Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Star Wars in Concert

There are certain events in your life that become defining moments. They vary in importance - the birth of your first child, your first time on roller skates, holding hands with your first crush - the list goes on. My list would have to include the first time that I saw Star Wars. I was in elementary school, it was in the movie theater a few months after its release, and I had no idea what to expect.


That's the only word I can use to describe that night. Like so many others who witnessed that cinematic affair for the first time, Star Wars was life-changing - I had never experienced anything remotely like it. For GenXers, it would be part of what would define our generation. Can you remember it? The excitement? The effects? The music??

Fast forward to 2009. Three days ago I received a phone call asking me if I wanted to participate in something called, "Star Wars in Concert".

Okay. I had already heard about it at Radio City Music Hall, and thought it would be fun to see it. But participate in it?! Are you KIDDING me?!!! In three days! SIGN.ME.UP!

Last night, I sang in the first of four performances of this EPIC event in the NYC area. It was unreal. It was spectacular. It was...STAR WARS as I remembered it. I don't mean that it was the film as I remembered it, mainly because the film clips are more like a montage of the saga (including a few frames of Jar Jar Binks - don't get me started). Rather, it is the film as I remember it, in the way that it made me feel the first time I saw it. The concert is so over-the-top that the response is completely visceral, just like the response when I was nine.

You gotta picture it. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing, a 60-voice choir singing, Anthony Daniels aka C-3PO standing there narrating, a FOUR-STORY tall hi-def LCD screen, lights, lasers, fog machines, and pyrotechnics. Awesome.

This clandestine recording is from the opening piece (shot at an Anaheim performance). Yes, they played the THX sound, as well as the 20th Century Fox fanfare. It was thrilling. I even got a little emo. Sitting behind brass and kettle drums bashing out John Williams' most famous theme can do that to you.

Listen to that crowd! We were in an arena of 20,000! You know there were some serious GenX numbers in that audience. It was like a rock concert for Star Wars geeks. A collective 80's high school reunion!

Here is another brief clip I found and edited (from an Oklahoma performance). This was the second piece we sang. Note the fire. We in the choir didn't know that it was going to happen - it was a hot surprise!

I have three more performances to go, and I am still giddy as a school girl. Or as a 9-year old who just saw Star Wars for the first time. If this show comes to your town, GO AND SEE IT. And may the force be with you. Yes, I am just cheesy enough to write that on my blog.


PBAndJ said...

I can feel your excitement and I want to attend!! I love Star Wars, I asked for the Trilogy for Christmas, the orginal one of course.

I don't remember an epic moment for me attending Star Wars, but I do remember one when attending Return of the Jedi! :) I love Star Wars!!!!!!

Kendra Leigh said...

WOW! We are so jealous. I have to admit, I thought the idea of this concert was a little hokey (they were doing it in LA when we were there this summer) but just watching your videos posted here makes me emotional! It would be thrilling to participate! (wish we had some extra cash lying around). That's AWESOME!