I’m not sure the last time a night at the orchestra has been as exciting as this.
The “Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience” made its way to the Mann Center on Sept. 12. With it arrived an 80-piece orchestra performing much of the score of the HBO series composed by Ramin Djawadi, although he didn’t appear at this performance.
The concert was an immersive cinematic experience. All of the major scenes from the TV show — like the Red Wedding and the knighting of Brienne of Tarth — were projected onto the stage behind the large orchestra as they played the songs that expertly corresponded with each scene.
You would think “Game of Thrones” is already the most dramatic TV show you’ve ever seen. However, this orchestral performance breathed even more life and emotion into the hit HBO series. Some told us it was like rewatching the show, but better. It wasn’t required to have seen every episode in order to thoroughly enjoy the performance.
It all opened with the main “Game of Thrones” theme song, which got the entire crowd pumped up. Then, the orchestra chronologically moved through the series, playing the scores that went with a clip from the chosen episode being displayed.
Plenty of special effects brought the scenes of “Game of Thrones” to life and always elicited a loud crowd reaction. The iron throne sat empty in the back center of the stage during the whole performance. One of the most climactic points of Game of Thrones is when Jon Snow is brought back to life. This scene was part of the performance, of course — and honestly, it would have been extremely disappointing if it wasn’t.
The entire theater fell silent as Snow’s lifeless face appeared on the screen. As he shot awake with a deep breath, the crowd erupted with applause.
The performance of “Dracarys” stuck with me because of the pyrotechnics and intensity. Violinist Molly Rogers channeled Daenerys as she fearlessly struck powerful notes on her instrument. She stood tall and the spotlight was on her as she perfectly hit every beat, maintaining that dragon mother fierceness in her facial expressions.
As Rogers struck her bow against her strings, flames shot out from the back of the stage and those seated in attendance felt a rush of warm air. The heat was felt by the crowd, so one can only imagine how it felt to the performers standing right next to the flames.
One of the best moments from the show has to be from the final season, where the army of White Walkers arrive in Winterfell. As this scene came on screen, loads of white confetti slowly dispersed from the sides of the stage, and soon covered the entire arena in a white blanket. So much fog was used that it looked like giant stoners blowing vape clouds towards the stage.
The show came full circle as the orchestra performed the main theme once again for the encore. The crowd went equally as wild as they did when they first heard it.
This is the third tour of the “Game of Thrones” concert. The orchestra first went on the road in 2016, but this time around, the score from season 8 was added to the setlist. Overall, the energy and passion that was put into this performance were evident on stage.
To witness it and then realize that this orchestra has to bring it for every single show is admirable and definitely changes the way one thinks about ensemble.