Star Wars: In Concert

Star Wars: In ConcertLast we met, it was but a movie, now it is a concert.  On December 3rd, a very unique event landed in Cleveland, Ohio…Star Wars: In Concert, performed by the amazing talents of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their accompanying choir.  However, you know that if Star Wars is the sole focus of the evening, this will not be your average concert.  I mean, after all, how many concerts can you go to where movie-used props and costumes adorn the main concourse of the evening’s venue?  There were unholstered blasters, Imperial Guard costumes, a life-size Yoda and even the ‘Han in Carbonite’ prop from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (and that’s not even half of what was there).  Several superfans also lined the halls of the arena donning authentic costumes of various classic trilogy characters, posing for photos with the kids. 

While making our way to the floor, the pleasantly unconventional concert experience of the evening continued.  As a gentle mist caressed the atmosphere of Quicken Loans Arena, affectionately known as ‘The Q,’ it was reminiscent of the same mist hovering above the surface of  Dagobah; the perfect bit of ambiance if Yoda’s theme were to be played on the night.  The stage was dotted with a variety of instruments while a spectrum of lights colored the orchestra’s tools of their trade.  Crowning the stage was a billboard-sized LED screen, larger than any video screen I’ve seen at any rock concert.  This television behemoth displayed a menagerie of clips from the six films, all assembled to match the music being performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Star Wars: In Concert

The icing on the cake was evening’s master of ceremonies who is none other than everyone’s favorite protocol droid, Mr. Anthony Daniels.  Good old C-3PO, I mean Anthony Daniels, provided a dramatic narrative before each piece, setting up the next delivery of visuals for the audience eyes to feast on.  The laser light show that appeared for a handful of the numbers made for a perfect accent piece and seemed to capture the audience’s attention as much as the other sense-grabbing aspects of the evening.  Let us certainly not overlook the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as their work was simply beautiful.  There is something to be said for the powerful picture painted throughout the night by the string section.  Not to overshadow any of the other instruments, but when you see twenty or so violin bows all rising and falling in unison on the stage, well, all I can say is ‘wow!’ 

One of the most serene and musically poetic pieces of the evening had to be when the harpist played his solo during the Padmé theme.  The soft, yet empowering sound of each string pluck was pleasing to the ears as well as the soul.  I know the question you’re all asking.  Did they play the Cantina tune?  You’re darn right they did.  If you want to experience mass toe-tapping and smiles galore, take a look around at the audience when the orchestra chimes in with this crowd-favorite.  The 2-hour performance (which includes a 20-minute intermission) came to a close, but the audience would have none of it.  A standing ovation called for Daniels and conductor to come back out…and come back out they did.  The final piece for the night was the rousing Imperial March.  This ominous yet invigorating tune was a tremendous closure to a grand performance. 

Star Wars: In Concert

In closing, I wanted to point out two things.  First off, the the term ‘genius’ is thrown around all too easily today.  A singer or performer gets a little success and all of a sudden that singer or performer is a genius.  Hey I’m a big Dave Matthews fan and no offense to him, but he is not a genius.  A musical genius is someone like master composer John Williams, who is the man behind score that has provided the tone-setting backdrop for all of the Star Wars films as well as a variety of other blockbuster films (Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, etc.).  It’s a significant accomplishment to configure notes on paper and make it work.  It’s an entirely different matter to bring together a vast array of instruments to carry out those notes successfully.    This is awe-inspiring music, Mr. Williams, and we thank you for it.

The second item that caught my attention was all the kids that attended.  Sure, they were there because it’s Star Wars, but they were exposed to live classical instruments in the process.  There is so much canned music out there that is absolute trash, lacking creativity and substance.  It was a beautiful thing to see these kids reveling in the concert’s music and enjoying everything from the note of a French horn to that of a cello. 

Star Wars: In Concert

To the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, I say, “Magnificent job, everyone!” while I commend the conductor with a, “Well done, Maestro!”  There are only a few stops left on the tour so if they are coming to your area, I highly recommend this family-friendly event.  For more information on the tour, visit the official website at www.starwarsinconcert.com 

Star Wars: In Concert



1 Response to “Star Wars: In Concert”

  1. Brian White

    It looks like I missed out on a good time here. Those visuals and lights look amazing! So I guess, in the end, you were essentially treated to an audio and video experience like none other. Plus…bonus…it’s Star Wars!