A couple of months ago we went to the Porretta Soul Festival. Porretta is a nice town next to Bologna quiet famous for his spa. It’s a great place to spend a week end immersed in a beautiful natural and rural landscape eating outstanding and really cheap food. It’s definitely a good place to visit.
Let’s talk about the festival and let’s start from a simple fact: we just expected a little more from the musicians. In fact we were really excited because this year was the Stax 50th Anniversary plus was the 20th edition of the festival. The combination between the two facts was enough brilliant to make us pack our luggage and run to the festival. C’mon, if you like soul, you can not miss something like that!
Unfortunately the festival did not turn out the way I thought.
1 The place was too small (it’s an amphitheatre). On one side this is great because you are close to the stage but on the other side you don’t have a chance to move or dance without worrying about disturbing other people. The crowd was static like they were listening to Opera.
2 The crowd. This was the worst thing! Ok don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to have techno-raver or gangsta at a soul festival (I did not even want that) but I still want people who interact with the musicians and with each other. No dancing, no drinking, no having fun at all. They were all sit, snob and posh! Wrong attitude and wrong atmosphere. Thumbs down…
3 Here comes the most important point: the music. I am not talking about Booker T & the MGs as they did a good job, I am talking about the rest of the artists: The Original Blues Brothers Band, Eddie Floyd, Sir Mack Rice, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, Jimmy McCracklyn, Sugar Pie DeSanto…They all are too old to rock the show. I am sorry to say so, but this is the truth. I got a huge respect for all of them, it’s not their fault, I should have gone to the Porretta Soul Festival 10 years ago :)
Anyway I am glad to have seen such important artists as Booker T, Steve Copper, Wayne Jackson and Jimmy McCracklyn live!
Listen to this: