Ligabue enchants the Arena of Verona, the hunger for emotions of a ‘survivor’

The rocker debuts with the ‘Dedicated to us’ tour, stops for the Vajont and says ‘I wish I could do more’

Luciano Ligabue’s ‘Dedicated to us’ tour started from the Verona Arena and set the audience of the Roman amphitheater on fire last night (he will repeat it tonight). “I haven’t taken so many risks to declare myself a survivor, but these are times when I feel like a survivor. If we make a list of these three shitty years, they have been terrible, and I feel that way, and I also feel that I wish I could do more.” Liga himself says it by quoting one of his albums, ‘Supravvisti e Sopravviventi’ (from 1993, today celebrating its 30th anniversary), to give the key to the tour which, after Verona, will take him to all the stadiums in Italy . Twenty-four songs for a setlist that “will be a little different every evening, rediscovering the taste of surprise on stage is something to recover”, he explains. Among the songs proposed, six are part of the last one, ‘Dedicated to us’, starting from the initial one chosen for the debut, ‘Niente piano B’. A choice that is not obvious and even a little ‘risky’ which, judging by the enthusiastic response of the public, has the flavor of a bet won. “I have that catholic-communist sense of duty that you know well, I want to make people happy”, Ligabue smiles as he unloads his post-concert adrenaline in a chat with journalists.

“’Dedicated to us’ summarizes the need for belonging that I increasingly have, the feeling of being part of an ‘us’,” says the rocker from Correggio. The energy is great, the desire for the stage and sharing – missing for years due to the pandemic – as well. “I’m a stage junkie,” he admits. And then: “I am worried about habituation, that everyone finds themselves increasingly accustomed to everyday life, and that we become increasingly detached from each other. That’s why I made this title, ‘Dedicated to us’,” Liga speaks freely. And on the song of the same name: “It’s a risk to do it at the beginning of the encore, but given what happened tonight…”. Then he admits: “It’s the song I’m most proud of, from a writing point of view, but I get more emotional with ‘La mezzo della mela’ (dedicated to his wife, Barbara Pozzo, ed.) in which today I felt the emotion of the public.”

And Ligabue’s live performance provided a lot of emotion. “I have a camp bed back here. I’m close to 40 times here at the Arena but you never get used to it”, he begins on stage. Then he warms up the audience with ‘This is my life’, ‘Let’s dance on the world’, ‘The half of the apple’, particularly exciting, ‘Little star without a sky’, ‘Lambrusco and pop corn’. There are songs that haven’t appeared in the setlist for a long time, ‘Sarà un bello souvenir’, ‘Viva’. And others that appear more often, ‘Happy Hour’, ‘Everyone wants to travel first class’, ‘Between stage and reality’.

In the middle, Liga disrupts the surprise games: it stops the concert, the musicians, the audience, to pay homage to the victims of the Vajont disaster which marks its 60th anniversary. “We cannot afford to forget. So I ask you something that is not usually done in concerts, a minute of silence, dedicated not only to them but also to our memory at the moment in which we do it.” The darkness and silence in the amphitheater, which then bursts into liberating applause while the rocker resumes singing and sings ‘Letter G’, dedicated to his missing cousin. The arrangements are as always very faithful, and the guitars are the real queens. “When I decided to have three guitarists, in some cases four, I also got involved, I made a somewhat shameless choice, totally against the times – he explains – In the arrangements therefore the guitars take up a lot of space”.

It ends with ‘Certe Notti’ and ‘Screaming against the sky’, a sky under which 11 thousand people sang. A sold out that will be repeated tonight with the same audience, before moving around Italy until December. To give the public 25 dates of ‘survivor’ emotions.

(from correspondent Ilaria Floris)