Veteran Japanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei gave Italian blues legend Zucchero a hand in rocking Italian crowds at his Turin and Milan stops (Feb. 28 and Mar. 2) during his WANTED Italian Tour 2018.

The two musicians have performed together onstage a number of times before, for example collaborating at the event commemorating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy held at Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills Arena in May 2016, and at Zucchero’s solo concerts in Verona, Italy and at the Royal Albert Hall in England in September and October of that same year. Zucchero has appeared as a guest in Hotei’s Japan tour as well, and the two appeared on last year’s Sanremo Music Festival together.

Hotei played four songs at each show, kicking off with the guitar-heavy “Ti Voglio Sposare.” The 15,000 fans of the iconic Italian superstar were apparently familiar with the Japanese rocker, probably through the two artists’ previous collaborations, and went wild when he was first invited onstage. He’s the featured guest in the recording of the bluesy track, included in Zucchero’s 2016 album Black Cat, and also appears in the music video.

During the show, Hotei popped back to deliver an epic, passionate guitar solo on the ballad “Iruben Me” that left the crowd cheering, and the two artists also performed “Il Mare” together during the main set. Hotei returned to play “Libidine” for the encore and got both Zucchero and the audience dancing to his rocking guitar riffs, long famous in Japan from his days as the lead guitarist in the legendary ‘80s band Boowy.

Tomoyasu Hotei recently announced his first headlining concert in Milan, Italy on Oct. 11, and also has a show set for Oct. 20 at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London.


Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Courtesy Photo