He has written music for more than 150 films; won 2 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes and countless other awards; and seems to have no intention to stop. In between the breaks from all this creative energy, he tours the world with an ensemble of eclectic, fantastic artists – and rocks every single stage he sets his foot on.
I went to the Prague concert during his first tour in 2016 (here is my experience: I loved it!), and like every movie lover knows, sequels often have a problem. Will they be good enough?
Well, let me tell you without the shadow of a doubt that this one passes the test, with flying colors. This second tour (initially planned for 2020 but then postponed because, well, you know) is simply… more. More spectacular, more impressive, more courageous, more of everything.
The incredible set of talents mister Zimmer has assembled does simply the incredible, creating an audiovisual experience, including pieces of dancing and acrobatics, that can easily overwhelm the audience. The O2 Arena in Prague was completely packed and I swear I couldn’t hear a person breathe during the entire time of the show. It was that captivating.
Hans Zimmer can divide audiences because sometimes his work can feel repetitive – something maybe inevitable given his impressive production – but no-one can question his artistic fertility and incredible versatility. He authored megasuccessful comic book movies like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, as well as intimate journeys like The Thin Red Line or Rain Man.
He explored war movie (Dunkirk), historical settings (Gladiator, The Last Samurai), science fiction (Interstellar), animation (Rango). He wrote scores for documentaries and videogames. Heck, he even made the last 007. Because why not.
And probably what strikes me the most is that such a prolific composer is… not at all the “composer type”! His performances are collective acts, himself sometimes quietly blending in the background while his fellow performers take the front stage.
And what an ensemble it is! Most performers have their time to shine, some of their personal stories told to the audience, as it becomes clear that mister Zimmer not only has an amazing ear for sound: he also has a great eye for talent.
He seems to prefer the eclectic personalities of rebels and misfits and all of them give so much character to the show, contributing to making it a truly memorable experience.
We enjoyed every minute of it: from the opening notes of this year’s Academy Award winner (Dune) left the place to Inception, then a Wonder Woman suite dedicated to the women of Ukraine – the ensemble on stage includes members from the Odessa Orchestra.
Pieces from Man of Steel, and Gladiator followed. Unfortunately, Lisa Gerrard (the original singer of the Gladiator soundtrack) was absent, but Loire Cotler did an excellent job in her place.
A longer set from the Pirates of the Caribbean series came next, which was maybe one of the highlights of the evening.
Other pieces included Rango, Sherlock Holmes, and I was glad to hear one of my favorites: “A Way of Life” from The Last Samurai, which was not included in the first live tour.
We then heard a longer set The Dark Knight trilogy, which with its stroboscopic light shows flooded the audience with jagged pieces of sound; followed by songs from X-Men Dark Phoenix and the incredible “Supermarine” from Dunkirk, as breath-taking live as I remembered it from the movie.
A segment is obviously dedicated to Dune, “Leaving Caladan” and “Paul’s Dream” which took us on a one-way trip to Arrakis;
and then maybe following with the sci-fi theme, we were blessed with longer a suite from “Interstellar” which, in the words of Zimmer himself, “stretched the limits of what is possible with music”. As stars and suggestive pictures of the cosmos flooded the arena, we were all in awe.
A generous set from “The Lion King” was next, for a triumphal ending, once again with the original performer Lebo Morake on stage;
and then we couldn’t be more delighted to realize that two encores were in store for us: the 007 theme from “No Time to Die” and then finally, the unforgettable “Time” from Inception.
In the end, I quite lost my sense of time but I would say that the total concert time was nearing the three hours. I literally had vertigo from the dazzling audio-visual spectacle that this show was, and I am so glad I could be a part of this incredible experience.