Yiannis Chryssomallis, better known by his stage name Yanni, has been transforming world music for more than 35 years. Maybe Yanni isn’t on your go-to playlist at the moment, but he tends to take on a whole new identity with each performance. That was the case with his groundbreaking concert at the Acropolis in 1993, and in every show since. His recent concert at The Saenger Theatre was no exception and was a celebration of that album and experience.
Substitute the glorious ruins of the Acropolis with an amazing revitalized and renovated turn-of-the-century theater, and you had the makings of a beautiful evening. The set was the definition of a musician’s clinic and was highlighted by selections from that extraordinary concert 25 years ago. Yanni made it a point throughout the evening to feature a musician or vocalist at all times, and in so doing, incorporated a pretty aesthetic with an array of moving lights. While the solos were picturesque, breathtaking, and very egocentric, the band as a whole played as a fine-tuned machine—one with Yanni himself at the helm.
Yanni is a showman, to say the least. He is also a great storyteller, and you can see how much that concert all those years ago meant to him and still does. If ever there was a definition of a life-changing moment, that surely would be it.