they continue a path already opened by bands like Led Zeppelin, but we needed such a thing, they all became respectable.”
Sugar, at 66, has to be careful to keep fit.
“Well, if I had a physicist like Damiano from Manskine.”
Well, maybe a gym, stretching …
“But for God’s sake.”
“Imagine. Better for me is to sleep a lot, and also to keep the voice. And then when you wake up, have some sex.”