Live Review: Bell'Aria — The Jimmy Kimmel Outdoor Stage, San Gennaro Festival
Mon, 27 Sep 2010 06:49:16
There's a lot to love about Bell'Aria.
First of all, they sing a wide array of classic Italian pop songs with a modern swagger and, more importantly, they pull it off live with panache, power and a boat load of passion.
The quintet gave the Los Angeles San Gennaro Festival a show that was northing short of magical this past Friday night. Performing on the Jimmy Kimmel Live outdoor stage, the group supplied the soundtrack for any voyage back to the old country. Bell'Aria instantly transfixed the audience from the moment they sauntered out. Their first offering, a stellar take on "Volare", illuminated just how incredible they can be. Christopher Macchio introduced the song, aptly announcing, "For our first piece we'd like for you to come fly with us."
The packed audience flew along with Bell'Aria for the entire duration of the show. Macchio's voice soared, perfectly complemented by heavenly harmonies from Angelica DiCastro and Jessica Carvo. The group immediately hit their stride syncing like the coolest choir on the planet. Shortly after, "Oh Marie" allowed Gabriel Burrafato the spotlight. He smoothly slid across the stage while simultaneously lifting the song's classic crescendo in away even Louis Prima would’ve appreciated. Burrafato anchored the show with a theatrical flare and precise delivery that was as melodious as it was massive.
During "Al Di La," Carvo's entrancing performance captivated the festival crowd. Meanwhile, DiCastro sounded operatic and undeniable on “Mamma” as her unshakable pipes resounded through the night far beyond the confines of Hollywood and all the way back to Roma. "That's Amore" would've made Dean Martin proud as the five performers added a modern energy to the song, swaying succinctly to the beat while Kimmel's stage lights pulsated tastefully.
Bell'Aria slowed things down momentarily for "O Mio Bambino Caro." Miriam Pultro stepped up with a show-stopping turn. She carried the verse with an angelic arena-ready prowess. Vulnerable yet vital, Pultro reached divine heights and she proved hypnotic all at the same time.
Bell'Aria's "You Don't have to Say You Love Me" saw DiCastro and Macchio shining, while the group's final song, "Mambo Italiano," could've gotten even the most passive listener up and dancing with its sunny chorus and final bombastic bounce.
Bell'Aria's debut, Little Italy [EMI/Manhattan], will hit shelves late this November with their PBS special, Bell'Aria – Live From Vegas, airing around the same time. They elevate the beauty of these songs to a new level, and it's refreshing and exhilarating to see a group celebrating Italian culture and the Italian-American experience for all it truly is. This transcends the stereotypes and idioms and fits in line with all classic Italian art. That's Bell'Aria, and that should be beautiful music to the ears of fans of all ages.
Have you heard Bell'Aria yet? Are you excited for Little Italy?