70000TONS 2018 HIGHLIGHT : RHAPSODY'S FAREWELL
My love of power metal is nothing secret, and my love for Fabio Lione even less so. I was always a fan of his work with Rhapsody of Fire, but while I got to see a few incarnations of Rhapsody over the years, I had never seen Fabio perform, ever. Not with Rhapsody of Fire, not with Angra, never.
Lo and behold, 70,000 Tons of Metal to the rescue, when they announced that the Rhapsody 20th Anniversary Farwell reunion tour would make a pit stop to be on this year’s voyage. Fabio always seems to make it onto the cruise every year, but woe is me I always manage to find myself missing his performances, be it on stage or at metal karaoke.
But finally, the power metal gods were smiling down on me — because I was going to catch this Rhapsody Reunion show come hell or high water (although hopefully not shipwreck-ing high water).
And of course, I did not make it to their first set. I don’t remember why, or who was playing at the same time as them, and I try not to think about it. But I did make it to their pool deck set on the Sunday night. Shortly after dusk, Rhapsody took the stage with the fury of the thunder, and it was a magical experience for me to finally get to see Fabio in action, and sharing the stage with Luca Turilli no less.
A strange feeling came over me, when I realized this was the one and only time I would get to see Fabio Lione on stage singing Rhapsody songs. But nothing could have prepared me for what came next:
Fabio took center stage in between two songs, and announced he had a special dedication to make, to all people present, as it was time to say goodbye. And as Fabio sang the first few words of Andre Bocelli’s iconic song, “Con Te Partirò” the feelings hit me harder than I expected.
And I only feel a slight bit of shame admitting that I started crying. Not one pretty, single tear rolling down my cheek as I clenched my heart and smiled. No, no. I was CRYING. Sobbing, blubbering in the front row like a fucking BABY. It was so beautiful to see and hear him sing this iconic farewell — which he had done at Metal Karaoke on 70,000 Tons of Metal a few years prior — but this time it was much more emotionally charged, it had a new meaning. This was really, truly, Rhapsody’s time to say goodbye. And I was not ready.
I was lucky enough that my partner in crime Kai was standing beside me, and instead of making fun of me, she chose to record this performance. I hope you can enjoy it without a box of tissues:
Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Reunion) — "Con Te Partirò"
Now that Rhapsody Reunion has completed their Farewell word tour, and that without coming to North America at all, it makes me infinitely more grateful that I was able to go on this year’s cruise and catch this unique (albeit heartbreaking) moment. And that is just one more reason why I hold this cruise so dear in my heart — almost as dear as Fabio’s legendary voice.