Concert review: Ramin Djawadi – The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

Take an orchestral concert, and merge it with a rock show with a dash of Cirque du Soleil. This is what fans of Game of Thrones were treated to last night at the Bell Centre, when composer Ramin Djawadi brought his Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience to Montreal for a return engagement. Any fan coming for seconds got treated to an updated stage presentation, but more importantly, music from season 7 of the show.

Supported by a giant screen showing clips from the show, the music was grouped thematically in segments representing characters, houses or events from the HBO series. Anyone doing market research on which characters are more popular could have used the crowd’s reaction as a barometer, but the constant was the high quality of the music. Ramin Djawadi’s work on the show ranges from poignant, intimate cues to bombastic battle scenes, and everything in between, and the concert’s program represented the best moments in the series. There wasn’t a dull moment, but segments on Daenerys, Jon Snow and the Red Wedding were among the best.

The touring group was backed by an amazing orchestra and choir of local musicians who made it look like they’ve been playing these pieces for years. The featured musicians would often come to sections at the front of the stage that extended into the crowd, putting their instrumental and vocal mastery on showcase. On particular highlight came early into the show when the solo violinist was slowly raised to the rafters while her dress extended seemingly to infinity. Lights, flame throwers and smoke were also in abundance during the many battle scene segments.

Whenever Ramin Djawadi addressed the crowd, his soft-spoken personality came in stark (no pun intended) contrast to the bold nature of his music. Even when he showed up at centre stage with an electric guitar for one segment, he remained calm and composed. But the night’s program definitely proved the quality of his work, and it only gets better as each season passes. The season 7 segments that came in the second act were nothing short of spectacular. His use of ethnic instruments is also in a league of its own, as he creates these amazing soundscapes that make Westeros come alive.

This concert could have been done in an intimate concert hall, where the focus would have been on the subtleties, but the arena setting let all the music’s majesty ring out larger than life. An orchestra is a fantastic instrument to use, and concerts like this showcase its versatility.  It was a fantastic evening of music, even if you’d never seen an episode. Although, come to think of it, you’d get all the major plotlines spoiled. Might be worth it though.

Set One

Game of Thrones: Main Title
House Themes: Medley
Goodbye Brother
Love in the Eyes
The Red Woman
The Rains of Castamere
The Lannisters Send Their Regards
White Walkers
You Know Nothing

Set Two

The Children
High Sparrow
My Watch Has Ended
Hold the Door
Let’s Play a Game
Trust Each Other
Light of the Seven
The Winds of Winter
I Am the Storm
The Queen’s Justice
The Spoils of War
Winter Is Here
The Army of the Dead

Game of Thrones: Main Title

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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