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Al Di Meola At One World Theatre

Jed Vaughn By

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Al Di Meola
One World Theatre
Austin, TX
September 25, 2018

One World Theatre in Austin, Texas, is a unique and intimate little venue to catch great musical performances in the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World." Every seat provides a great view with perfect sound and acoustics. With a mere 300 seats, it is impossible to land in one that would not be described as superb. World-class guitarist Al Di Meola performed there as part of his tour promoting his latest album Opus (earMUSIC, 2018).

As the lights dimmed, an enthusiastic audience cheered and applauded as the three musicians found their place front and center on the stage. Jordan Rudess was seated left at a grand piano, Fausto Beccalossi was seated stage right on accordion and Di Meola was center stage with a classical guitar in hand. Rolling right into "Azura" from his album The Infinite Desire (Telarc, 1998), Di Meola riffed and grinned wryly with a certain calmness alongside his fretboard magic pouring over the crowd.

"Broken Heart, Frozen In Time" and the tribute to his daughter "Ava's Dream Sequence Lullaby" were also featured during the performance. Reaching back in time with a tune he wrote in a Morocco hotel room, he wowed the crowd with "Malazene Part 1 and 2" from Morocco Fantasia (Live) (Valiana/Songsurfer, 2017). The guitarist also interjected classic riffs from "Siberiana." As he rolled seamlessly through his set, the iconic fusion between flamenco and jazz called back to the '70s and days of that era gone by.

Di Meola's passion for Abbey Road (EMI, 1969) shone through as he transitioned into a story about his experience with The Beatles and relics from his recording All Your Life: A Tribute To The Beatles (Inakustik, 2013), which he recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London, England. The sequence was short but sweet and the crowd really enjoyed it. Rudess and Beccolossi each had moments showcasing their extreme talents, but Di Meola dominated the focus and left the audience yearning for more.

A brief encore wrapped up the performance and every spectator surely got their money's worth at this one. It seemed as if 15 minutes had passed before the trio was taking a bow. It was the fastest hour and a half of any concert I've ever attended, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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