The first Italian concert of the Beatles took place at the Velodromo Vigorelli. As it was customary at that time, they played both an afternoon and an evening concert. Apparently, the audience was so loud that one could not clearly hear the notes, but it was not a big problem for most fans, who were ecstatic about the presence of their favorite band. The Beatles also played in Genoa, at the Palazzo dello Sport, and in Rome, at the Teatro Adriano, where many fans passed out because of excitement (and the heat.)
Two years after the Beatles, it was the turn of the Rolling Stones to introduce Italy to rock/rhythm ’n’ blues music. The band of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards played at the Palazzo dello Sport in Bologna on April 5, 1967. Also in this event, the loud fans prevented any music to be heard despite the good amplification. The Stones performed twice that day: once in the afternoon, once at night. The day after, the Stones played at another Palazzo dello Sport, this time in Rome. In those years, rock concerts were very short: the Stones only played eight songs in each of their concerts in Rome. In Milan, two days later, the Rolling Stones played 10 songs per concert at the Palalido, which had recently welcomed the British rock band The Who. The Stones played two more concerts in Genoa, at the local Palazzo dello Sport.
It was clear from the first concerts of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones that pop and rock music needed very big venues such as sport palaces rather than theaters. This is why in 1980, the Stadio Meazza, in the San Siro area of Milan, was opened to live shows. The occasion was the first Italian exhibition of reggae singer Bob Marley and his band, the Wailers, who played in front of 100,000 fans. The day after, Marley performed in Turin, again in a stadium, the Stadio Comunale, where 60,000 people were present.
The Meazza stadium in San Siro, Milan, would host incredible concerts in the following years: the Police in 1980; Bob Dylan in 1984; David Bowie in 1987; Italian rock star Vasco Rossi in 1990 and in other occasions; Michael Jackson in 1997; the Rolling Stones in 2003 and 2006; Bruce Springsteen in 2003, 2008, 2012, and 2013; U2 in 2005 and 2009; and Madonna in 2009 and 2012.
Another venue for the greatest music stars performing in Italy is the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. In 1991, it had the honor of welcoming Miles Davis in one of his rare Italian concerts. Great artists who also performed in the capital’s stadium were R.E.M. in 2005, Roger Waters (former singer and bass player of Pink Floyd) in 2006 and 2013, George Michael in 2007, and Depeche Mode in 2006.
The year 2015, in correspondence with the Universal Expo in Milan, will be a remarkable time for rock and pop music in Italy.
On February 13, pop/soul singer and author Lionel Richie will sing and play at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan (address: via Giuseppe di Vittorio 6, Assago, Milano).
Also at the Mediolanum Forum, pop singer/actress Katy Perry will sing her catchy tunes on February 21.
Composer Ennio Morricone will perform at the Mediolanum Forum on March 7; on May 15, he will be at the Unipol Arena of Bologna. The venues for his Florence and Verona concerts (May 16 and September 12, respectively) have not been decided yet.
Young sensation Sam Smith will perform at Alcatraz in Milan (address: via Valtellina, 25) on March 9.
Do you remember the 1980s stylish band Spandau Ballet? Their 2015 reunion tour will be in Italy Italy too. They will be at the Mediolanum Forum of Milan in March 2015. They will proceed to Turin to play at the Pala Alpitour on March 26 (address: Corso Sebastopoli, 123), then to Florence at the Mandela Forum on March 28 (address: Via Malta 6), and finally at the Palalottomatica of Rome on March 30 (address: Piazzale Pier Luigi Nervi, 1).
Folk singer Paul Simon and Sting will perform together at the Mediolanum Forum on March 30, inaugurating a historical duo.
On June 12, the stage of the Mediolanum Forum will be held by the British-American pop band Maroon 5.
Those who like classical arias will not want to miss Andrea Bocelli, who will sing at the Teatro del Silenzio (Theater of Silence) in Lajatico (Pistoia, Tuscany) on August 2, 2015.
Fans of hard rock should attend at least one of the four concerts that will be played by seminal hard rock band Deep Purple, who will perform on October 30 at the Padua Palasport (via San Marco 53), at the Milan Mediolanum Forum on October 31, at the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence on November 5, and finally in Rome at the Palalottomatica on November 6. It is going to be a great year for Concerts in Italy!
At Basket Viaggi, we love pop and rock music. We will be super happy to help you find tickets to the hottest concerts for a wonderful rock 2015 in Italy!