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. …
Main Set: Release, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, (Interstellar Overdrive)/Corduroy, Why Go, Do The Evolution, Pilate, Given To Fly, Even Flow, Wasted Reprise, Wishlist, Lightning Bolt, Again Today, Untitled, MFC, Immortality, Unthought Known, Eruption, Can’t Deny Me, Mankind, Animal, Lukin, Porch
encore 1: Sleeping By Myself, Just Breathe, Imagine, Daughter/(W.M.A.), State Of Love And Trust, Black Diamond, Jeremy, Better Man/(Save It For Later/I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend)
encore 2: Comfortably Numb, Black, Rearviewmirror, Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World
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