December 1st – MGM Grand – Las Vegas , NV/
December 15th – Honda Center – Anaheim , CA
It was my great good-fortune to attend two events on Andrea’s current tour… the opening concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the final concert in Anaheim, California.
My words cannot do justice to the feelings I have before, during and after one of Andrea’s concerts.  My emotions range from heart-thumping anticipation, to dreamy ecstasy, and end with an emptiness that borders on depression.
Because the MGM stage was so crowded with a huge orchestra and three tiers of chorus members, Andrea had to manage a temporary set of stairs every time he entered or exited the stage.  It was a bit awkward for him I thought, but he didn’t seem to complain.  In Anaheim the stage was larger, and he was able to enter and exit from the curtained area in the back left side of the stage.  From here on I will report mostly of the Anaheim concert.
When Andrea enters the stage for the first time in his immaculate tuxedo, there seems to be an overall feeling from the audience of “Wow!  He’s really here in front of us.  It’s really him!” The applause almost embarrasses him.  And then he sings for us, with his whole being!  I believe without a doubt that he puts everything he has into each performance.  He can do no less for this audience who loves him.
The first half of the performance consisted of operatic arias such as La Donne e Mobile, a selection from La Boheme with Luis Ledesma, Brindisi from La Traviata with Daniela Bruera, E Lucevan le Stelle from Tosca, and finished with a beautiful duet, Viene la Sera from Madama Butterfly with Ms. Bruera.  This last selection was highlighted with scenes from an actual performance projected on the screen behind the orchestra.  It ends with the two singers in a sweet embrace.  But let me tell you how surprised we were during the Anaheim performance, when Andrea turned to his soprano, cupped her face gently in his hands, and bent down for a tender kiss.  I’ll bet there weren’t many women in the audience who wouldn’t have given anything to be in Ms. Bruela’s shoes at that moment!
About half way through the lighter second half of the concert, Andrea enters the stage wearing a sparkling white jacket and carrying his gold flute.  We were in for a treat!
“So… I changed my jacket.  What do you think of it?”  To which the audience roars its approval.  And we were rewarded with a brilliant smile.  He told us that in honor of his recently released CD, Vivere, it was time to change the atmosphere a bit.  We were treated to some of the songs from the new CD, at times joined by Heather Headley.  Their voices work so well together.
At the end of the program, Andrea thanked the orchestra and the chorus members, his guest singers, and Steven Mercurio, “… the craziest conductor I’ve ever worked with!”
 Andrea was called back for an encore, and together he and Heather sang The Prayer, obviously a favorite of many audience members.  Once more an audience that was not ready to let him go, called him back to the stage.  He entered with Ms. Bruera and when the music began for Con Te Partiro, there was an audible mixture of delight and regret from the audience, because by now many of us realize this is going to be his last song… his final time on stage… his way of saying Goodbye!
As he was departing the stage by way of a staircase, his white jacket almost glowing in the darkness surrounding him for an inconspicuous exit, the audience let out a roar of applause and appreciation for a spectacular evening.  We couldn’t believe it when he turned around, and came back to us.  After what must have been an exhausting two hours of giving us all he had, he gave us one final aria to remember him by… Nessun Dorma! He must have been so tired at this point, and yet he thrilled us with this beautiful aria. 
Andrea Bocelli, more than any other tenor I’ve listened to, puts so much of himself into every note and every word he sings. Though I’ve attended a dozen of his concerts so far, this last one in Anaheim was the very best.  It seems his voice was stronger and he held the notes longer than I’ve ever heard before.  Perhaps because it was to be his last concert of the tour he felt free to extend himself that extra measure.  What an exhilarating experience to be in his presence!  And this is where the emptiness comes into the picture… because when Andrea leaves the stage for the final time, I experience a feeling of deep loss.  I don’t know if he affects anyone else in this way, but a light seems to go out in my heart. 
Andrea, thank you for sharing yourself and your life’s dream with all of us.  You are an inspiration and a treasure that I will forever hold dear.
by Mary Kay Stevens 

December 8th – Izod Arena – East Rutherford , NJ
I immediately went to ticketmaster and bought two tickets to the East
Rutherford, N.J. concert. My husband was not going to be able to attend due
to work obligations, but I bought myself a plane ticket the same day. My aunt, who
still lives in N.J., went with me to the concert. As the date approached, my excitement

The evening of the concert we arrived at the arena and found our seats. I
had gotten my program and the new cd I planned to purchase at the concert. I also bought my aunt the "Under the Desert Sky" dvd/cd as a Christmas gift. As you took the stage, I was still taking in all of the sights and sounds and energy that were drifting through the hall. I am sometimes embarrassed by my child-like excitement at certain events.
Actually being able to see you in person was one of these. As you sang the notes of the
first song I couldn't decide on whether to close my eyes and just take in the incredible
sound, or watch the stage and screens for visual enjoyment. I alternated through both
for most of the first half. At some point during "Viene la Sera" with Ms. Bruera I began
to cry. My aunt was passing me tissues she had in her purse. I neglected to realize
that I might need tissues at a concert. I had attended many concerts in my lifetime and never needed tissues before. After the song was over I thought too that my crying would stop. But then you sang "Nessun Dorma" in tribute to Pavarotti and the tears again began to flow. I got a break during the intermission and tried to explain to my aunt that I didn't know what was happening to me or why I was crying this way. I told her that it was as if
the notes of each song you were singing were passing through me and straight into my
soul. She smiled in a knowing way. As the second half began, I once again found myself wiping a steady stream of slow tears behind my glasses. My aunt finally gave up and handed me the entire package of tissues. "Ave Maria" and "Panis Angelicus" were two hymns that I remember hearing over and over again in the catholic church while I was growing up.
All of the memories of my childhood were coming back. All of the sights and smells of
my grandparents house, the italian language being spoken, my cheeks being pinched, and the Caruso operas being played throughout the house. I cried for the entire second half of the concert until it was over. I stood and applauded with the rest of the attendees in the
hall, through my tears, until my hands hurt. I left the arena a different person than the one that had entered a few hours earlier. My aunt and I drove home in silence because I
was unable to speak. I flew back to Tennessee the next day and tried to convey to my
husband what I had experienced. He commented that I was shaking as I tried to put into words what I had heard. It didn't work.
by Carolyn Mathis

December 14th – Jobing Arena – Phoenix , AZ
"We just got home from a fabulous trip to Phoenix for yet another
Bocelli concert!    Loved it.  I was so touched by the love from each
musicians heart and the most amazing sounds that they embraced us with
all evening.   Two plus hours of such incredible sounds.   Bocelli and
all those with him.....  too wonderful.   I laughed, I cried, I screamed
and clapped until my hands hurt and my body ached!  At one point, Andrea
returned to the stage and I spontaneously yelled, "I love you". 
Everyone laughed.

It was a total body experience.  My husband, Tim,  also reacted to the
music!   We both left floating high.   We had great seats.  Right in the
middle, up front just 10 rows from the stage.   Muhammed Alli was
there....he came in and everyone stood and cheered him.  He sat just six
seats in front of us!   Double bonus.   Andrea had visited with him at
his home the night before and for the fourth encore Andrea came out with
red boxing gloves on!   He dedicated the concert to Muhammed and told us
all he had been his childhood hero.
by Donna Collins

December 15th – Honda Center – Anaheim , CA
When Andrea's 2007 USA tour dates were finally set, circumstances at the time were conspiring against me.  I was seriously looking at the end of my wonderful streak of having seen THE MAN live at least once a calendar year since 1999.  I was being a brave girl and counting my blessings that I'd been fortunate enough to see him as much as I had and all that but...WAAH!!! :'(  I wanted to go somewhere!  As luck, karma, Christmas elves ;) or whatever you want to credit would have it, though, circumstances changed in my favor (woo-hoo!) and I WAS able to go to a show after all.  The Anaheim concert had already been chosen by friends :) so it would be the one for me as well.

Taking a trip from a cold climate to a warm one in December is FUN! :)  Emerging from the airport to sunshine and palm trees was the start of a great weekend!  While some in my group (you know who you are ;) ) were worrying Andrea might be tired at this last stop on his tour OR suffering from Martha Stewart's cold, I was confident that the stars had not lined up for me to get to California only to be disappointed by a less than ideal performance.  There was going to be a big screen backdrop! :)  I KNEW it was going to be a great night.

I'd read previously about a "thank you" notice from Andrea on the big screen at the end of the evening.  I didn't know anything about the introductory piece.  It was a lovely surprise to hear Andrea's speaking voice and see the footage of Italy.  I DO hope the big screen is here to stay.  It adds a lot to the show and is especially appreciated by those of us not in the front rows. :)

The opening number by the orchestra was new to me and quite swell.  They finished.  Steven Mercurio left the stage.  We know what that means!  He came back with Andrea and the crowd loved it. :-)  It was a wonderfully enthusiastic audience all night long--a great way to send THE MAN home.  The music started.  Andrea started...and sang his heart out all night long.  THE VOICE was very strong and note perfect.  He really looked like he was having a great time.  One of the best things about my streak, for me, is having seen Andrea through his arena concert "stage afraid".  I remember watching for the moments when he'd finally unclench his fist and seem to breathe easier.  Those days are over!  It is great to see him enjoy himself up there at last.

I'd read earlier reports mentioning "Nessun Dorma" being performed as an unscheduled tribute to Pavarotti right before intermission.  Our song before intermission was the scheduled "Viene la Sera" complete with a double dose of passion--Torre del Lago footage of Andrea in character on the big screen (as "Pinkerton") and THE MAN in person framing soprano Daniela Bruera's face ever so lovingly for quite the kiss ;) to conclude the number.  A super first half ending, but no "Nessun Dorma".  Were we not going to hear it???

One of our encores was "Vivo Per Lei".  Andrea let his inner bluesman :) come through at the very end of the song--adding a "yeah!" I'm sure Zucchero would have been proud of.

The Honda Center didn't seem to know when Andrea was really done for the night.  After each encore they'd start putting up the lights.  Until we heard "Time To Say Goodbye" I was confident the show wasn't really over.  Then...we heard it.  Bows were taken.  The lights came up again.  Was it REALLY over this time?  No! :)  Andrea came out again with Steven.  Were they just taking a last bow?  No! :)  Steven took his position.  The music began....NESSUN DORMA!  We DID get to hear it after all  It was performed with no mention of Pav, just as the ultimate encore.   Of course I have no idea why it was saved until the end like that but I like to think it was because it was the perfect way to wrap up a great tour for THE MAN.  "Vincero!" indeed. :-)

by Janice Sopicki Chicago, IL USA


Madison Square Garden New York, 7.12.07, with Daniela Bruera,  thanks to Big Fan Sue!Madison Square Garden New York, 7.12.07, thanks to Big Fan Sue!
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