Zona Nove Article
1/20/06 -- From Mirella: I'd like to let you know that I wrote an article about the concert in Le Thor for my district's monthly magazine (I live in Milan and Milan is divided into districts: mine is No. 9, so the magazine's name is "Zona Nove", that is "Number Nine District"). I was asked to write my report in November, but due to space requirements, they could publish it only now. So there are some inaccuracies in it: the band's name, for example, is still "RC & Friends".
(English Translation) - “Shout from the roof-tops”
Edited by Sergio Maestri
Happy New Year to all the musicians, singers and music lovers. Time has come to give new space to the young people: some readers asked me to publish their musical experiences or just a concert report. Well, hereunder is the first article. Our reader Mirella Rosi tells us about an event, unique in Europe, she attended and we publish it with pride. I take the opportunity to invite all the readers of this page to write articles about music, past or future concerts and also critics, thoughts or just congratulations to (not famous) singers or bands.
THE "GLADIATOR’S" ROMANTIC SIDE
A Russell Crowe’s concert
By Mirella Rosi
A really extraordinary event happened on last October 15 th: for the first and only time in Europe, the famous actor Russell Crowe gave one of his concerts. The 41-year-old New Zealander actor was in France shooting his last movie, “A Good Year”, directed by Ridley Scott (they had already worked together for “Gladiator”) and he thought to give his Europeans fans, for the first time, the chance to appreciate his artistic gifts not only in the movie field, but also in the musical one.
The charming actor, considered one of the best of our time, is mainly known for his great performances in movies like “L.A. Confidential”, “The Insider”, “Gladiator” (that brought him the Best Actor Academy Award in 2001), “A Beautiful Mind”, “Master & Commander” and the very new “Cinderella Man”. This movie, now in our cinemas, is the true story of the American boxer James J. Braddock who, during the American Great Depression in the ‘30s, fought against bad luck and poverty for his and his family’s survival, becoming the heavyweight champion of the world in 1935. Ron Howard’s movie (who had already directed Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”, winner of four Academy Awards) was presented out of competition at the last Venice Film Festival, and was unanimously acclaimed by critics and audience for the moving and intense Crowe’s performance, that will surely bring him the umpteenth Academy Awards nomination.
But a few people know that the first, and maybe the truest, Russell’s passion is music. He created his first band in 1986, when he was earning his living busking in Sydney’s streets waiting for the BIG opportunity in the movie world. His music mixes melodic rock and intimist ballads, always pivoted on the actor’s personal experiences: often superficially labelled by the press as quarrelsome and hot-tempered, Russell shows instead, through his lyrics and his melodies, his most intimate and truest soul, his most sensitive and human side.
Up to now Crowe had performed only in Australia, where he lives, and in the USA, but at last, thanks to the movie he was shooting in Provence, also Europeans could appreciate live his skills as a singer and a showman. The concert was held in the little village of Le Thor, in Provence, close to Avignon, with a very short notice, that didn’t prevent the more than 600 fans crowding the small Auditorium from rushing from all over Europe ( Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, England, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal) and even from America. Ridley Scott and his wife Gianina Facio attended, too, so as Crowe’s wife, Danielle Spencer, actress and singer, married three years ago, after a long and tormented relationship, who gave Russell his greatest joy: his little child Charlie.
The actor presented the new members of his band “Russell Crowe & Friends” (just friends, who’ve got their own bands and that gather to make music every time they are allowed by the actor’s movie engagements): David Kelly, Stewart Kirwan and Dean Cochran, former members of the “historical” band (“30 Odd Foot of Grunts”, briefly known to the fans as Tofog, that performed at the Sanremo Festival in 2001) and the new entries Bones Hillman from “Midnight Oil”, Stuart Hunter from “Silverchair” and the great Alan Doyle, frontman of the Canadian band “Great Big Sea”.
The group, very good and very tight, played for more than two hours, producing the repertoire of Russell’s last CD, “My Hand My Heart”, with some excursions in the old songs and offering some new pieces, that will be included in their next CD.
The audience, mainly made up of women (considering the actor’s not only artistic gifts…) appreciated Russell’s ability as an entertainer and a singer and participated enthusiastically, singing and dancing (surely not an easy thing to do sitting down in a stall).
It was a wonderful experience for all the fans, that had been waiting for this moment for a long time and who had also the opportunity to meet and know each other in person, after having chatted for months on the forums of the many Internet sites dedicated to the actor. It was a positive and unexpected experience for the little village of Le Thor, too, that would never imagined such a striking success and that had its moment of fame for having hosted such a great actor.
(If you want to know more about Russell Crowe, you can look up the Internet sites www.croweitalia.altervista.org and www.murphsplace.com/crowe/news.html, that has also a section dedicated to the Le Thor concert, with pics and articles. To know, and buy, his music, available only through Internet and iTunes, see the official sites www.myhandmyheart.com and www.gruntland.com/tofog/htm)