IL Volo

Through the good graces of a good friend here is Il Volo’s performance from American Idol again.

He looked like a man caught in the grip of some powerful new experience, as if his emotions were being mined by a music he never knew existed.

I cannot tell you about the Italian boy-trio, IL Volo, without first telling you a story. It concerns an old Vietnam War vet and all-around country boy from Alabama who plays a little guitar, sings his simple homey songs, and has never listened to any music that I know of other than country and the old time rock n’ roll (heavy on the country). He also has a lot of  good ole down home, dirt-kickin’ horse sense. He’s like a cactus in some ways, prickly on the outside, soft on the inside. In other ways he’s a voluble good ole boy, always ready with a tale to tell to anyone who will listen. He wears his blue jeans, snap-up shirts, and cowboy hat, and hangs out at the cafe with the other good ole boys when he’s not working. I doubt anybody singing in Italian has ever caught his ear or his eye except maybe to snort and look askance in passing.

I’ll never forget the day of his last visit at our house. Mike and I had recently seen these three teenage Italian boys singing as guests on American Idol. We had downloaded the video and started to play it for him – with the volume on loud. He sat leaned back on our couch with his legs splayed, hands hanging over his knees, ready to politely give it a listen. To humor us, I suppose.

When the first soaring notes of “O Sole Mio” rose from the throat of this skinny kid with sticky-up hair and big red glasses, I glanced over to see his reaction. I knew the reaction of the blonde American Idol contestant sitting to the side on the video. Her mouth was hanging open wide enough to drive a semi through. But I could never in a million years have anticipated his response. He was now on the edge of his seat, hands hard on his knees, gazing intently at the screen. When the song finished, he sat still, shaking his head. “Play it again,” he said. We played it again.

This time as the voices soared he was on his feet. He moved from one position to another to get a better hearing angle, even going into the kitchen, which is just opposite the living room television, his eyes riveted on the screen, backing up, coming forward, moving from side to side, all the time repeating like a mantra, “I’ve never heard anything like that. I’ve never heard anything like that.” He could not stand still. He looked like a man caught in the grip of some powerful new experience, as if his emotions were being mined by a music he never knew existed. We had to play it again.

That, my friend, is the effect of IL Volo, three teenage Italian boys who have taken the world by storm with voices so powerful and joy so evident, it will bring you to your feet. It can’t help but make you say, “Play it again. I’ve never heard anything like that.” But turn the volume up. Let those unprecedented voices fill the room as they have filled our hearts.

The American Idol performance is the one that was the best and haven’t found it in quite a while. I was so glad to get the update of it. The PBS performance does not have the sound quality of American Idol, though it is still rich enough to give you a fine example of what these boys can do and I love seeing them work the audience. I have a CD of them in my car and play it everywhere I go, at full volume, of course.

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8 thoughts on “IL Volo

  1. I have been a huge Il Volo fan since even before they appeared on American Idol. Thank goodness I downloaded and saved their performance before YouTube removed it. I see that it’s also been removed from the americanidol.com site, too. Such a shame. You should get the DVD of their 10-27-11 performance that was shown on PBS if you like the CD. It’s brilliant !! It’s that DVD the video you posted is from. These boys really know how to put on a show. They have come such a long way since Ti Lascio una Canzone. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. BTW, I don’t think Piero is skinny….he’s just right. And Ignazio has lost quite a bit of weight since that October taping. They are simply adorable.

    • If I had seen these boys before American Idol I would have been a fan, too. I have since checked out every video I could find, but the American Idol appearance rates right at the top for me. The visual and sound quality, along with the responses of those who had never heard them, make it an unforgettable experience to watch. I can’t understand why whoever holds the copyright does not just go ahead and make it a commercial video. The response to it on YouTube had to be astronomical. Mike and I watched the entire PBS performance when it aired. Loved it. As for Piero . . . you’re right. He’s just right. Perhaps my wording should have been long and tall. I think all three of them are absolutely swooningly adorable and engaging. I fell in love with Ignazio’s curly hair and dimples from the get-go. And from the response of “beyond-beyond 50ish women in the Detroit Opera House (as well as the young ones), we may be close to having an Elvis-type fan phenomenon again. My daughter, who is over 40, grieves that she wasn’t born later and my 10-year-old granddaughter is in love. Ha. But all that silliness aside, those voices are to die for. I’m like my country friend: I’ve never heard anything like it. And from the interviews on PBS with those who first discovered and managed their career, neither had anyone else. Egads! I’m dying for a copy of that American Idol video. Someone must put it on the market.

      • Well, now. We Il Volo fans need to stick together. Since you don’t have the American Idol performance and I do, I’ll be happy to send it to you. It’s a HUGE file and may be too large to send as an attachment, but I think I have a MediaFire account and can upload it to that. Please send me your email address at farmerjo1189@gmail.com. This is the email address I use if I have to post it in public. Future emails to you will be from an AOL address.

        The PBS performance that aired was wonderful and I recorded it then transferred it to a DVD. I wanted the interviews and the longer intros to the songs. But if you don’t have it, you MUST get the “Il Volo Takes Flight” DVD. It’s awesome and the quality is fabulous. The documentary on the DVD iw wonderful, too.

        The audience in Detroit for the taping was largely Italian and by invitation. During “Mamma” the woman Piero gave a rose to was Mrs. Ruggiero. His mother wasn’t there, but his father was…sitting next to Gianluca’s father. The Ruggiero family owns an Italian restaurant in Detroit and the night before the performance they had the boys, their families and entourage, the full orchestra and crew over to the restaurant for dinner.

        I saw Il Volo in Boston last year and they were out of this world. I loved their O Sole Mio in Detroit where Piero was singing while standing on one of the seats. Those boys really know how to work a crowd. I want to kidnap them and keep them here at home. They could be my adopted grandsons,

        Have you seen the videos of Gianluca singing on the “Ti Lascio una Canzone” show? I find it incredible that he could sound like that at the age of 14 years and two months.

        I’m an avid blogger at Live Journal. Most of my posts are public. I just made a photo collage of the lads tonight and updated my layout if you want to have a look. My first try was awful because the font was too fancy and no one could read it, as you’ll see from the comments.

        http://yeuxdebleu.livejournal.com/135181.html I hope you have a wide screen monitor. Friends who still have square monitors said the top and bottom are cut off.

  2. Well, now. We Il Volo fans need to stick together. Since you don’t have the American Idol performance and I do, I’ll be happy to send it to you. It’s a HUGE file and may be too large to send as an attachment, but I think I have a MediaFire account and can upload it to that. Please send me your email address at farmerjo1189@gmail.com. This is the email address I use if I have to post it in public. Future emails to you will be from an AOL address.

    The PBS performance that aired was wonderful and I recorded it then transferred it to a DVD. I wanted the interviews and the longer intros to the songs. But if you don’t have it, you MUST get the “Il Volo Takes Flight” DVD. It’s awesome and the quality is fabulous. The documentary on the DVD iw wonderful, too.

    The audience in Detroit for the taping was largely Italian and by invitation. During “Mamma” the woman Piero gave a rose to was Mrs. Ruggiero. His mother wasn’t there, but his father was…sitting next to Gianluca’s father. The Ruggiero family owns an Italian restaurant in Detroit and the night before the performance they had the boys, their families and entourage, the full orchestra and crew over to the restaurant for dinner.

    I saw Il Volo in Boston last year and they were out of this world. I loved their O Sole Mio in Detroit where Piero was singing while standing on one of the seats. Those boys really know how to work a crowd. I want to kidnap them and keep them here at home. They could be my adopted grandsons,

    Have you seen the videos of Gianluca singing on the “Ti Lascio una Canzone” show? I find it incredible that he could sound like that at the age of 14 years and two months.

    I’m an avid blogger at Live Journal. Most of my posts are public. I just made a photo collage of the lads tonight and updated my layout if you want to have a look. My first try was awful because the font was too fancy and no one could read it, as you’ll see from the comments.

    http://yeuxdebleu.livejournal.com/135181.html I hope you have a wide screen monitor. Friends who still have square monitors said the top and bottom are cut off.

  3. These 3 kids are the best act to hit show biz in a long, long time. Just amazing talent. I too was heartbroken when their American Idol performance was pulled by Fremantle. I guess their management had been paying some sort of royalties but decided after a year they were popular enough that they didn’t need the Idol video anymore. Too bad. I wish I had made a copy.

    I also wonder about the videos of Ignazio uploaded by a Jackie Brown. Wonder why they were pulled, given their popularity. One has been replaced by someone else, but the one with Ranieri hasn’t as yet.

    I’ve read that they’ll tour with Barbra Striesand this coming Autumn. This will be a great opportunity for them because they’ll become known to another segment of the population who otherwise might not be exposed to their spectacular talent.

    • When the boys were in Panama earlier this month on their Latin American tour, Piero told a friend of mine in Panama that Il Volo would do at least five shows with Barbra Streisand in October, after they finish their next US tour. I agree with you, it will expose them to a different segment of the music-loving population. I hope Celine Dion is in their future, too.

      • Glad to hear they are planning to team up with some legends. I would like to see some more television appearances, too. They are truly a trio made in heaven. I know you keep your finger on the Il Volo pulse, so to speak. How are they doing in the youth market?

    • I wish they would tour in my direction. I can’t imagine how thrilling it would be to hear those voices in real life in real time. If they can lift me out of my seat on video or audio, somebody would have to peal me off the ceiling if I got to hear them in person. Thanks for your response. It’s good to hear more news about them and I wish “whoever” would leave well-enough alone with their videos. Or at least put them out where we can buy them. As much as I love hearing them on CD, watching them with their beautiful youth and enthusiasm and passion for their music is totally unrivaled, and I want everyone to know about them. Sorry I haven’t replied sooner. I’ve finally gotten out of the house for a while with my husband without interruption. He has a job where he is on call every day but Sunday. And if anyone knows what “on call” is — it means if you plan anything, that’s when you get a call.

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