June 26, 2018 – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, ITA

Show Notes:

For the first time in nearly 22 years the band plays the city of Rome, unveiling an epic return at Stadio Olimpico. As they were over two decades earlier, the crowd is treated to the opening string plucks of Release. …

Show Notes: 

For the first time in nearly 22 years the band plays the city of Rome, unveiling an epic return at Stadio Olimpico. As they were over two decades earlier, the crowd is treated to the opening string plucks of Release.  Ed sounds surprisingly strong given his vocal injury just days prior in London. A very energetic crowd helps out with Release and Elderly Woman, with Ed providing a lyrical nod of “so glad we saw this place.” Despite some technical issues, Mike fires off a soulful and very sparse solo in Corduroy, allowing a lot of space on top of the band’s pocket groove. Given to Fly is a bit uptempo, and includes a further nod to the city,, “…made it to Roma…” Mike literally flexes his muscles on Even Flow, tossing his dress jacket to reveal a button down sleeveless vest. Ed walks the length of the stage during Mike’s solo, again sparse and thoughtful with each note, and as he implores the crowd to assist on the closing chorus he ends up catching a baseball tossed to him. Untitled begins with the story of how MFC was written in Rome. Immortality is incredibly strong, with the jam hooked by Jeff and Matt.  A passionate Unthought Known fits the clear night summer sky with Matt continuing to add inflection from the kit. Stone signals his approval with a thumbs up after Mankind. Ed playfully swings his telecaster over his head during the Porch jam, looking like he has some inclination to smash it, but can’t quite bring himself to it, using it as a mirror to reflect the stage light into the crowd. Ed takes on Just Breathe solo, and addresses the crowd in Italian again, imploring them to light up the night as the band plays a truly inspired version of Imagine, with Stone and Boom both shining, perhaps inspired by the shooting star that flew by overhead during the song. Daughter features a playful call and response during the outro. Black Diamond is introduced as “something special for you, not the first time, maybe the 2nd” (actually the 3rd).  Mike delivers the intro verse and Matt takes over vocals. An at once serene and cascading take on Comfortably Numb opens encore 2. Black is cathartic, with the stage awash in blood red light, Mike falling to his hands and knees during a searing solo as he engineers his way through the soundscape, with Ed tagging “home is where the heart is, home is where, home is where I feel at home.” After Rockin’ in the Free World (the same way the 1996 show ended here), Ed remarks “I’ll remember this night and the full moon…maybe we’ll see you next year.” An impressive show on their return to Rome.

Written by: Patrick Boegel


June 24, 2018 – Stadio Euganeo, Padova, ITA

Show Notes:

The Pendulum/Low Light opening combo serves as a barometer for Ed’s voice (night 2 in London having been postponed 5 days prior due to vocal issues), and his voice clips on “Easy left me a long time ago.” Ed welcomes…

Show Notes: 

The Pendulum/Low Light opening combo serves as a barometer for Ed’s voice (night 2 in London having been postponed 5 days prior due to vocal issues), and his voice clips on “Easy left me a long time ago.” Ed welcomes the crowd in their native tongue, proclaiming in Italian that this marks the 12th Italian show in 8 years, but he never said, “Good evening Padova!” Evolution tests Ed’s voice, as the feral howls are absent. Addressing the crowd again in Italian, Ed recalls the June 15, 2007 show that was canceled due to weather and shares his gratitude to be back, then plays a sweet improv about feeling at home in Padova. Corduroy seems to mark the end of Ed’s vocal concerns, as he stretches his voice in a series of chants with the crowd. More call and response during Daughter, along with some denouncement of Trump’s ideals, accompanied by some very suave dancing from Ed. Trump is again invoked as Ed proclaims that the devil comes in “all different colors, not just orange,” before Red Mosquito. Spin the Black Circle is dedicated to Jack White, “a great maker of records.” Many of the small neighboring towns in Italy are called out before Small Town. Ed sings part of People Have the Power, and then improvs, on a gorgeous eleven-minute Black. Crazy Mary follows, with Boom’s organ solo riffing off “Paint it Black” before it erupts back for a blazing finish. Before Smile, Ed introduces his friend Dylan, who just moved to Italy, and then mentions he had met someone the year prior who had written a book about “our group, it looked to be a great book, it was thick, I haven’t read it because it was in Italian, but it had some great Italian words in it,” and mentions Daria and Luca and their 3 day old daughter Eleonara. Ed holds up her baby picture and dedicates Smile to her. Leading into Alive, he shares an almost-too-crazy-to-be-true story about a night out in Italy, involving limoncello, walking the streets at 4 am, drugs, and a quick escape:

[…There was] screaming and yelling, Italian swear words, and I asked my friend ‘ Who the fuck is he talking to?’ My friend says, ‘Oh, he is talking to his wife. She is at home. Oh Eddie, this woman…she is like a dog made of Satan’s sperm. She is evil and she will hate us for walking into her house at 4:30 in the morning.’ I said ‘Well we can’t do it then,’ and he said, ‘Oh no it will be fine’…so we play a little music and I climb through a small window because I did not want to be in the same room as this hellhound. I mean, she had every right to be barking, I just didn’t want it to be at me. So we sat on the roof a little longer, waiting for the sun to come up. And when it did, I was the first person in line to take the boat back. And I was so happy to touch ground and the only reason I am telling you this story is because I don’t want that to ever happen again. And I am glad to be alive.

Following Alive, the band roars straight into Baba O’Riley and then closes the night out with Indifference, Ed allowing the crowd to finish out the night by singing “I will scream my lungs out till it fills this room…”

Written by: Matthew Sellers


June 22, 2018 – I-Days Festival, Area Expo, Milan, ITA

Show Notes:

The first show since the London show where Ed lost his voice. Release opens, and Ed clearly does not have full strength or confidence in his normal range yet, as he holds back from going all out. He leans on…

Show Notes: 

The first show since the London show where Ed lost his voice. Release opens, and Ed clearly does not have full strength or confidence in his normal range yet, as he holds back from going all out. He leans on the crowd to pick up the slack, and they do not disappoint. Mike takes over the show starting with Given to Fly, and doesn’t let up through a blistering Even Flow, followed shortly thereafter with Eruption. Of course, his Van Halen T-shirt should have tipped off everyone what was coming. He saves his best work for the end of the night, where he goes down to the crowd and plays his solo on Black behind his head, in front of the front row fans. Stone also steps up with great guitar work in Do the Evolution while taking his turn on the mic for Mankind. A sweet moment before Porch, as Ed brings Jill out on stage and expresses his love for her in Italian, as they are celebrating their wedding anniversary. He tells the crowd the two first met in Milan, to loud cheers. A bottle of champagne is opened by Ed, spraying over the stage, then a drink with Jill, followed by a few cups tossed on the crowd. Jill comes out with a green coat with the words “Yes we all care. Y don’t u?” as a response to Melania Trump’s “I really don’t care. Do u?” stunt from the day before. A short festival set with no encore, but plenty of great moments and Ed on the road to recovery.

Written by: Sean Rashkis