EXCLUSIVE review and photos. MONDO CANE Teatro Gran Rex Buenos Aires.
Mike Patton has brought his opulent project Mondo Cane back for a handful of special concerts this September, the first of which was at Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our man Adriano Mazzeo, professional journo and friend of Patton, reports from the show.
Mondo Cane returns!
Words Adriano Mazzeo
Photos Gustavo Scatena
Mondo Cane played again Buenos Aires, the most Italian city in the world outside Italy. The celebration went how it was planned, with an almost sold out Teatro Gran Rex, maybe the most iconic theatre in the huge southern city in South America.
The band arrived to Buenos Aires a couple of days prior to the concert to rehearse after several years of not playing together. On the day of arrival the whole band enjoyed a typical Argentinian asado with some local friends and rehearsed the entire next day in order to give their best at Teatro Gran Rex. The lineup is almost the same as their last time in South America, replacing Trevor Dunn on bass by pretigious Italian player Dario Rosciglione and as in every stop of all tours of this band, the string section (formed by twelve people) is a local fine selection.
To the concert, they lit up the night with the beautiful Il Celo in una Stanza. Popularized by classic Italian singer Mina, this song represents a beginning in full efect, because it forces the band to show all their best skills: the melody, the emotion, the different nuances that they need to show on it, are an interesting probe to pass in the birth of a concert.
As the classic Mondo Cane setlist indicates, Che Notte! was second with Patton in full form emulating a charming "mafioso Siciliano" in hilarious form, fake gun shots included.
All songs played in the historic concert in Amsterdam from 2008, were played this time, with the aggregate of Astor Piazzolla's Vuelvo al Sur in an amazing free version that included avant garde echoes and a serious nod from Patton (and the amazing Argentinian director Cheche Alara on piano) to the audience of a city that the singer really likes. Patton's knowledge about Argentinian culture is huge and (as he usually does) he make several jokes "only for locals" , after presenting all band members, he introduced the group as "Mondo Carne" (carne being Spanish for meat), a nailed joke if we think as Argentina as one of the most carnivorous countries in the planet, if not the most.
The audience went crazy after all the songs, the band sounded perfect (Scott Amendola, Vincenzo Vasi, the "Sicilian choir" and William Winant played like real stars) the sound was excellent and Mondo Cane did it again: the magic of this music reflects perfectly in Argentinian souls, maybe because of the omnipresent spirit of the Italian culture there, maybe because the greatness of this music fits perfectly inside the "tango souls" of the Argentinian fans. There's not a certain reply for this, but what is undeniable is that Argentina and Mondo Cane are made for one another. Last Thursday was another probe of that. Serious candidate to show of the year in the southern country.