Star Wars In Concert: First Night

by Richard Woloski

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Sarah, Dave Skale (Skywalking Through Neverland’s Rebel Spy) and I waited outside the Honda Center in Anaheim CA, dressed in our new Clone Wars Jedi outfits. This was the North America debut of Star Wars In Concert! For the first time ever (except in England when it was previously called Star Wars: A Musical Journey), there was going to be an official Lucasfilm sanctioned all-Star Wars concert.

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We arrived super early thinking the doors would open long before the concert since there was the accompanying gallery of props and artifacts. Nope. The doors wouldn’t be opening any sooner than normal which wouldn’t leave us much time to see these pieces before the concert.

We peered inside the frosted windows catching glimpses of the never-before-displayed costumes of Kit Fisto and Plo Koon. We also saw a Chewbacca costume, a Scout Trooper helmet and several Honda Center employees staring back at us as they got to aimlessly wander the exhibit. (They probably didn’t know Kit Fisto from Captain Kirk!)

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We waited patiently outside and took lots of pictures and engaging in Lightsaber battles with many of the kids who were dressed to the hilt. We even did a couple of interviews with the local press who didn’t know who we were costumed as (I love when reporters break a sweat and research what they’re reporting on before coming out to do their job).

Then the moment came. The doors opened and we piled in. We took in as much as we could before the lights flickered. The concert was about to start.

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We had great seats in the middle of the auditorium where we could see everything. From here we could see the whole stage and were in perfect place to take advantage of the speaker system. The concert began and Lightsabers ignited and fans roared with excitement. Footage from the Star Wars saga films was projected on a large LED screen at three stories tall. The screen is set to live performances of the Star Wars score composed by John Williams. 

Added 8/3/2014:

Patty Hammond (@PattyBones2) was able to score front row seats to Star Wars In Concert in Detroit! She was gracious enough to lend us some VIDEO footage and PICS from the Concert.
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The concert was narrated by Anthony Daniels wearing his iconic gold suit and conducted by Dirk Brossé, and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Star Wars In Concert used selected compositions from the Star Wars saga starting with The Phantom Menace and ending with the Return of the Jedi Although the musical selections were presented in order according to episode, the film clips did not correlate to the film the music is from, but correlate thematically.

Anthony Daniels’ introduction. He is 10 feet away!

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The Twin Sunset and Cantina Band:

Leia’s Theme:

Star Wars Main Theme:

The Imperial March:

Finale:

To view more pictures from Patty Hammond, please view her Flickr Photo Set and visit her Blog.

By the end of this musical journey, it felt like we just relived the saga on a personal level. The circle was now complete. It was because of the John Williams soundtracks that Sarah and I made a connection on our first date. I thought I knew every aspect of Star Wars, but Sarah broadened my horizons when it came to the music. I heard the scores as one great collective sound, but she broke down every composition by pointing out that each instrument has a unique characteristic which is used to signify specific characters or themes. For instance, Jabba’s theme is played by the largest and slowest sounding instrument, a tuba. When we see Luke in A New Hope, his entrance is signaled by the heroic French horn.

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After the concert we went back out into the foyer of the arena to study the many props and costumes that we had to hurry by at the beginning of the night. I had just gotten my new Droid R2-D2 phone from Verizon so I wanted to put it to use by taking pictures (who am I kidding, I just wanted to show everyone that I had the new R2-D2 phone, and, I didn’t hold back mentioning that I was the first customer on the west coast to get it). The three of us were striking various poses and taking pictures in front of a backdrop of Battle Droids running from the explosion from within the Droid Control Ship when a silver- haired man approached us.

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His name was Gregg Perloff and he was one of the producers of the event. He watched as these three adults in costume were acting like kids waving their Lightsabers and playing against the backdrops. He figured that we were big fans and since this was opening night, he was curious for our feedback of the concert. Of course we had nothing but rave reviews. (I stupidly said that I thought I paid too much for a concert mug. As a universal punishment the mug fell off my counter 2 weeks later and broke.)

He appreciated the comments and feedback, and asked if we had tickets for the next night. We told him no. He told us we do now.

Right place + right time + right outfits = free VIP seats. . We were taken aback that we were being put on the ‘special guest list’ by the producer of Star Wars In Concert. This was amazing! By my calculations, there were 17,000 people in that sold-out arena on that sold-out night the concert on the night, and out of those 17,000 he singled the three of us out. The Force was definitely with us, as were free concert tickets!

 

 

 

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