More and more composers are doing live concerts of their music and while I have heard of several of these film music concerts before, I never really bothered to look into attending one. That changed when Brian Tyler announced he would be conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall in London. I instantly wanted to go and, after some planning, was able to secure tickets to both the concert and a flight to London on the very same day. While I was patiently awaiting May 7th, I started doubting my decision. Would a concert consisting mostly of music I already have on my phone be worth the flight tickets? Would they even perform music I like?
On the day of the concert, I was patiently waiting at the doors to the concert hall still not quite certain about what to expect. That, and if my considerable investment made into a cheap seat and a not so cheap flight had been well considered. It truly was a strange and unique experience. I had never left my home country on my own before, never attended such a huge concert and never heard the kind of music I really, REALLY like performed live. There's a reason I stopped playing any instruments, that reason being that I can only really enjoy orchestral music (well, film and videogame scores) and good luck playing an orchestra on your living room couch. The sheer size of the orchestra and choir still surprised me, so as the nice employees of the Royal Festival Hall reminded people not to take pictures (noone seemed to care) I still was not believing I had actually gone to see THE Brian Tyler live.
When the concert finally started, the opening piece was the main theme from Thor: The Dark World. Saying the music blew me away would be a massive understatement. From that first minute, two things were very clear to me. Firstly, I would never ever be able to listen to Tyler's music the same way as before. And the fact that I would almost definitely suffer from some form of hearing impairment before the night was done. It's one thing to have the music on your phone, plug it into some speakers and turn up the volume but nothing can prepare you to the sound of a full orchestra. Perhaps that's a side effect of choosing the cheap seats in row three, only a few meters away from the stage. For some pieces, Tyler took the time to give the audience a bit of background information or even an amusing story along the way, probably to give the musicians a few moments to catch their breaths. Most pieces performed were the main themes of some of Tyler's greatest scores, including Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fast Five, Aliens vs Predator: Requiem and so many more. Except for a few slower pieces from scores like Partition and Far Cry 3, orchestra and audience alike were not allowed to calm down for more than a few seconds before pieces. Besides the many "main themes" performed, Tyler also featured a couple of compositions for specific scenes, such as Into Eternity from Thor: The Dark World and Rise Together from Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Among all these incredible pieces of music, I even got to hear a few pieces I had not known before, including a piece from his music for Star Trek Enterprise that I have been desperately looking for ever since. If it ever was released to the public, I have yet to find it. Another new piece was from his upcoming score to Now You See Me 2, though I believe getting that will be a lot easier once the film is in cinemas. To mix things up a little, music from Hawaii Five-O as well as Tyler's recent Drift And Fall Again were performed. To my surprise, Tyler announced a piece from John Williams's Superman score that perfectly fit in with the rest of the music. After nearly two hours of music (and only a rather short break), while my ears were glad at the thought of the concert being over, I found it difficult to accept that it was over and there would not be anything like it for quite some time. The concert was this huge event, somewhere over the horizon and now that it is long over, I am quite sad at the thought I may never be able to experience music like that again.
While I had my doubts at first, going to see Brian Tyler live in concert was probaly my best decision in a while. It was the kind of experience I wish had never ended and it was on the plane back home that I thought to myself, if there was another concert just like this one next week, I'd go again. That's when I realized that even though it came at a considerable price, this was a weekend (and money) well spent. I am thankful to Brian Tyler and everyone involved for making this possible and am desperately hoping for a second concert in the near future.
Photos Courtesy Of Brian Tyler