Legendary Greek composer, keyboardist and performer Yanni brought his full orchestra to The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Friday for a recreation of his iconic “Live at the Acropolis” concert and album. Yanni and his orchestra performed the quintessential concert in its entirety for the Border City crowd.
After making a name for himself in the US throughout the 1980s, Yanni returned to his homeland in Greece to record what would become his most celebrated live album and concert. The original 1993 event took place at the ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens where Yanni and his band performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Shahrdad Rohani. The album came out the next year and became his bestselling record of all-time. The accompanying film aired as a PBS special and became one of the top fundraising programs for the network.
To put things in perspective, “Live at the Acropolis” is the second bestselling music video of all time next to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
For Windsor, the stage was laid out similar to the Acropolis arrangement with the keyboards almost centered on the stage, followed by a piano on the right side. Band and orchestra members were tiered on risers and the lights were gorgeously arranged to have a similar feel to the original 1990s show. The only thing missing was the Acropolis itself.
The orchestra was phenomenal and was only topped by Yanni himself, who always seems so humble and appreciative of the musicians on stage with him.
Near the beginning of the show, before he performed Felitsa, Yanni described a few memories from the original Acropolis show, including the positioning of his piano and the exact seating area where his mother was when she heard the song live for the first time.
“I get to celebrate the anniversary of Acropolis for the whole year,” Yanni told the Windsor crowd. “The audience was just as close as you are tonight and I could see everyone face to face because it was a bowl that went straight up forever. On the right I could see the Parthenon and it was dream come true for me. There was a light that lit up a few very important people for me – first of all, I could see my mother and my father and there were relatives everywhere else. The most important time came when I played this song for my mother – it was the first time she’d heard it live. I could see into her eyes and could see and feel the emotions she had.”
That type of personality and story-telling is what makes Yanni the star he is. Not only is there a strong connection to the music, but there’s also a unique connection to the man himself.
The Windsor show was slightly more than half-way through the 2018 tour, which began on April 23 in Melbourne, Florida, and was spectacular in every way. With less than 60-dates on the entire North American visit, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for everyone there.