She’s one of the top Italian Pop singers and she hit the Belly Up for a lively Monday night. This is the first time she’s taken her tour to the United States and Canada supporting her latest album Dancing. It’s a little different from her shows in Italy. I should say they are smaller than the ones she performs in Italy. She took four musicians out on the road with her, which gave her more opportunities to play instruments onstage. They have adjusted well to life on the road in America and Canada. They are used to being pampered on tour in Italy but this tour is very “Rock and Roll” as she told me on Sunday.
The crowd was excited to she Elisa at the Belly Up. The crowd was mixed with American English and Italian speaking fans. During the entire show everyone was singing along and they sang louder as she sang in Italian. Between songs the crowd would shout to her in Italian. I only wish I knew what they were saying. I could guess, but I am not one to assume. It was pleasant because Elisa would smile and say “Gratis.” At one point the crowd was singing requests to her. She yelled, “I don’t know that one, but if you do you can come up here and sing it!” The crowd laughs. Another fan starts singing a song of hers, and she exclaims, “We’ll get to that one later!” The banter between her and the crowd was priceless and gave the performance a very intimate look into her humorous personality.
The other musicians were full of energy on the small stage at the Belly Up. The guys even took up some backing vocals for Elisa. She also had recorded backing vocals for the beginning of songs where she really needed 3 of her to sing.
During the show she would rotate between singing and playing guitar and jumping on her keyboard. She literally would mix it up so she wasn’t in the same place for too long. Her vocals were solid the entire night even with all the movement onstage. Even though many categorize her as a pop singer, I would constrain her to the labels that are also placed upon the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Elisa showed off her rock and roll side on Monday night. Her entire performance had a darker edgier feel to it. She was even head banging onstage. She told me she likes to rock music and is a fan of the Raconteurs. It peeked out on Monday night and made the performance that much more memorable.
One of the highlights of the show was her cover of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz.” It gave us chills listening to it. It was just her vocals and the pre-recorded playback of her own backing vocals and nada mas. It was intense and received a very loud applause.
The show ended after 2 encores and several thank you’s later from Elisa. She is a truly naturally talented performer that is very professional and very grateful to her fans.
I hope she comes back to the States with a full band, stage performers, and video artists like she has done in Italy.
Elisa’s setlist for the night:
Elisa Tour Dates:
Wed. Oct. 29 Toronto, ON The Mod Club
Thurs. Oct. 30 Montreal QC Le Savoy
Sat. Nov. 1 Allston, MA Great Scott
Tues. Nov. 4 Vienna, VA (D.C.) The Barns at Wolf Trap
Wed. Nov. 5 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Fri. Nov. 7 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
Sat. Nov. 8 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
Tues. Nov. 11 Chicago, Il Martyrs’
Wed. Nov. 12 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway Nightclub
Thurs. Nov. 14 Denver, CO Soiled Dove
Sat. Nov. 15 Salt Lake City, UT Bar Deluxe
Mon. Nov 17 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
Wed. Nov. 19 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
Thurs. Nov. 20 San Francisco, CA Café Du Nord
Sat. Nov. 22 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Sun. Nov 23 Vancouver, BC The Biltmore Club
Mon. Nov. 24 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Photos of Elisa Toffoli at the Belly Up: