Good day to you ladies and gents, how’s it going? Last night I had one of my favourite experiences of 2017 in the form a concert held at the Royal Albert Hall entitled Michael Giacchino at 50.
Image from royalalberthall.com
So what is this event about? Well, essentially it was a concert where you had an orchestra play several pieces of music from the numerous films, TV shows and video games that Giacchino’s score over the years. If you’ve checked out this blog for any amount of time you’ll know I have not only massive love for good film scores, but for Michael Giacchino in particular, so when I heard about this even back in February, I bought my ticket as quickly as possible. And so finally, the time had come yesterday, alas the London Underground was closed by the time I arrived at St Pancras just after 6pm, so I had to use Google Maps to run down to Royal Albert Hall, luckily after taking a few wrong turns and running through a dark park with no lights, I got to the venue with around 30 minutes to spare.
And I’ll say it right now, the concert was frigging awesome! We were introduced to a gentleman with a sousaphone (whose name I cannot recall, unfortunately) who played the birthday song and got the crowd involved. From there we were introduced to Adam Savage, the host for the event and he was wonderfully funny and charismatic, and in between the music, he’d appear in interesting costumes and introduce the special guests too. And speaking of the guests, we got to see several of the directors Giacchino’s worked as well as some actors featured in the films he’s worked on come onstage and share some kind words about Giacchino and his work. There were appearances from Colin Trevorrow, Andrew Stanton, Gareth Edwards, Matt Reeves, Carlton Cuse, Pete Docter, JJ Abrams, Benedict Wong, Raffey Cassidy, and Gonzo too. 😀
So what about the music? Well, it was all delicious! The concert started off perfectly with The Incredibles, taking all of the key themes from film and blending them together to show off the bombastic, sassy, playful and badass music, clearly, the people behind this show knew what the deal was by opening with that Pixar classic. Next up was some music from Medal of Honour, I was never into shooting games but I really felt like I may have missed out on something special as the music had some gorgeous sounds which felt like a mix of Lost and Jurassic Park. Though I don’t recall much from Jupiter Ascending, the music was and still is really intense and wonderful. Jurassic World had some lovely pieces which I had honestly forgotten about, the compositions Giacchino made for that film were so heartfelt and made me almost shed tears. The Marvel suite featured music from the Marvel Studios logo sequence which was great, the awesome sounds of Doctor Strange (mainly “Strange Days Ahead”) and the upbeat and heroic sounds of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The music for Rogue One had a selection of the best material from the middle and final parts of the film which was really special and powerful. And then there was Lost, so glad I watched the first season recently as the piece they used from the end of the first season and it was frigging perfect and made me well up because it was hella beautiful. And so that ended the first half.
In the second half we had some of the key music from Up which was beautifully handled by the orchestra and the string quartet Bond, then there were the humourous sounds of One Man Band and the final piece of Pixar piece was from Ratatouille. From here my memory gets a little hazy so excuse any mistakes I make if you attended and have the programme. There was also a haunting piece from Cloverfield I think before going on to do the sounds from War for the Planet of the Apes which was really dramatic and cool. Next up was the really beautiful sounds of John Carter, I’d honestly had forgotten about that film and hearing that music really brought back some memories of certain scenes I remembered from 2012. Oh, and the sounds from Tomorrowland was quite nice having a hopeful and majestic sound. And then we had the Star Trek suite which had the sounds of the 2009 film, Into Darkness and Beyond which was easily a highlight for me as it is some of my favourite material in any film ever. Then we had Gonzo come along and had some fun with the audience and then did a bit of a duet with Giacchino on “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday” from The Muppets Movie. And the final music was from Super 8 played with some archive footage of Giacchino’s childhood films he made with his friends which were perfect. But it wasn’t over, after a standing ovation we had our first encore was in the form of Speed Racer, and then the next encore was a preview of Coco which was so playful and catchy and the final encore was from Alias.
- The Incredibles
- Jurassic World
- The Marvel Suite
- John Carter
- Star Trek Suite
Overall Michael Giacchino at 50 was a fabulous session and I was glad I was able to attend, there was a lot of laughs and comedy, and insightful and heartfelt moments from Giacchino, his home movies and the kind words from his friends/work colleagues, and of course the work put in from conductor Ludwig Wicki, the Cinematic Sinfonia and the English Chamber Choir was nothing short of amazing as they brought Giacchino’s music to life in such a special way.