BEING THERE: Goblin @ The Trocadero


Legendary Italian soundtrack instrumentalists Goblin arrived in Philly Thursday night delivering a crowd pleasing two hour set to a fan-base that had waited forty years to see them. The band is in the middle of the their first U.S. tour ever featuring four-fifths of the seminal original line-up of the band — drummer Agostino Marangolo, guitarist Massimo Morante, keyboard player Maurizio Guarini and bassist Fabio Pignatelli. The band built their legend composing scores for Giallo movie maestro Dario Argento, Italy’s answer to Alfred Hitchcock. Their most famous work was the soundtrack to Argento’s film Suspiria – the most colorful and influential horror movie ever made about murders and witches at a ballet school. The first half of the band’s two hour set was heavy on their proggy non-soundtrack works and featured a flashy red, blue and green light show. Highlights included some brilliant fuzzed out bass playing from Pignatelli during “Roller” and the Pink Floyd like “Aquaman” with some passionate Gilmour-esque guitar from Morante. The peak of the first half of the set was the eleven minute rollercoaster space jam “Goblin.” The mix of Guarini and second keyboardist Aidan Zammit’s airy keyboard work with Marangelo’s precise military drumming and a truckload of funky seventies wah-wah pedal work from Morante combined to make magic. The second half of their set featured their movie score work with footage from the movies shown on the backdrop as the band played. They played a memorable double shot of music from their soundtrack to the Italian release of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. First up was the plodding “Lalbe dei Morti Viventi” followed by tense and funky chase anthem “Zombi” as footage of hungry zombies chasing victims rolled on the screen behind them. Late in the set came the moment everyone was waiting for. Morante pulled up a chair onstage and strummed a Bouzouki as a twirling dancer in a ballet costume joined them onstage. Evil whispers and tinkling piano from Zammit kicked off the main theme from Suspiria. The dancer twirled faster and scenes from the movie rolled as the band delivered the chiming and chanting first half of the song, slowly building the tension. Halfway through the song the playing became more frantic, the drumming louder, the keyboards faster and finally Morante rose from his chair and strapped on his electric guitar and led the band through the blazing, triumphant finale of their most famous work to the cheers and raised fists of the crowd. — PETE TROSHAK