by Melinda Gallo

Goran Bregovic & Wedding and Funeral Band

I didn't know exactly what to expect when I went to see Goran Bregovic & Wedding and Funeral Band in Prato tonight. Alessandro is the one who mentioned his interest in seeing them, so I went to the Box Office near the stazione (train station) a few weeks ago to buy us tickets.

Living in Florence :: Goran Bregovic & Wedding and Funeral Band

I was surprised to see the Anfiteatro museo Pecci (Pecci amphitheater museum) right off the autostrada (freeway). I could see the museum, but the cement amphitheater was tucked away in the back.

We arrived an hour early and decided to walk around a bit before the concerto (concert). I have been to Prato a few times, but have never seen the city center, which I've heard is quite small. The area we walked around could have been anywhere. There were lots of banks and cement buildings, which I haven't seen much of lately. We only saw a few people walking along the sidewalks like us; it was certainly not a pedestrian-friendly area.

We ate a piadina con prosciutto e formaggio (flat bread with prosciutto and cheese) at a bar that was right next to the anfiteatro. When we walked to the entrata (entrance), there was a huge crowd of people to the left and to the right. We made our way straight to the middle and somehow were pushed right through the entrata.

When we got inside, the closest seats to the palcoscenico (stage) were all taken. We found seats more to the side and as close as we could get to the palcoscenico. At one point, I had to sit on the other side of Alessandro because the person who sat next to me was smoking. We were outdoors and there was a soft breeze coming through, but so many people were smoking that my nose started to hurt. Another girl to the left of me moved closer to me because she too said there was too much smoke for her. Luckily when the concerto started, people stopped smoking.

A few musicians from the banda gitana di fiati (gypsy band of brass players) walked to the top of the anfiteatro and began to play. Just from that alone, I could tell that the music was going to be fantastic. Then, Alen Ademovic, musician and singer, arrived on stage and began to sing. I was impressed with his unique voice. And then, Goran Bregovic came out and the crowd cheered.

People were dancing along the side stairs and the area behind us. The music was quite rhythmic and I couldn't help, but move my body too. Alessandro was in heaven and that made me happy.

They played a few ballads, but as soon as the music was a bit more energetic, everyone jumped up to dance. It came as a surprise to me that people who were swaying in their seats suddenly began swinging their bodies and arms around to the music.

We were all a bit sad to see them leave the palcoscenico and we all cheered for them to come back. Goran Bregovic came back and bowed, but we kept on clapping. Eventually they all came back out and performed a few more songs. It wasn't until the lights went on that we knew the show was over.

Goran Bregovic's music isn't something I would generally listen to, but it did somehow penetrate my soul. Even though the music is both happy and sad, it felt good to listen to it. And what I love most about concerti is that the music sounds even more spectacular dal vivo (live). I'm sure his CDs are wonderful, and I'm even considering purchasing one, but seeing them all perform and being a part of such a festive environment is amazing.

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