Review and Photo Copyright © Christopher James Ryan
I am going to dive right in for this review and say this left me speechless, a truly remarkable orchestra event and one which people who came to see will not forget. Having already been lucky enough to see Hans Zimmer himself live in Liverpool back in 2017, I was over the moon for this tour to come back. The difference this time being that Hans will not be here but his trusted best friend, Gavin Greenaway, will lead on as the conductor joined by loads of musical legends who originally featured in the music such as Lisa Gerrard, Pedro Eustache, Juan Garcia-Herreros, Amir John Haddad, Valentina Nafornita, Lucy Landymore, Elaine Correa and many, many more! As if that wasn’t enough, on this tour the Belarusian Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra will be performing along side these legends.
The show was full of emotional ups and downs as you’re taken on a journey through a selection of classic blockbuster pieces spanning over 20 years. The stage is dwarfed by huge beautiful digital screens which illuminate different unique styles during each song while the areas of the choir pop out from some of the giant panels along with a short video clips of Hans talking about how each song was made and how it came about. Having composed for over 150 films with potentially 1000’s of tracks you can’t blame Zimmer for wanting to change things up, there is plenty of new material alongside the classics.
Opening up with The Dark Knight which instantly grips you with the bang of the drums, the eerie thunder and the violins kick in and here we go! For the next few hours, fans were spoilt for choice being treated to King Arthur, Mission Impossible 2, Pearl Habour, Rush and, for the end of part one, The Da Vinci Code, in full, grips the audience as it booms around the vast arena.
Part two opens up with the joyful theme tune from Madagascar which filled the arena with laughter and happiness as a backdrop lights up with footage of the animated cast showing off their dance moves. Spirit Theme follows along with Kung Fu Panda. Having been asked why he does animated films when he writes music for some of the worlds biggest blockbuster films, his response reveals that he’s a big kid deep down inside. The shows switchs from the kids films to something more deep in the feels with Hans revealed that The Holiday has been picked for a lot of wedding songs.
Speaking about my personal favourite, Hannibal, Hans reveals that he was in a meeting with the bosses and said openly this is a romantic comedy which everyone laughed at but it is true… in a way. To make it more of a unique piece the live version opens up with a cello solo by none other than Marie Spacemann and, for a horror theme piece, the end result sounds both eerie and romantic.
The Lion King is possibly one of the most heartfelt animations of the 20th Century but, even with a strong political meaning behind it, for composer Lebo M who worked with Hans it means a lot as hans explains. It’s a heartfelt piece of work as Hans explains, in particular one tearjerker of scene involving Simba’s Dad dying, with Hans revealing how that particular piece of music was created as a tribute to his father who died when he was a young lad. Around the venue more than the odd tear was being shed.
Zimmer speaks for the last time on screen before he begins to play the piano to Inception, another beautifully made piece of work and one that is very personal to me so to hear it live again it opened up my emotions leaving myself and the rest of the arena speechless at the end of the show.
However.. its not the end! Ending on more happier terms as Pirates Of The Carribean is played and lifts the spirits into one of joy which Hans clearly planned. After three hours of this majestic night it had to end but it does so leaving the crowd speechless, gobsmacked and amazed at how beautifully this show crafted with the added bonus of some of the original musicians being here to perform some truly iconic pieces of work.