Brian Tyler Returns: Live In Concert
October 25, 2018 - 7.30pm | Royal Festival Hall, London
By Leo Mayr
January 7, 2019
Brian Tyler’s first concert in London back in 2016 was the first film music event I had ever attended. Before that point I had only known film music as music being recorded once, never to be played by an orchestra again. And for the most part, that is still true. Yet for a few special evenings, film music can take on a whole new purpose.
Once again featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Brian Tyler returned. What surprised me the most was how different it felt to 2016’s concert. Many pieces remained the same, yet Tyler’s repertoire has expanded considerably since, with a lot of his more recent scores taking the spotlight. The concert opened with Iron Man 3, one of Tyler’s most memorable themes and a nice contrast to his last London concert opening with Thor: The Dark World, which, this time around, was performed after the intermission.
What followed were some of the most exciting two hours imaginable. Tyler went from one piece to the next without much introduction, instead filling the evening with as many performances as possible, with the program ranging from intense pieces like Fast Five to less boisterous scores such as his most recent efforts for Yellowstone.
While the event still featured Tyler’s most popular works, there was a surprising amount of music, both old and new, that had been absent the last time. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was brought to life through slightly different orchestration and Tyler performed his music from Battle: LA on the guitar, alongside the orchestra. How often do you get to see a composer play the guitar while conducting?
For me, Tyler’s more recent scores took the spotlight, with music from The Mummy, Power Rangers and Crazy Rich Asians each bringing something different to the already varied program. Tyler performed his Universal Pictures theme, premiered music for One Strange Rock and, of course, his spectacular Formula 1 theme, before ending on a lengthy jazz suite from Crazy Rich Asians that saw him running across the stage, playing drums and piano as well as conducting.
Before seeing Brian Tyler live for the first time, I had had my doubts if I’d even enjoy a live performance of film music, but here we are, two years later and I’m still flying out to London at every chance of hearing the music I enjoy most, in the way it is meant to be heard.
Excerpts from the official program (in no particular order):
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Crazy Rich Asians (“Astrid’s Theme”, “Love Theme” and an extended jazz suite)
Thor: The Dark World
Iron Man 3
Fast & Furious
Now You See Me (1&2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
One Strange Rock
Star Trek Enterprise (actually Alien vs Predator Requiem…)
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Children of Dune
Universal Pictures Theme
The Greatest Game Ever Played
Far Cry 3