October 11, 2015

Concert Review: Fabio Frizzi - Frizzi 2 Fulci (Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA. 10/10/15)

Over the years I have come to be a big fan of Italian horror, specifically those from the 70's and 80's. This fandom also came with a love for the music that accompanied the horrific images. This includes the likes of Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. These artists have created some of the greatest music ever written and when you get a chance to see them perform their music live must be taken advantage of. The opportunities are far and few between, since they are based out of Italy, it is rare that they make it State-side. Fortunately, I got to see Goblin two years ago on their first US tour. It was a transcendent night of music. Now, I have gotten to see, and meet, Fabio Frizzi on his first tour of the US.

The show was announced back in August and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to go and wasted no time in ordering my ticket. I even went with the VIP option to get the chance to meet the man himself, plus get a spiffy commemorative poster. Anyway, with ticket purchased, the hardest thing to deal with was the wait. Waiting is such a hard thing to do when you have such a highly anticipated event. Fortunately. The time did pass and the day of the show arrived. The trick was to get to the show on on time. The venue is a good three hours away on the edge of Philadelphia. I thought I gave myself enough time, but s a little traffic going through Mahwah, NJ, paired with a nightmarish parking situation saw my arrival time bloom to four hours. I eventually found a parking space and made my way inside.

Once inside, I got in the VIP line to meet and get an autograph from the master himself, Fabio Frizzi. I approached the table with my VIP poster and a couple of CDs I bought at the table. Then came the moment to meet him, he was one of the nicest and friendliest fellows I have met. Seriously, he was just bubbling with enthusiasm and smiling from ear to ear, meeting all of us, signing our stuff, and posing for photographs. He was genuinely humbled by all of us fans and it showed. I am very glad to have gone with the VIP choice to meet him.

While waiting for the movie to begin, I hung around with some friends, including Editor in Chief of Fangoria magazine Michael Gingold, Hudson Horror Show mastermind Chris Alo, Doc Terror himself James Harris, Full Empire Promotions founder Dominic Mancini, Blood Farmers/Toxic drummer and Grindhouse graphic designer Tad Leger, among others. It was great hanging out with these guys. Still, they all come second to Fabio Frizzi, so when he took the stage with his band, it was time to block out all the friends and focus on the music.

Now, Fabio Frizzi was on the stage, but he was not alone. He was accompanied by filmmaker Scooter McRae who was going to give us the east coast premiere of his new short film, Saint Frankenstein, whose score was composed by Frizzi. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of struggling, and random cartoon dragon wallpaper, the film would not play. Scooter apologized and then the show began with Fabio and his band taking their positions.

They proceeded to rip through a progression of music both familiar and unfamiliar. He played pieces from Manhattan Baby, Four of the Apocalypse (which was comprised of songs as opposed to traditional scoring), The Psychic (aka Seven Notes in Black), Zombie (aka Zombi 2), City of the Living Dead, a suite of pieces from shorts (including Saint Frankenstein), a piece from the lesser known Lamberto Bava film Blastfighter, and of course, at the top of the heap, The Beyond. While he is playing, clips from the films play on a screen behind him.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite moment of the performance, as the entire thing was incredible. The show likely ranks among the best I have ever attended. I liked the stuff I was less familiar with, the Four of the Apocalypse songs and the piece from Blastfighter come to mind. I was surprised to see some of the “Matool” music from Zombi 2 played. The build to the eyeball scene from Zombi 2 was great, as was the explosion when they began a suite from The Beyond.

His band was first rate, in particular, the bass player was utterly phenomenal. It was also interesting to hear these pieces rearranged to be played in more of a rock format without the assistance of strings or woodwinds. The familiar stuff was instantly recognizable, but it was just a little different, making the performance feel all that much more unique.

I am not sure what else to say. The venue is small and intimate, allowing you to get right up to the stage. The sound was well mixed, and it was easy to separate all of the instruments. Then there is Frizzi, himself, who looked like he was having the time of his life. It was an incredible experience that I was glad to be a part of.

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