With Cecilia Roth in the audience and Fabiana Cantilo on stage, Fito Páez kicked off the festivities for Love After Love

More than 11,000 people filled the Movistar Arena to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the most successful album in Argentine rock.

Clarín | Marcelo Fernández Bitar

Fito Páez knew he had an ace up his sleeve. According to what he said on Tuesday night at a time during the first of eight shows at the closed stadium Movistar Arena, one of his musicians reminded him from time to time that the anniversary of one of his albums was being celebrated, and the 30 years of El amor después del amor found him wanting to celebrate.

The phenomenon of “pop retromania” has been the subject of popular culture essays and books, due to the furore that has occurred over the past two decades regarding sudden band reunions, classic record re-releases, and anniversary tours of major albums.

Fito Páez in front of the huge video screens at the Movistar Arena Photo Martin Bonetto

Neither the public nor the musicians who lived through the fury of a great album imagined that years later those songs would mean so much to so many people, just as no one imagined the permanence and validity of singers and guitarists of 70-80 years or more, like Paul McCartney.

Fito Páez in the first of his concerts at the Movistar Arena Photo Martin Bonetto

But no matter how in vogue vintage objects such as vinyl records, turntables and walkmans are, Fito probably didn’t imagine that his ace up his sleeve would be so powerful. Not only did it sell out eight performances totaling more than 90,000 people, but this celebration also made possible a huge world tour and the re-recording of Love After Love (El amor después del amor) with a series of young artists, a secret that has not yet been revealed.

And it is such a display of activity in the present that differentiates Fito from other examples of anniversaries and celebrations colored purely and exclusively by nostalgia or financial gain. Because he has a very rich present, with a recent trilogy of albums, an orchestral show at the Teatro Colón playing songs by Charly Garcia and even a biopic.