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ConcertsNEARfest 2005: Le Orme

Posted on Friday, December 30 2005 @ 21:13:51 CST by Steve Pettengill
Concert Reviews
Le Orme capped off the weekend festivities with their trademark richly romantic symphonic rock. The Italian quartet began by performing L'Infinito, their latest album, in its entirety. As much as I like the CD, I felt the music really opened up in a live setting.

Bassist Aldo Tagliapietra still has an expressive voice after all these years and drummer Michi Dei Rossi hit the skins with so much energy that it was easy to forget that these grandfathers of Italian progressive rock are pushing sixty. While I miss original keyboardist Toni Pagliuca, the dual keyboards of Michele Bon and Andrea Bassato did not disappoint. Although Michele Bon's guitar simulator was a little annoying, it didn't sound quite as artificial as it does on Le Orme's recent CDs. The audience was quite receptive while having to sit through a 45 minute composition without a break, but I suppose that's the sort of thing a Nearfest crowd wants to hear.

After a short introduction, the audience was willingly taken on a trip down Nostalgia Lane: the remainder of Le Orme's performance was culled exclusively from their 1971-1974 keyboard trio era. The band presented side one of Uomo Di Pezza, including a show-stopping take on "La Porta Chiusa". We were also treated to the title track of the Contrappunti album, as well as "Cemento Armato" from Collage and of course, the entire Felona e Sorona album. It's too bad that the band couldn't find a way to squeeze in a couple of nuggets from albums like Verita Nascoste, Smogmagica, Florian or for that matter Elementi. Le Orme have such a rich discography stretching back nearly forty years, it's a shame we only got to hear a fraction of their output.

The only thing the band had going against them was the lateness of the hour. After an unexpectedly long dinner break, technical difficulties kept them from hitting the stage until 10:30. After a long weekend of excellent music, the audience seemed drained and people gradually milled out of the theater during Le Orme's gorgeous but generally mellow set. Still, Le Orme's outstanding music was a great way to end the best Nearfest in years.
Steve Pettengill

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