Zombi - Even with the obviously appropriate name, the music concocted by this Pittsburgh duo is even more appropriate a beginning to a Goblin concert. They have one man on drums with the other on keyboards and effects. They have dark symphonic songs that could work as soundtracks, but are just fine in creating an atmosphere for the large crowd tonight. They have piercing synth moves among a backing wash of sound and add more sequencers working with the live drumming as the set moves onward. They even bring out a bass for the last number which is a nice touch. Not a lot of visual excitement here, but fine music played loud and even a bit on the quick side at times.
Goblin - It took almost four decades, but Goblin is finally ready to conquer America. In fact, the first leg of this tour went so well that they booked some additional shows to round things off. Oddly enough, key member Claudio Simonetti did not make it back for this leg and tonight's show, but two additional original members are aboard. All that confusion mattered little as the two keyboardists, guitarist, bassist, and drummer put on a clinic displaying classic Italian progressive rock. The Italian prog scene was huge, although few bands ever tried to crack the US. Premiata Fornia Marconi (PFM) was my favorite as it was one of the few I heard back when I was young. Like so many others, I discovered Goblin through their brilliant soundtrack work in the horror genre, mostly with Dario Argento along with a spot in some versions of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. You could kind of tell from the vast variety of ages and types of music lovers in the crowd, that people from all generations have picked up on this band and clearly the Argento films are a big reason (a giveaway was that this was one of the heaviest male dominated crowds I have seen in a while). The crowd was fully into the band as they blazed through some songs from their albums along with themes from Profondo Rosso, Suspiria, Tenebrae, and Dawn among others. They had a female dancer come out several times and her interpretations were excellent as she did a zombie dance for a Dawn of the Dead track and reappeared as a ballerina appropriately for the Suspiria theme. They had scenes from the movies projected above and it was fun seeing David Hemmings and Jessica Harper on screen in between the blood soaked scenes. It was such a pleasure to see the keyboard players actually playing with both hands and not just twiddling switches to get the computer to do the work. The guitar was piercing in full complement to the synthesizers, organs, and pianos with the rhythm section steady and strong. This is in your face progressive music bursting with color, fueled by controlled adrenaline. It was much better than even my lightly optimistic hopes had planned on and I believe the whole tour has been going great. They finished up the 95 minute set by taking a highly appropriate Operatic curtain call with their dancer, complete with roses being delivered to the stage. This is how Italian progressive music is done.
Quote of the Night: From a Goblin... "Thanks for waiting so many years. Never say never." And then they hinted they may return.