Preview: The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi

There’s good news, and there’s bad news for Game of Thrones fans (some people call them fanatics).

Music is coming.

The bad news? Winter is coming, but not as soon as we hoped. The highly anticipated Season Eight of the infamous series will not be released in April of 2019, but a few months later—most likely July.

The good news? Music is coming. The Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will be performed at KeyArena. Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi leads an 80-piece orchestra and choir performing the greatest hits from all seven seasons of the iconic, Emmy® Award-winning HBO series (based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin).

The production is touring in Europe and North America. Word of mouth? It’s glorious.

What exactly does a “Game of Thrones” concert entail? Herd 17,000-plus diehard fans into a giant arena and put composer/conductor Ramin Djawadi onstage with a live orchestra. Add huge screens playing the best scenes from every season, fantastic special effects, and tribute montages of your favorite characters.

The Game of Thrones” concert experience is like watching a compilation of the “greatest hits” in the series. The live concert includes music and footage from Season Seven, as well as a custom stage design and mesmerizing visuals, courtesy of state-of-the-art video technology. Expect to see LED telescoping and wall screens, and special 3D designs rise from the stage floor and instruments especially created for the tour. A 12-foot Wildling horn plays during the Wildling attack on the Wall.

No matter what city you see show in, the setup is a 360° stage. Djawadi and his orchestra are on one side, with a symmetrical platform on the opposite side. That platform is rigged with a rising center and interactive walls with a screen above, so a violin soloist or singer can have their time to shine.

The performance opens with a pre-recorded warning from Lena Heady (Cersei Lannister). Her voice booms over the dark concert hall, requesting that everyone silence their cell phones. “Those who violate these rules will be boiled alive in the blood of their children,” she threatens.

From start to finish, Djawadi combines stage effects with his live orchestra, playing various scenes from the show as they sync up with his selection of soundtrack songs.

One such is a family montage dedicated to the Starks. A soloist stands on one end of the 360° stage, playing the mournful Stark theme. As the song builds up to its heartbreaking conclusion, Ned’s execution scene plays out on the enormous screens while a weirwood tree rises from the stage around the violinist. As Ned’s death comes closer, the tree blooms with red petals — petals that eventually come showering down on fans standing near that section of the stage.

It’s enough to make you weep. Some fans do.

game of thrones live concertThe sequence of music chosen by Djawadi is chronologically matched with the show’s seasons, as fans relive both the best and most dire moments of their favorite characters. Djawadi purposefully places the Lannisters’ tribute and a chilling cover of “Rains of Castamere” right before the tragic Red Wedding scene plays out on screen.

Expect the crowd to cheer or boo when certain characters appear on the screen. Boos for Cersei Lannister, Walder Frey, or Ramsay Bolton, and cheers for the “King in the North!” and “Mhysa!” (Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen).
From our living rooms, we watched Daenerys’ dragons take flight over her new army; here the spectacle plays out on a giant screen. There are even real fire bursts synced with the on-screen dragons:

If you’re not a fan who re-watches every episode and can recognize every soundtrack listing, Djawadi’s concert acts as a part-educational, part-nostalgia. However, if you are a hardcore re-watcher, you’ll be able to guess what’s coming next based on small musical cues.

“Rains of Castamere” is probably the most well-known piece of music, and because of its importance to future events, it had to be written before the series started filming. We first heard it during the first episode of Season Two. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) walks into the small council meeting], whistling the theme. It’s also played at the beginning of the Red Wedding, cuing the massacre’s start. Moreover, Bronn sings part of the song while waiting for the Battle of the Blackwater to begin.

Vengeance, violence, vicious, love, lust, nudity, sexual decadence, demons, witchcraft, assassins, humanoids, mysticism, bribery, bastards, rape, murder, cruelty, poisons, executions, scientific deviance, torture, fantasy, S&M, hate, love, war, beauty, decadence, evil, rivalry, incest, betrayal, dragons, eunuchs, Feel free, fans, to add to the list.

In the Seven Kingdoms, summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. The struggle for the Iron Thrones goes on and on and on.

Even people who dislike the series can’t deny its magnificent cinematography. For fans, it’s seductive, obsessive and addictive. It is said that bingers watched all seven seasons in a single week. Now they can relive it in a single evening.

About Ramin Djawadi
Djawadi has composed and produced over one hundred soundtracks and film scores for both film and TV. His best-known work is the score of Game of Thrones, along with other television shows such as Prison Break, Person of Interest and Westworld. He is also known for film scores such as Pacific Rim, Iron Man, and Warcraft.

The Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi plays at 8pm on September 6th at KeyArena. The show is comprised of two acts, with a fifteen-minute intermission between each hour or so of music. Tickets range from $20 – $200 and can be purchased at the Key Arena Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone toll-free at (800) 745-3000. All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees.

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About Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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