Ramin Djawadi Brings Game of Thrones To Life At the Hollywood Bowl Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Concludes Its 2019 Tour In Los Angeles
HOLLYWOOD, CA- Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience concluded its spectacular tour for 2019 at the Hollywood Bowl. The series based on the books A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin had the audience captivated and mesmerized for 8 seasons. The acting, set design, and costuming all added layers to the plot twists and suspense as we eagerly watch the kingdoms of Westeros fight for the Iron Throne. However, it was the brilliant music score of Emmy award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi that set the mood words alone could not express. For true fans Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience allowed us to relive the best moments of the series with spectacular orchestra and stage effects. Although the series is over and the fight for the Iron Throne has ended, the Concert gave us an evening filled with laughter, tears, and triumphant cheers. The music of the seven kingdoms will reign forever.
The Iron Throne stood alone on stage surrounded by the orchestra until a timid, adorable little six-year-old boy walked on stage. He hesitated a bit and then with one big breath introduced his father Ramin Djawadi. It was one of the sweetest moments and best introductions I’ve ever witnessed. I can only imagine the joy Djawadi had witnessing his son introduce him at the Hollywood Bowl. With that introduction, the concert began.
The crowd roared as the theme song began to play as Cameron Stone played the cello with power and strength, and Molly Rogers bowed the violin with effortless ease. I couldn’t help but notice that the orchestra members were dressed in theme. Molly wore a flowing gown, her red hair braided like Daenerys Targaryen. Cameron Stone was clad in armor similar to those great fighters like Jamie Lannister. Leanna Holly (vocalist) was cloaked in red giving off a bewitching Melisandre vibe’ a fitting costume for someone with such a mesmerizing voice.
The theme songs of each house quickly followed the main theme. The stage illuminated green for Tyrell, symbolizing the growing rose. The drums pounded for the conquers of the sea Greyjoy. The cello played the hypnotic theme for House Lannister, as the crowd cheered. There were more triumphant cheers for Targaryen’s theme. The Stark theme was accompanied by Molly’s violin playing, her bow strummed the melodist Stark theme. Of course, as someone cosplaying as Sansa Stark, I was ecstatic to hear the strings weaving a song of sorrow and triumph as Sansa Stark proclaims “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives”. Through all the tragedy the Starks dealt with over the season, it was their determination and their bond to the family that helped them rise above their obstacles.
It was only fitting that the next stunning performance was by Molly Rogers as she played the violin suspended several stories high as leaves fluttered and fell onto the stage. This was a symbolic representation of the Weirwood tree in Winterfell. The leaves falling representing that “Winter Is Coming”, the Stark moto. It was such a beautiful performance by Molly Rogers and the Weirwood tree brought memories of so many key moments in the Stark saga from praying to the god, the reunions of the Starks when separated, and most importantly the defeat of the Night King by Arya Stark. Rogers’ performance was breathtaking.
Leanna Holly had a mesmerizing solo as she sang the “Reigns of Castamere”. Her deep and sultry voice echoed throughout the venue singing the song of the proud house that will use it’s lions claws to defeat its enemies. The images of the cunning and powerful Lannisters filled the big screens. Many fans were enthralled by Holly’s performance. Her powerful voice was magical.
As the performance continued, the audience got to rewatch some of the best moments of the series. Fans cheered during the Battle of the Bastards and the Battle of the Long Night. The stage effects of snow and fire were common themes reflected in both the show and stage performance. It’s not often you get snow in LA, but when the Night King is in town it’s only fitting.
Though for me, Djawadi’s own musical performance had me entranced. Djawadi took a break from conducting to actually pick up a few instruments and play along. I was so impressed by his talent and skill not only as a composer of music but also as a brilliant, multitalented musician.
A standout performance of the evening was Djawadi playing the score “Needle”, Arya Stark’s theme, on the Hammer Dulcimer. It’s not a typical instrument to play but watching him strum quickly brought those images of Arya’s fast and quick sword fighting skills. Images of her character’s evolution flashed on the big screen from once being a little girl that wanted to explore, growing up and erasing her identity in order to defeat her enemies. Her epic triumph over the Night King would make her one of the best warriors in Westeros.
The performance didn’t end there for Djawdi as he rocked out on the guitar for a collection of scenes in tribute to the best of Daenerys Targaryen. The fast pace of the music added to the power and determination of Daenerys thirst for power and the desire to vanquish her enemies with fire and blood. The red lighting on the stage illuminated the slow descent into madness Danerys began until even the innocents she pledges to protect would feel her reign of terror.
The most impressive performance was Djwadi’s piano playing for the Light of the Seven. The melody reminds me of the great classical musician Rachmaninoff, the ability to weave power and furiousness with such tenderness, blending the two to create a harmonious melody. The music’s soft and sorrowful tones foretell the end for many of Cersi’s enemies, the tune reminds me of a bell ring one last time for those that crossed the lioness. The violin and the cello paint images of the lion slowly staking its prey before they pounce and tear them apart. To add to the scene the lighting turned the stage a vivid green and with one flash as the building exploded, the Hollywood Bowl lit up with an explosion of green fireworks. It was a stellar moment. Moments like this added depth to the overall concert experience, whether it was fire exploding from the stage for moments of Daenerys dragons, fireworks exploding during battle scenes, or snow falling on stage during the Battle of the Long Night.
One of the last songs of the evening was the lovely sorrowful ballad Jenny of Oldstones. The ballad reminds us of the battle of the Night King and all of the lives lost, the houses destroyed, and those that remained. Leanna Holly wore a beautiful gown of white and gold chain mail, a vision befitting the women of Westeros, delicate yet strong and powerful. A theme that was very evident in the female character of the series. Though small, soft, delicate, these women were the powerhouses that played the game of thrones often better than the boys.
The music like the characters of the series has depth and layers. It’s not solely soft or loud, not ice or fire. It’s a mix of carefully woven dynamic pieces. The evening ended with the orchestra and the audience singing to the main theme. It was a spectacular performance from the orchestra, to the lighting, the many costume changes, and video clips of the series, all of these elements blended beautifully to transport us back to Westeros for one magical night.