“We were faced with an unknown: oblivion. The discography is growing at such a rapid pace that the risk of being left behind is high. » We are backstage at the Palarescifina in Messina, it is well past midnight and we meet the Pinguini Tattici Nucleari at the end of the last date of their arena tour. The lyrics are more of Riccardo Zanotti and take us back a few hours, when there were many parents with children at the first concert queuing to get in ahead of us. This happens a lot during Pinguini Tattici Nucleari concerts, whose narration, especially thanks to Zanotti's writing style – so sunny, but so deep, sensitive, effective and direct – cannot help but involve you in something that exceeds the limits of the song. A vision, a way of being in the world, never easy, always full of dreams and hopes and loves and farewells and desires and toads to swallow and bursts of sunshine with the awareness of an imperfect simplicity, of a profound humanity. “We are something different – ​​Zanotti continues – beauty in this profession is something artificial, but we do not achieve it, we are what we are, we have always brought what we are”.

Photo by Francesco Algeri

The second chapter of the Penguin tale ends

The Messina concert closes the second chapter of one of the most beautiful fairy tales of modern Italian pop. The first leaves the deep province of Bergamo, six friends who play crazy metal, and London, where one of them is enrolled in the commercial music course at the University of Westminster: he's a boy of 'Alzano Lombardo, Riccardo Zanotti, who has just finished his shift at Costa Coffee in Tottenham Court Road, and who is returning home on the bus, tired, is delighted by Gaetano, one of Calcutta's first successes. He understands not only the magnitude of the independent revolution but also that it is possible to be part of it. From then on the story is known, the apprenticeship across Italy, a rapid and sensational success that in reality Sanremo only decreed in front of the large audience of mother Rai, but which was already, Ariston or not, inevitable . “Usually we take two opposing sides regarding destiny: those who believe it is written and unchangeable and those who say you have a hand in your decisions. I'm a little in between, a little Christian Democrat. I think the actions we take are very important and I believe there must be times when we need to be active and not passive. I can tell you my moments: when we decided to do Sanremo and the choice was not forced, many of our circuit said no, it was not popular, it was not what it is become today. I remember the time we played on May 1st or when we opened for some bands… We got into it several times in life.” The second part of this fairy tale starts from Covid and the exhausting wait for the first tour after the success of the Festival, with the impression that the train had passed but that bad luck had prevented him from boarding. However, Zanotti never believed this story: “It is wrong to tell us that the train only passes once, there are ten trains that leave every day from Bergamo towards Milan, but you have to make the choice to get on board.” is a well-known story, everything happened as it should: the first tour, a series of hits, two albums, Ouch! And Fake newssimply perfect which expand an already extremely rich repertoire, a stadium tour which deserves a separate literature, with these dates which multiply and end on a exhausted in less than nothing, and then this second round of the arenas.

Photo by Francesco Algeri

The live

The concert is, as usual, a gigantic party, Riccardo, Lorenzo, Elio, Nicola, Simone and Matteo cancel their distances from the public, the stage becomes a non-place where everyone is welcomed according to their needs. The effect of their songs on people is always astonishing. When it's time to play Wait, when the group offers any spectator to have the title tattooed live on stage, a forest of weapons rises from the floor, everyone wants it written on them for life. The set list is regular, there is everything that should be there, even something extra, like a sincere tribute to Franco Battiato with The era of the white boar, but also a moving moment where Elio reads a poem by Mahmoud Darwish while the audience jingles their house keys, creating a touching rain effect, a strong and decisive political position in the face of the war between Israel and Palestine. An avalanche of emotions which, however, could only crash heavily on the public at the end Ringo Starr And White Pastel, perhaps at this moment the two symbolic songs of this journey, especially the first, beyond the fireworks of Sanremo: “Our audience needs to escape the presumption of perfection – explains the singer -. Normal people also experience this thing that artists, from Sangiovanni to Mr. Rain, have perceived, we all experience it: the expectation on our shoulders, the duty to always be hyper-performing. There is a certain affinity with our audience, a feeling of revenge that is not so much satisfied by winning, but by creating another path to what people expected of you, the victory itself has no value if the path is invented by someone else. That's what we're passing on: we've created a road through the tall grass, I like to think.”

Photo by Francesco Algeri

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