The lights dimmed abruptly and, maybe ten seconds later, the orchestra kicked in with what I can only refer to as the THX(1) noise.(2)(3)
Next was the 20th Century Fox(4) fanfare. I’ve heard this a million times, I’m sure, but everything takes on a new quality when it’s live.
This time, that quality was: awesome. With some awesome on the side. Topped with awesome sauce.
And then the orchestra hit the first chord of the Star Wars theme and from there through intermission, I was nothing but smiles. And then again from the intermission through to the end, which began and ended with the Imperial March. The trumpets and brass wailed away at the signature theme like nothing I’ve ever heard. You could buy the most expensive set of speakers out there, buy a Blue-Ray copy of Star Wars, put it in the best Blue-Ray player on the market and blast it…you wouldn’t come close to what I heard.
Not that it was loud, exactly – though it was. But live music has a quality to it that recordings can’t capture. It’s no surprise that music is often broken into movements. Sound affects the molecules of air, force them into concentric, expanding circles of small breezes that wash upon you in a mix of waves and particles, affecting your perceptions at a quantum level. Adding to that is the communal breath of the audience, the exacting cadence of inspiration and expiration of the different sections of the orchestra and choir, and the percussive stamps of the drums forcing air like bombs from the ground-zero upstage out and throughout the participants.
It was something to be felt.
The story of Star Wars was told, in film and through Mr. Anthony Daniels’s narration, thematically. Just as the music is composed around a character or an event, so the story unfolded. It was an interesting take, one probably only possible because the audience knew the story.
Outside the stage area were several displays of movie props.
There were also members of the production dressed up as various characters.
I often had to shove little kids out of the way to get my picture taken with these dudes.
All in all, it was a wonderfully geeked-out event and totally worth the price of admission. If Star Wars in Concert makes it to your part of the galaxy, I’d highly recommend Jedi-mind-tricking your way to see it.
- THX is a registered trademark of THX, Ltd., a privately held company founded in 1981, with it headquarters in San Rafael, California.
- If you’ve ever seen a Star Wars flick, especially the versions released after 1995, this is the noise that precedes the 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare.
- According to Wikipedia, this noise is called Deep Note.
- 20th Century Fox Film Corporation is a subsidiary Fox Filmed Entertainment, itself a subsidiary of News Corporation. 20th Century Fox was founded in 1935 by the merger of Fox Films and 20th Century Pictures, Inc, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California.