Saturday, December 7, 2013

Concert Review - Goblin, with Zombi - Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead - 12-6-13

For a band that never toured this country before, Goblin had quite the cheering section. Hundreds of fans turned out to see the Italian band play the fear-inducing rock that influenced a generation of horror film scores. Goblin delivered that and more, treating fans to a full-on prog rock extravaganza.

Even though the band doesn't embrace the “progressive rock” label – keyboardist Maurizio told us the term is “restrictive” for Goblin's sound – it's hard to know what else to call a band with two keyboardists, no vocals, and enough synth for ELP and ELO combined. 

Goblin came out and played songs mostly from their standalone albums, specifically 1976's Roller. “Dr. Frankenstein” started out like a funky “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” while “Aquaman” gave guitarist Massimo Morante space to lay out some frenetic lines on his 1974 Gibson SG. 
Morante certainly looked the part of rock guitarist with his leather vest, aviator shades, and Slash-ian mop of black curls. He had a tendency to wave both hands impatiently when he was unhappy with the tempo, and would hold his pick out wide like a conductor's wand before unleashing one of his fiery licks. Keyboardist Aidan referred to him as “maestro” when introducing the band. (One has to wonder if any of this behavior has bearing on the history of line-up changes in the band, although it is quite possible we're just not used to witnessing high-context cultures in action.)
--> There were more than a few Dario Argento fans in the audience, judging from the number of Suspira and Zombi shirts, and more than half of the show was given to works from his movies. “Non Ho Sonno,” the title track from Argento's 2001 film of the same name, lead into “Death Farm,” from the same album. They also performed the themes from Suspira – complete with mandolin – Profondo Rosso, and Tenebre, the latter of which may have sounded familiar to non-Argento fans, as it was sampled by Justice for their 2007 dance hit “Phantom.”

The highlight of the night, at least for Pittsburgh loyalists, came when Goblin performed “Zombi,” from Dawn of the Dead, in front of a screen displaying scenes from Romero's 1978 zombie classic. A woman who had been dancing onstage periodically throughout the night came out in zombie makeup for the song and lurched menancingly around the band. It was, in some small way, a historic moment.
Openers Zombi, from Pittsburgh, had planned to take Goblin on a tour of Monroeville Mall earlier in the day, but Goblin decided they'd rather have a leisurely afternoon with proper showers after so much time on the tour bus. The rest served both bands well. Zombi makes more noise than is possible for just two men, and it is possible their drummer may be moonlighting for Mastodon, he was that good.

-- B. Conway

Goblin's setlist for their show Dec. 6, 2013, at the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead:  


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