The sight and sound of 1000 (or as near as dammit) musicians and singers joyously reproducing some of Rock’n’Roll’s finest moments is a memory that still cheers me to this day. This was the mother of all tribute bands.
What an evening it was on Sunday, 24th July 2016 for the provincial city of Cesena in Emilia-Romagna. Rain had threatened to dampen the event but the God of rock intervened to ensure it stayed dry.
The packed soccer stadium were not denied the pure pleasure of witnessing what the banners billed as the ‘Greatest Rock Band On Earth’.
The hyperbole was more than justified for a unique spectacle first dreamed up by local boy done good Fabbio Zaffagnini and directed with an extrovert flourish by Marco Sabiu.
In the summer of 2015 the massed ranks had played one song – Foo Fighters’ Learn To Fly – which succeeded in achieving the objective of getting Dave Grohl’s band to play a one-off gig in Cesena.
The crowd-funded follow-up project was to play a full stadium concert and its overwhelming success was proof that a combination of big dreams and collective team work can be steered towards positive goals.
Today sees the release of CD recorded at the show and endorsed with the affirmative slogans – NO MORE CONFLICTS- PLAY ROCK’N’ROLL – STICK TOGETHER.
A full length video would probably have captured the occasion for posterity more effectively but film of the performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit gives a good flavor and the music alone works surprisingly well in putting across the raw energy and infectious enthusiasm of what was a wondrous spectacle.