Sunday, March 3, 2013

Save my soul with Rock 'n' Roll - Gibonni in Munich

Gibonni at his first concert in Munich in 15 years

And now to something completely different. While most of the concert reviews in this series are about all kinds of rock bands mostly from the so called indie or alternative sector this one is about my favorite Croatian artist - Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni!

While I have seen Gibonni already several times in all kind of locations from Wuppertal to Zagreb to Pula to Primošten (to name only a few) he never came to Munich once in the ten years I am now attending Croatian events. You can imagine that a Gibonni show right here at home was very, very high on my wish list and so I was more than happy when the announcement finally came: Gibonni would play his first show in Munich in 15 years! 

How to explain why Gibonni is so great to somebody who may not be into Croatian music? First of all the niveau of his music is on a different (higher) level than of most of the other artists from Croatia (except some of the really good klapa choirs, but that is a different type of music). In the past he already attracted several amazing international artists to work with him like Manu Katché, Tony Levin or the critically acclaimed Macedonian jazz guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski.
The lyrics of his songs are powerful and full of poetry. His music connects traditional Dalmatian music with modern style jazzy pop and rock

There are rumors that Gibonni considers to record an album in English and I totally support this idea, because he has the format to make Croatian music accessible and enjoyable for the rest of the world like no other, but to make this step it is necessary to have at least some repertoire in English instead of just Croatian (Dalmatian), because this absolutely beautiful language sounds too strange for many people who never heard it before. It will be just a real challange to find somebody who is able to work with him on the lyrics to bring his amazing spirit into the new language. Croatian and English could not work more differently. What sounds and feels in Croatian wonderful, highly and honestly emotional and poetic sounds translated into English or German just cheesy and overdone. 

The concert in Munich was - like all Gibonni concerts I enjoyed before from huge to small (Sportski Dom in Zagreb with 15000 people to a 500 people club) - amazing. He was in a very good mood, the sound was awesome and he had his audience within in minutes all dancing and singing along.
In the second half of  the show a friend was staying next to me and pulled my attention for a moment away from the stage to the rest of the audience when she said: "Look at the faces of all these people!" I did and saw what she meant - everybody's eyes were fixed on the stage - fascinated, smiling, happy.  THIS is the special power of Gibonni. He reaches out to the hearts of the people with his music like barely somebody else. 

Dear Gibo, please never again stay away from Munich for 15 years. Come back soon - we loved having you here so much!

The video is from the "Zagrebački Mirakul" in February 2003 in Zagreb. I was at the show and it was one of the best and most moving concerts in my life - and I was at quite some shows of all kind of artists. "Libar" is also one of my favorite songs of all times. Look out for the wonderful Manu Katché smiling at the drums!  

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