Last Tuesday (May 2, 2017), legendary musician and film composer Hans Zimmer graced the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney to deliver a gobsmacking, and dare I say, life-changing performance. Alongside a company of talented musicians and special guest performers, Zimmer and his band treated the audience to a show that was raw, heartfelt, and electrifying.
I have never been to an orchestra performance before, and to be honest, I thought that Hans Zimmer Live would be a lowkey and formal. Like many concert goers, I’ve of Zimmer’s scores in films like The Dark Knight Trilogy, Gladiator and Interstellar, but only in snippets underneath the action on screen.
Once Zimmer and his band stepped on stage and started playing the sweet and playful theme song from “Driving Miss Daisy,” I knew that we were in for a treat. They played many great film scores, from a swashbuckling medley from The Pirates of the Caribbean, the pensive and twangy Discombobulate from Sherlock Holmes, and the epic Flight from Man of Steel.
One of the highlights of the show was when Zimmer brought out Lebo M, the South African musician behind that famous first line from Circle of Life (yes THAT line). He also brought out Lisa Gerrard, the Australian singer whose incredible voice brought emotion and soul to the Gladiator soundtrack.
Hans Zimmer Live wasn’t just music. The lighting and production that went into every song was insane. I mean INSANE. When Zimmer and his band played an intense, drum heavy medley from the ‘Dark Knight’, I thought that the stage would explode. Each drum beat, from three very talented drummers, was echoed by flashes of light and intense graphics projected onto the screen.
Zimmer played the piano, banjo, electric guitar, drums and the synthesiser. He spoke in a gentle German accent, thoughtfully introducing his band and sharing personal stories in between songs. The most memorable moment was towards the end when Zimmer spoke about the death of Heath Ledger and the tragic Colorado shootings in 2012. He told the audience that he wrote Aurora as a heartfelt tribute to those who lost their lives in the Aurora shooting in 2012, and to all those who continue to be victimised by acts of violence today.
Watching Hans Zimmer Live is so different to any other gig that I’ve been to. There’s no mosh pit or lyrics to sing along to. It was all about the music. I loved how the audience screamed every time they recognised a riff or line of music from one of his film scores.
After going to Hans Zimmer Live, I don’t think that I will ever listen to a piece of film music in the same way again. Some of us probably take film soundtracks for granted, but film music also tells a story, sometimes an even greater story than the film itself.
Zimmer and his band received a very much deserved standing ovation at the end of the show. Just like his incredible music, Hans Zimmer Live will go down as one of my favourite musical performances of all time.
Hans Zimmer Live is winding down his Australian tour this month, with his final show in Perth (May 10).