Chicago, November 28, 2003

Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago, IL
Friday, November 28, 2003
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by 

Concert Review by ‘WhtShark’

Well, I went to see John Williams conduct the Chicago Symphony yesterday and there are no real words to describe just how awesome it was!

When we arrived there to our surprise a lot of the doormen were dressed as Storm Troopers and there was even a Darth Vader and other various Star Wars characters! I wish I had brought a camera just to get some shots of that.

Shortly after we were seated John Williams walked out o­n stage and the entire auditorium was filled with the sound of everyone applauding, o­nce he took a few bows the theater silenced and then bursted out the most awesome sound coming from the 105 piece orchestra, it was the main theme from Star Wars.

You could literally feel every instrument running through your body in the most awesome way! By the time they were doing the “Imperial March” theme I actually had a tear in my eye because of the wonderful sensations I was feeling from listening to this!

Moving o­n, John Williams is the most animated conductor I have ever seen! He puts his whole body into it and you just can’t take your eyes off him. It wasn’t until after he did the main theme from Harry Potter did he reach for a mic and said “Tonight we are going to do all movie scores without the distraction of the movie” and with this the audience broke out into laughter and applauds. A real gentleman he is everyone just loved him.

Finally later in the program the o­ne and o­nly sound of the Jaws theme starts to fill the room and all I can say is WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!

After Williams performed the theme from Jaws, he started talking a bit about the relationship that Steven Spielberg and he have shared for almost 30 years! He said it was like a marriage but without the fights. And then he shared a story about Schindler’s List (after they played the theme) in which he said when he first viewed the movie before he added the score he was deeply touched and he told Spielberg that he should get a much better composer to do the score than him and Spielberg told him “I would, but their all dead”.

One of the most brilliant scores that he did (they were all brilliant) was fromHook which kinda caught everyone offguard.

I can’t leave out an amazing overture that he did for E.T., this o­ne brought down the house and was actually the last piece o­n the program for the night. However he came back and did three encores!!!! Which to the delight of many of us included the Superman theme.

Concert Review by ‘Max’

I just got back from Chicago from Friday’s JW concert, IT WAS AMAZING, this was the first time I’d seen JW live. I’d brought a notepad and taken notes during the intermission and when I got back to my hotel. So here’s the notes:

Left at 2:00 PM, arrived at 4:30 PM. Snow started at border, stopped, then started again o­nce we reached the city. It’s now 5:41 PM, eating at Joey Buonna’s, we’re staying at the Hotel Fitzpatrick. It’s dark already. Ended dinner at 6:26, shared an X-Large cheese pizza. Overall, restaurant is really nice. I really like our server, he should get a raise.

Just got into music hall-7:22, bought some stuff at the Symphony store. Got pic taken with Darth Vader and some stormtroopers outside too. Just got to seats, noticed immediately o­ne violin playing E.T. There are 14 symph. members practicing right now. Man, this place is awesome!

I have spotted the celliste (or however you spell it) which will be used for the main theme of Harry Potter. The vibes are now playing Harry Potter.

7:47, almost all symph members are out and practicing. I will recap how JW comes out and breakdown of each piece after intermission.

8:53-WOW!!!! The lead violin came out first, and started the tuning session. John came out to thundrous applause and went immediately to the Star WarsSuite: “Main Titles”, “Princess Leia’s Theme” and “The Imperial March”. Star Wars was amazing. What went through for all pieces was the coordination of the strings, they all moved EXACTLY alike.

John started speaking when he got to the Harry Potter suite. He’d make little anecdotes in between. After “Quidditch”, he was supposed to go to “Diagon Alley”, instead he talked about “Harry’s Wondrous World” which was the final piece. When he went up to conduct, the lead violin notified him of the “mistake”. John laughed, turned around and blamed it o­n “senioritis”.

Overall the first half went beyond expectations naturally. The lead violin player and french horn were outstanding.

After the intermission, the lead violin came out for tuning. Then JW came out and immediately began conducting the “Raider’s March” -perfectly played. Then he conducted the “Flight to Neverland” from Hook -very nicely done. “Across the Stars” from Star Wars Episode II was more emotional than I thought it would be.

After ATS, John grabbed the mic and talked a bit about Jaws, then when they played the piece itself, it emited a little chuckle from the audience. After Jaws, JW talked some more about Schindler’s List. A lilttle joke: after John saw the first screening of SL, he went outside to compose himself, when he came back inside, he told Spielberg that there are better composers than him that should score it. Steven replied “I know, they’re all dead.” Finally, he conducted “Adventures o­n Earth” from E.T., after talking a little bit about the movie.

After he finished, he walked o­n and off stage a few times, when he came back he announced that they’d play “Yoda’s Theme”, to which a girl cried out “THANK YOU”. After YT, which was already a treat in itself, John walked off and came back, walked o­n the podium and without anyone knowing, conductedSuperman! Large amounts of cheering came out.

Finally after Superman, he walked off and came o­n AGAIN and told us since we’d be late coming back home because of the traffic, you should watch the news, to which they played the NBC Theme. After he went off and came back o­n, everybody expected him to conduct another piece of music but he went over to the folders and showed everybody that no music was left.

So after 4 encores and 4 standing ovations, John finally bowed and said thank you and left the stage.

I’ll have pictures of myself and Nick (my twin) up shortly, hope everybody else had as good a time as me, although I didn’t see any other JWfans (I never looked)

— Max

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