There are some experiences that there are no ways to prepare yourself for. Some experiences are pre-dated by variables that are the sum total of the experience you end up having. For example, I (like many of my horror loving brethren) grew up watching Italian horror, Lucio Fulci, in particular. His films got under my skin and in a way, they helped me to awkwardly adjust myself between, innocence and everything that lies past. His movies combined with the brilliant score by composer Fabio Frizzi, took them to another level entirely.
So, when I read that Frizzi was coming to the U.S. to perform a live show at Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church and that this would be Mondo/Death Waltz first collaborative concert. This became and event that I would gladly have cut off a big toe in exchange to see. Luckily, I didn’t have to lose the toe but it’s the thought that counts, right?
This was my first time attending the Presbyterian Church, so after a short trek from a nearby parking garage. I made my way into the Church’s doors. Inside, Frizzi was talking and laughing with fans who waited in line, with vinyls, posters and films clutched in reverence as they eagerly awaited their chance to have their items signed by the warm and jovial, Frizzi.
His demeanor was not disappointing for fans. He was a perfect example of a legend, who kept a humble nature intact. As he met fans and signed their items, I adored the way that a smile rarely left his face and how he took time to really meet each one.
I walked through the wooden pews in order to find a good seat and found myself three rows back from the arranged instruments all nestled around the altar. The Church was filled with that smell that only a church has. You know the scent. It’s that smell that is somewhere between a hospital and a library. I hadn’t been to a church in over twenty years, so there was a piece of nostalgia that enveloped the excitement that I had to witness this show.
Frizzi and Co. took the stage and immediately fans began to sink comfortably into the warm moment. With each piece, there was a shared electricity in the audience. Everyone seemed to be aware that we, as a whole were witnessing an real event; something that would live among the small sliver of things that we would remember well into old-age.
The music was a varied assortment of scores that traversed Frizzi and Fulci collaborative soundscape.
Scenes from each film were projected onto a screen that hung just below the church’s central cross. Famous scenes were paired with the music to create a more surreal experience. Seeing the famous scene from Zombi 2, in which a zombie and a shark do battle, while sitting in a church, was something that was emotionally on the cusp of awe and complete fascination.
My favorite Fulci film, The Beyond, did not disappoint. As the audience watched the screen flicker memorable scenes , Frizzi and Co’s live score was otherworldly, immersive and just plain fucking awesome.
Frizzi received multiple standing ovations right down to his leaving the stage at the end of the performance.
This experience was over in the real world but will live in each of the attendees in its own way. Frizzi 2 Fulci, was rightfully set in a church. I couldn’t imagine it in any other venue now that I have seen it. Something about this pairing that Mondo/Death Waltz brought to the church dances around being kismet.
I’m hoping this isn’t Frizzi 2 Fulci’s last time in the states. If they come back around to your area be sure to get yourself a ticket. All my words are nothing compared to this experience.