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Sat. Hollywood Bowl Concert review


Saabster
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Hi all,

Well Sat. Night was a great night for JW. fans in L.A. I took my 2 14 y.o. sons and my wife to the Hollywood Bowl. The night was warm, with just a slight marine layer coming in.

The 1st half was dominated by the Olympic themes, barring the opening Cowboys theme. At one point 30 L.A. Olympians came to the stage and Bruce Jenner gave a nice speech about the Maistro & his Olympic music. The the music resumed. The new shell made a big difference IMO, the sound was clearer, and the view seemed much better.

After a brief intermission, the orchestra and JW came backout for the second half of the show. This is what most of the audience was here to listen to, JW's movie music. He covered almost all his major works, including Superman, Harry Potter (no Hedwig's theme, but Wizards, wands, and Mischief instead) , Indy, Amistad, and a couple of others I can't remember.

then came the encores. ET, and a suite of Star Wars selections, Yoda's theme, Imperial march and of course Star Wars main theme.

All in all a wonderful night of music.

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I agree! It was a wonderful program! I went to the Bowl on Friday night and I loved the concert!!

The new shell is awesome - and I liked the addition of the screens. I think they are much better than the big screen they had a few years ago. I thought it was very touching that JW introduced his mother to the audience.

I have never seen JW do so many encores before! We would get up to leave and here he came again to do another song. It was awesome! :) My favorite part of the show was easily Double Trouble - now I despreately want that version to listen to over and over again!!

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the chorus was also a great addition this year. they did especially well on the amistad piece. this is my 5th or 6th year in a row at the bowl and i enjoy it everytime. With all the encores he does you really get your money worth.

My favorite part of the show was easily Double Trouble - now I despreately want that version to listen to over and over again!!

and did I mention I record each years concert? :)

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I remember there was a chorus in 1999 for Duel of the Fates - I wanted to go to that concert so bad - but it conflicted with my schedule. 8O I have been going to JW's concerts at the Bowl since 2001. Last year's was awesome - with James Earl Jones narrating!

You record the concerts, eh? 8O Would you be willing to share? :)

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I wish I lived in America. ;-)

Did you mean you heard a adult choir sing Double Trouble? I wish I could hear that.

Hint.

:)

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I wish I lived in America. ;-)

Did you mean you heard a adult choir sing Double Trouble? I wish I could hear that.  

Hint.

:)

i´d love to hear that too! 8O

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The concert was amazing per usual, but I was suprised that JW made no mention of the passing of Bernstein and Goldsmith. I guess he would want to keep the mood "up" but c'mon, this was the most shocking news since Herrman died. Just thinking aloud here.

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I remember there was a chorus in 1999 for Duel of the Fates - I wanted to go to that concert so bad - but it conflicted with my schedule. :( I have been going to JW's concerts at the Bowl since 2001. Last year's was awesome - with James Earl Jones narrating!  

You record the concerts, eh? :P Would you be willing to share? ROTFLMAO

Once i get it all split up then i'd be happy to share, but right now it's just 2 huge wav files so i'll work on that. :)

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I agree the concert was just great. JW looks to be pretty healthy for his age. The LA string section is just tremendous - they are dead on all the crazy sixteenth note runs. I also agree that the second half of the program was better - and either more well rehearsed or more well known by the orchestra. I went on Friday - and there were quite a few mistakes during the olympic stuff. The chorus sounded great also. I wonder why they didn't do the prolouge and why they took cuts on some of the charts. It was nice for JW to introduce his mother, perhaps old age runs in the genes - (hopefully).

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The concert was amazing per usual, but I was suprised that JW made no mention of the passing of Bernstein and Goldsmith. I guess he would want to keep the mood "up" but c'mon, this was the most shocking news since Herrman died. Just thinking aloud here.  

Well, John Williams might not have mentioned it but it was mentioned at the Bowl. John Mauceri mentioned both passings the previous weekend during the 75 Years Walt Disney concert. Mr. Mauceri really seems to be on top of things. I was travelling without use of a computer so I was a bit surprised to hear about Bernstein's passing.

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Friday night was a beautiful night. Nice cool breeze, clear skies, and John Williams was conducting the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl for a night of great orchestral music. The theme? It sounds kinda gross but it was "Olympic Fever". Boy, I hope nobody has died from the "olympic fever".. it sounds pretty severe. But it only comes around every two to four years. The symptoms usually involve running around with a torch or having a sudden urge to learn how to pole vault. Or maybe it's not a disease at all but rather... the theme for the night's program! Ah yes.

But onto the Bowl! Now, when I was a young lad I always thought the Hollywood Bowl was just some fancy bowling alley! You laugh at me now but how could you NOT think this as a kid? And you can probably picture the disappointment when there WAS NO bowling at the Hollywood BOWL. "What a Jip", I must have thought.

If you haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl, it's what I like to call the poorman's concert venue. I say this because there are several factors that make this place less than ideal for hearing the orchestra at its full potential. The first factor is that it's outdoors, so while you get the nice evening breeze and plenty of fresh air, you also get other elements you never thought of. All of us have been to a regular rock concert one point or another... and we all know that when you leave the show, your ears are RINGING from the loudness of it all! That isn't the case at the Bowl. The orchestra plays, and you hear it amplified on the speakers, but you don't "feel" it. You don't get the awesome resonance that comes with a concert hall, which is too bad. It's like listening to your stereo with medium volume. When I see it live, I want to feel and see the music.

Other factors that make the music experience less than perfect: chatty patrons who think they can't be heard since it's outdoors, helicopters zooming over head, sirens from emergency vehicles, empty bottles rolling down the aisles, and best of all... CRICKETS. Yes, crickets. These little bugs don't stop for any reason! They've grown so acustomed to the music they just add their own.

But hey, it's the Hollywood Bowl and if you want a seamless experience, it'll probably cost you $200 to get a seat right on the bottom. But tickets can be as cheap as $6 for nosebleed! And did I say that you can bring food to this place? EVERYONE has bags and bags that clog the aisles. My tickets were $35 and were a decent distance away. Not too close, not too far. I wouldn't say it's perfect but they were good enough.

So what did they play? Here's the complete program including encore pieces:

-National Anthem

-John Williams -- The Cowboys Overture

-Arnaud/Williams -- Bugler's Dream/Olympic Fanfare and Theme

-Torke -- Javelin

-Williams -- The Olympic Spirit (for Seoul winter games)

-L. Bernstein -- Olympic Hymm

Cal State Fullerton University Singers

-Williams -- Call of the Champions (for Salt Lake City winter games)

Cal State Fullerton University Singers

Intermission

-Williams -- Music from Superman:

The Planet Krypton - Main Theme

-Williams -- Suite From Harry Potter: (Hedwig's theme wasn't played.. it was something else, and harry's wondrous world included bits from the latest potter film... so it's a mix that we don't have on cd).

Hedwig's Theme - Double Trouble* - A Bridge to the Past - Harry's Wondrous World

*Cal State Fullerton University Singers

-Williams -- Dry Your Tears, Afrika (from Amistad)

Cal State Fullerton University Singers

-Newman -- Cathy's Theme from Wuthering Heights

Bing Wang, violin soloist

-Williams -- Raiders March (from Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Encore:

-Williams -- "Flying theme" from E.T.

-Williams -- Yoda's Theme from ESB

-Williams -- Imperial March from ESB

-Williams -- Star Wars Main theme

Ah, the familar music of the movies. It's pretty amazing that he did four encores. He usually only does two or three. Other highlights of the evning were special guest: Olympian Bruce Jenner with 20 southern Californian Olympic Medalists, and John Williams own mother who is now 95 years old. How sweet is that?

So yes, it was a very nice evening despite my snobbiness. There were also two heavier set women sitting next to me who commented on each piece afterward. "Oh, wasn't that just lovely?" "it sure was... mmph." Very entertaining indeed.

I'm still disappointed that the place isn't a real bowling alley though. Who wants to go bowling?

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Man from what everyone's been saying it sounds like a fantastic night. What a program! And speaking of which, I hope we'll be able to hear the concert version of Double Trouble soon!

Ray Barnsbury

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I wish he would have done Fawkes the Pheonix - I think thats the best cue in the harry potter trilogy. The flutist did a good job on that solo with the butterfly in the movie, i always thought it was wierd that he finished that one run in the middle of it with the pic. Its really good writing - I hope he gets an oscar nod for this one - and wins of course. If other people can win with whole notes < > ing then this should certainly win.

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For the people that do not know, Harry's Wondrous World that included bits from the last film was actually his end credits to POA. They decided in the end to not use it as the end credits but instead to do a melange of his themes. However he had already written it for the end credits.

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Whoa! So there's a new version of HWW out there with included bits of PoA??? Yet ANOTHER thing we don't have from that score! So anyway, how're those concert files coming, Mista Music? :wave:

Ray Barnsbury

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For the people that do not know, Harry's Wondrous World that included bits from the last film was actually his end credits to POA.  They decided in the end to not use it as the end credits but instead to do a melange of his themes.  However he had already written it for the end credits.

:wave::angry::P 8O

Why why why change it! We could have gotten an updated HWW with themes from all three films and we got the mostly crappy MM instead? Arrrrggggghhhh...

Maybe they dumped it after realizing that nothing from the HWW from the first two films was in the score proper for PoA. Doesn't make it any less frustrating though.

John- banghead

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For the people that do not know, Harry's Wondrous World that included bits from the last film was actually his end credits to POA.  They decided in the end to not use it as the end credits but instead to do a melange of his themes.  However he had already written it for the end credits.

What the hell,sounds like the CoS version to me,did he play it different on Friday?

K.M.

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I went to the Hollywood Bowl concert on Saturday. I thought you were supposed to dress up for those type of things, so if anyone saw me, I was the one in the suit, with my wife, in the gown. Man, did we feel stupid.

Although, some people thought we were performers. :mrgreen:

Lovely evening, but who authorizes those damn helicopters to fly by in the middle of the concert? And not just once, but THREE TIMES!! At least one was during the intermission.

A very fun evening, and a good learning experience. Next time I'll opt for seats in the center, and farther back, rather than closer but on the side. I'll also bring a bunch of wine and stuff to eat, since everyone else did.

BigJohn

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BigJohn,

I take it this was was your first bowk experience? Don't feel stupid. There is nothing wrong with getting dressed up for a night out at the bowl. My wife and I will often get dressed up to go to dinner. I think it brings an air of lost civility and panache in a world that is sorely lacking in such.

As for food, don't worry. I did the same thing the 1st time I went there. With the narrow spacing between the seats eating food is not the most comfortable thing to do there, let alone storing the stuff when you are done. In past my wife and I used to bring a picnic basket, but this year we opted for a softsided cooler that fit under the benches.

I agree with your seating idea, but in the past sitting towards the side meant having some of the view cut off by the shell. This year good views were visible all over due to the new shell..

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Thanks, Saabster. Like I said - I'm chalking it up to a learning experience. It was our first time at the Bowl, as you surmised. We drove down from Sacramento, and didn't have any frame of reference. Next time I'd like to get those seats they have down front with those tables and the seats that you can reverse.

The only thing that was cut off by us sitting on the side was our view of the right-side video screen. At least, I'm assuming there was one there. We couldn't see it at all, so we had to watch the one on the left side, which was farther away.

BigJohn

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