Gazzelle, the face of Italian indie music


 ROME – Flavio Bruno Pardini, better known by his stage name Gazzelle, has become the face of Italian indie pop music, boasting a Sanremo appearance and a sold-out Italian tour. 

 With lyrics that range from “cin cin” to “everything is more beautiful if you see it from here”, Gazzelle, 34, has won over the hearts of the younger generation of Italians by encapsulating their life experiences including love, loneliness, partying, and mental health struggles in catchy songs. 

 English speaking audiences would be reminded of one of the Gallagher brothers, with the Roman singer known for wearing sunglasses and hoodies when performing. He has previously stated this is because of his anxiety and introverted personality.

 Oasis's influence can be heard in his music, as well as influence from Italian musicians such as Vasco Rossi and Luciano Ligabue. Spanning a variety of subgenres of indie music including pop, electronic and pop-punk, the Italian star is adored by Italians in Italy and abroad. 

 Kicking off three sold-out Rome tour dates on Wednesday, Gazzelle proved his worth in a spectacular homecoming. Coming onto the stage brandishing an AS Roma scarf above his head, the boy from Prati was welcomed enthusiastically by the crowd. The cheers increased after his shouts of “daje Roma daje", meaning "come on Roma come on" in the dialect of Rome. 

 Showcasing a wide range of songs from all four of his albums, Gazzelle opened with a rock song from his third album before mellowing into fan classics from his first two albums, Superbattito and Punk. He then returned to two singles from his fourth album. Closing the so-called “first act”, he dedicated “Coprimi le spalle” to his mother who was sat in the crowd, thanking her for everything she has done for him.

 If there had been any doubt about Gazzelle’s talent, he returned to stage for the start of the “second act” alone, with only an acoustic guitar in hand. Proving his songwriting merit, he played stripped back acoustic versions of three songs which are multitracked on the records, followed by an acoustic rendition of a fan favourite, "Scintille."

 After welcoming his band back on stage, Gazzelle returned to his upbeat songs spanning the eight years of his career, lyrics of which were sported on T-shirts of people in the crowd. 

 Amidst proposals in the audience to mellow love songs, Gazzelle scattered the set list with personal songs talking about his struggles with mental health, fame and “giornalisti terroristi.” The set list reflected the reason why is he liked by so many young Italians, relatable and truthful about the ups and downs of navigating life. 

 Rounding off the show, he turned to fan favourites including “Punk” and his Sanremo entry “Tutto qui” with which he placed 12th. His last songs came from his first album, playing a stripped back version of his very first single “Quella te”, with only him and a guitarist on stage, the sound of the crowd singing along echoing throughout the arena to provide one of the highlights of the show. Gazzelle closed with a fan favourite “Non sei tu.” Pyrotechnics and a confetti shower marked the final chorus and the end of the concert, crowning a strong display of songwriting and singing ability. 

 Profusely thanking the audience after every song with a “grazie mille” and saying “I love you” repeatedly, the Roman singer successfully returned to his home city, claiming it was his favourite place to perform. 

 Despite his popularity throughout Italy, he has yet to break into audiences abroad unlike peers such as Maneskin or Mahmood. But with a cool indie pop-rock sound and his iconic sunglasses, he is a discovery waiting to be found by the rest of the world.