11 July 1999 - Bologna Dall'Ara Stadium


By Micky Traversa

Great show, absolutely fantastic.

Special guests were Afterhours, Wilco and Suede. I didn't know Wilco before; they weren't too bad, a bit repetitive perhaps. Afterhours are an italian band but I don't like them very much as for Suede. Yes they played "Beautiful ones" and "She's in fashion" which ended the show, but they aren't one of my favourite groups, all the fans forgive me. During their shows Ken, Mike and Peter were in the backstage listening to them.

Finally we heard some notes of "Airportman" and R.E.M. took place on the stage, lights turned on and "Lotus" opened the set. The stage has been already described, you know, with all the lights, neon figures; all I can say is that during "Crush w/ eyeliner" two faces were on, staring at the female figure; that was pretty good.

It was a continuo lighting of those neon figures with Michael dancing all around, as he always did, and Mike sending kisses to the crowd. "Wtf Kenneth" and "So fast so numb" followed lotus, which drove people insane. After the first 3-4 songs Michael greeted the audience: "Hi, everything is OK? If I look through the crowd here, I can see some familiar faces… hey there"

Michael introduced "Electrolite" talking about Andy Kaufmann: "Do you know Andy Kaufmann? I mean not personally, unfortunately you hadn't the chance to" this was more or less his speech. Before playin' "Half a world away" he said this is their favourite song among their old ones. He started "Walk unafraid" singing the refrain without music, immediately the crowd followed him, he stopped but people went on; then the song began.

Mike greeted the audience in this way: "Is there someone from Rome" yeeeh "Is there someone from Milan?" yeeeh "Is there someone from Catania?" yeeeh -pause- "And from Bologna …of course" yeeeh.

"Losing my religion" flamed the stadium and ended the regular set. The encore began with Michael sitting on a chair with his guitar; he played "Hope" without remembering all the words, then Mike joined him on the stage, they did "Why not smile" and at the end of it they kiss each other on the cheeks.

Before playing "Gardening at night" Michael said: "Do you want another song? -yeah- Do you want plenty of songs -yeah- do you want thousands of song -yeah- "It's the End of the world…" was introduced by "This is our last song and is dedicated to Francesco Virlinzi" (their friend from Catania and boss of Cyclope Records)

During the show Michael dedicated one song to each one of guest bands, and in the end he thanks them for being there. He presents Joey, Scott and Ken and then "You know me, I'm Michael, there's Mike and Peter"; a loud applause followed.

During the rehearsal (I heard it from outside) they played "pretty persuasion" and "begin the begin" which weren't played in the night.

There's nothing more to say, this was really a wonderful show, perhaps even better than the monster show. It was long and full of songs rarely played. They are simply great !

Back to the 1999 concert setlists