By Tomaž Strmčnik, Rock at Night Slovenia
Maribor, second biggest city in Slovenia but small compared to what other cities in Europe have to offer but nonetheless we got one of the final concerts of Neil Zaza’s European tour. With him were bassist Walter Cerasani and drummer Enrico Cianciusi- both from Italy and really great musicians. This was also Neil Zaza’s second concert in Maribor. He performed with the band SHOCKA ZOOLOO accompanying T.M. Stevens.
For those not familiar with Neil Zaza, he is an instrumental guitarist born in Ohio who started his music career in the 90s touring with his band Zaza. Shortly after disbanding he released the critically acclaimed first solo album titled “Two hands, One Heart”. In almost thirty years he released 11 solo albums and had 9 appearances/guest appearances. He is mostly known for his melodic sound, technical brilliance and classical prowess demonstrated with amazing renditions of Bach and Mozart.
A pint of beer lightened the waiting for the start of the concert. A small but dedicated crowd with good taste for musicians cheered as soon as the curtain fell and the band started playing, and their playing was out of this world! As a big guitarist fan that looks up to people such as Herman Li (Dragonforce), Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and the likes, it’s truly a pleasure to have someone of this skill level play in front of you.
With a crowd smaller than usual, the interactions between the band and the crowd were a bit more personal. Asking for reassurance if the folks loved the music with a thumbs up, of course, everyone was head over heels.
To be completely honest with such great instrumental songs, it’s really hard to remember their names when you’re enjoying the concert so much. The only songs that I can remember by name are the ones that are my personal favorites. His rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain”, A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, and of course his original songs “Baroque Sky” and “I’m alright”. His guitar of choice was his signature model NZ6H by Kiesel Guitars Custom Shop.
On the 28th of February Neil Zaza is departing on his tour across the US kicking off in Dayton, Ohio with The Arbitrary.
Neil Zaza in Marbor, Slovenia