Game of Thrones: Live Concert Experience
San Jose, CA
September 8, 2018
Photos and review by Tawni Kuhn.
Readers, tread no further if you cannot brave the following Game of Thrones spoilers.
You have been warned.
Winter returned to the Bay Area this past Saturday, in a chilling recap of Game of Thrones most brutal and triumphant moments. While Westeros won’t grace our screens until its final season in 2019, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is enough to keep our fire burning.
The diehards certainly haven’t cooled off. Hundreds donned their best Westeros regalia to SAP Center; dragon onesies, house-affiliated t-shirts, and Daenerys cosplay—to name a few. They came prepared to participate as well. The audience is encouraged to cheer for their favorite hero or antagonist as clips from the show play behind the orchestra, and the fans played their part well. It was almost hard to hear the opening title play over the roar of the crowd.
The loudest cheer of the night, however, was for featured artist and Game of Thrones composer, Ramin Djawadi. He is the accomplished songsmith behind some of TV’s greatest modern soundscapes. It’s hard to imagine Game of Thrones as the success it is without Djawadi’s touch. The composer has a lot to celebrate in his own right, but it was a delightful surprise for all in the attendance to hear him announce his Game of Thrones Emmy win (for S7E7, “The Dragon and the Wolf”). And if it made his fire-laden guitar performance later just that much better? Bonus. What a rockstar.
The win certainly made for an energetic and blazing performance by the entire ensemble all-together, but it’s no doubt they bring their A-game every night. The powerhouse vocals, unique instrumentals, and striking stage presence made what could have been a bland playthrough of material into a visual masterpiece.
No detail was ill-conceived. Twisted, gnarled Iron Throne-esque pieces framed the screen. The Sparrow symbol on the stage mimicked the one in the Sept. Leaves sprinkled down as a violinist played somber “Goodbye Brother” doused in an autumn red. Green smoke loomed across the stage as Wildfire was lit during that Season 6 tragedy. In a show of true fire and ice, flames danced in time to some particularly robust dragon moments, while other scenes closer to the Wall were accented with some wistful, solemn snowfall. The lead vocalist, surrounded by her choir, was raised in the air like Daenerys after she freed the slaves in Yunkai.
If you ever had doubts about seeing an orchestra play your favorite music live, this certainly is a front-runner in production-value and entertainment. The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is an epic, thrilling adventure that will leave you gripping your seat all over again. Hurry up, Season 8. We want you, but we’re ready for next year’s concert.