John Carpenter Concert Review



John Carpenter's North American Tour for Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998. A review of his concert at the Trocadero theater in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. My curiosity was piqued when I had found out Carpenter had been performing scores as concert, in other words not so much functioning as an ancillary ambient to establish atmosphere, but front and center stage. Could music that does not follow narrative structure and function as what is in essence background music hold the audience's attention and if it was possible how was it accomplished? His trick: Carpenter had transformed background music into the actor—into the narrative. While he plays his scores, scenes from his films are projected into the background. A Saturnalia of sorts, where the movie is now the ancillary ambient to the score. Carpenter had also, and wisely so, re-recorded the scores. Hence Anthology isn't simply a rehashing of the film's original scores, but are reinterpretations of the scores as performances. And what Carpenter does is bring the scores to life right in front of you. The songs are richer, fuller, more nuanced and arranged for a live audience. Carpenter is accompanied by his son Cody and by guitarist Daniel Davies.

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