REVIEW: Ludovico Einaudi @ Brighton Dome, 12th March 2016

On the second night of his two Brighton dates at The Dome, Ludovico Einaudi was playing in support of his latest album ‘Elements’, which was released last October.

Considering his roots are in classical music it was a pleasant surprise to see in the audience a variety of ages, which goes to show Einaudi really does have a broad appeal.

Even though it is his name on the bill, Einaudi was accompanied by a small ensemble including a guitarist, a bassist and a percussionist who at times all swapped out their standard instruments for less conventional ones like a vibraphone, live electronics and a waterphone. They were joined by a cellist and a violinist Federico Mecozzi who was perhaps the star of the show aside from Einaudi.

The majority of the first part of the set came from his latest album ‘Elements’ which has a more electronic feel to it. Opener Drop has is quite stripped back, although it has a dark undertone. These themes continue into Whiling Winds before building in pace and intensity. On Petricor and Walk you feel as you have been taken somewhere else with their gorgeous melodies and sweeping strings taking you on a journey.

Although his piano is at the heart of most pieces it does not completely take over the songs and the string section in particular gets a chance to shine, playing beautifully in harmony, as well as almost duelling with each other on occasion.

It was really interesting hearing the variety of influences on some of the other tracks played from ‘Elements’. Four Dimentions along with the pretty stage lights would not have sounded out of place at a Sigur Ros gig. The bassline driving the title track Elements could have come from ‘Rumors’ era Fleetwood Mac, before Einaudi’s piano and the other instruments were layered over it.

Throughout the set the other musicians did leave the stage on a couple of occasions and Einaudi played some of his older solo pieces. Una Mattina and Nuvole Bianche were particular favourites of mine as they are great examples of why he is such an exceptional talent.

There were a couple more songs from ‘Elements’ after the interval, however they were perhaps a little overshadowed by some of his more well known older material. The final 1-2-3 punch of Experience, Divenire and Choros was perhaps as perfect an end to a show as one could want. All three were amazing and sounded better live than on record or in snippets on soundtracks where they are normally heard.

You could really tell that Einaudi loves playing live as much as those who come to listen to him play, as he and his accompanying musicians seemed genuinely happy as they left the stage to a standing ovation. I could go on and on with superlatives about how wonderful he is, but I’ll just end by saying that it was a beautiful and breathtaking show.

Simon England

The Verse Staff

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