Game of Thrones Concert
We've been inoculated to big screens and big sounds, but the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, aided by the fan love that has made the series an international success, perfectly married the two for a night of epic storytelling, emotion, and enrapturing music. It was also a fantastic way to get caught up on the series before season 7 starts this summer.
Here are our three takeaways from the concert that was meant to be more than a concert:
#1: You don’t have to know all the details to enjoy the concert, but be wary if you’re sensitive to spoilers.
If you’re not as familiar with parts of the series, the edited videos that accompanied each song made the show reminiscent of an opera or ballet plot: You got just enough to know the context, but the information was minimal enough to really let the voice of the music and the body language of the characters do the storytelling.
Sometimes the clips featured a family or a single character’s journey; other times the song and video played straight from a pivotal scene, like the Red Wedding. After the especially heartbreaking scenes, there was a moment of silence where people just needed to process the emotions the songs pulled, but after other songs, like the lead vocalist’s earthy and powerful rendition of "The Rains of Castamere," the cheering was instantaneous and exuberant. The songs for Arya or Daenerys’s dragons might have gotten the loudest fan screaming of the night, but to be fair, it's hard to compete with the girl who has the pyro-technics-aided drama of the dragons.
#2: Good sound crews do exist.
The concert was loud. Composer and conductor Ramin Djawadi would build up an ominous storm of crescendos only to be punctuated by the war horns of the brass during the action scenes. Even during the slower songs (who doesn’t want to look back on Jon and Ygritte’s relationship?), the violins’ melody pierced through the air with pure, unwavering notes. But here’s the thing—it all sounded great. The production team understood what it meant to have good balance and to create a sound system that was full, instead of grating.
#3: We really love our Game of Thrones.
For two hours, we saw percussionists fan out on the feature stages and beat the rhythm for Dothraki themes; we saw the lead violinist become part of the Weirwood as it shed its leaves; we saw the many, many types of flutes used to make some of the signature sounds of the score. Before a note was played, the audience greeted Djawadi with love, and the standing ovation at the end was immediate.
Hopefully Djawadi and his touring musicians had a good time, because the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center couldn't get enough. If you see the show in a different city, make sure to stay for the last song. It’s a real bear of a tune.