Star Wars in Concert: A Review

ep•ic (adj.): heroic; majestic; impressively great

Epic. That's the best word I can use to describe Star Wars in Concert. As I write this, the show ended about and hour and a half ago. What an amazing show! For those who aren't aware, Star Wars in Concert is a travelling show consisting of a 86-piece orchestra, a huge choir, lasers, lights, the live narration of Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. C-3PO), and a 100-foot high-definition screen displaying clips from all six films synchronized to the music. To call it a fun and unique experience would be an understatement.

Read my full review after the jump.

The show appropriately began with the THX sound and 20th Century Fox Fanfare followed by the words, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." Naturally the Star Wars Main Title came next, with the iconic yellow letters fading into the distance. It was a majestic opening to an incredible evening. After the music ended, the voice of Darth Vader introduced Anthony Daniels, who took the stage and set the scene for a re-telling of the Star Wars saga through the music of John Williams.

The show was broken into segments that reflected major themes and events from the films, with each segment being introduced by Daniels. His commentary was generally direct and to-the-point, but there were some moments of levity. First, before a segment about droids, Daniels got carried away in extolling the wonders of C-3PO, which prompted conductor Dirk Brosse turned and shot him a disapproving look, at which point he stopped mid-sentence and said "right....anyway...." before continuing. It was clearly scripted, but still hilarious. Another fun piece of narration came when Daniels opened his tuxedo jacket to reveal a gold vest and slipped into the character of C-3PO, saying that the chances of survival were 3,720 to 1. He added that some people prefer never to be told the odds. Fanboys all throughout the arena laughed and cheered.

The music was, of course, exquisite. Some of the best musical moments from all six films were represented. The orchestra and choir sounded absolutely perfect. At times, I forgot that I was listening to a live performance. It really sounded that tight. The music cues were perfectly synchronized with scene changes and cuts in the video on the gorgeous screen above the orchestra. It was done freakishly well. The thought of performing this show every night, sometimes more than once a day, and executing it so perfectly every time is absolutely mind-boggling.

This was a totally unique experience. I've never seen anything quite like it before, and I don't know if I ever will again. The audience absolutely loved it. People of literally all ages smiled, laughed, and genuinely enjoyed themselves. The music was superb and the lights and video were beautiful. It was something really special. I really applaud George Lucas for allowing this wonderful show to take place. It brought people together to celebrate the amazing music of Star Wars.

Star Wars in Concert was an evening of pure gold. I heard my favorite pieces of music from my favorite film saga performed live by an incredible orchestra and choir, along with video clips from said saga, narrated by a supremely talented actor who was a part of every film from said saga. Could I have possibly asked for anything more? There was even an encore! My only complaint about the show was that I had so much fun, the night just flew by. Including a 20-minute intermission, the concert clocked in just under 2 hours, but it felt like almost half of that. So do yourself a favor and see this show if you can! Find out if there's a performance in your area and see if tickets are available. You'd be surprised how tickets become available even days before a show. You never know until you try! And you'll be glad you did! May the force be with you!

Kevin Smith: J.J. Abrams Should Direct New Superman Flick

Those of you who know me personally might know that I believe the people who have been in charge of the Superman films from the very beginning lack a fundamental understanding of the character at his core. Kevin Smith, though, has that understanding and is outspoken about his views. Recently he said that based on the success and quality of Star Trek, he thinks J.J. Abrams should be in charge of Warner Bros./DC's "reintroduction" of Superman. I'm a little nervous about that idea, but I think it has serious potential.

Just So Much Podcasting

I've been podcasting like a fool lately. I really love the medium and I'm always looking for a chance to speak my mind on a range of topics, so it really shouldn't be all that surprising, yet when I look at the hours I spend recording and editing podcasts, it is more than a little insane.

First and foremost, I'd like to announce the start of a new podcast hosted by friends William, Hunter, and myself: Lights, Camera, Podcast. As the title suggests, LCP is a movie podcast. Each week we have a great time making fun of each other while occasionally going into some movie talk, too. While that's a bit of an exaggeration, we do discuss the biggest new releases we all had the chance to see, as well as any other films -- both new and old -- that we managed to catch at our leisure. It's a ton of fun to record and we hope you'll enjoy listening to it. Our first episode covering Star Trek is already available on iTunes, and a second episode about Terminator Salvation and a number of other films should be up soon.

Then of course there is my most consistent show Echo Alert. Though Dollhouse is off the air for the summer, Andrew and I are very excited about the confirmed Season 2 pickup and will continue the show on a bi-weekly basis through the summer until the show returns. We've got some fun stuff lined up including a couple of soon-to-be-announced contests, guest co-hosts, and some other possible goodies, so stay tuned!

I should also mention some guest spots I've been doing lately. Both happen to be related to the world of comic books. At the end of each month, I host a segment of the Geekland Podcast entitled This Month in Superman. It's my chance to spend a few minutes gushing on events occurring in the Superman family of comics. My most recent segment appears in episode 85. In addition to that, just last night I was asked by my friend William (also of LCP) to step in and co-host this week's episode of Between the Panels, his own comics podcast. It was unexpected and last-minute, but I was really glad I did it, because I had a ton of fun talking comics with him. That episode (number 12) should be out within the next week.

Finally, there is the project nearest and dearest to my heart, FMF. It was my very first podcasting foray, and I'm proud to continue DJ-ing to this day. It's always a blast when I get a chance to sit down and record an episode, even though I don't always get a chance to do that as often as I'd like to. I look forward to keeping the show up for the foreseeable future going forward.

So as you can see, I've been very busy lately. At least that new equipment I recently purchased is being put to good use. Now I just need to strike it rich and get my own place with a dedicated podcasting studio. What?