November 15, 2017 | Review & Photos by Rob Watts
What can I say about Director, Writer, Producer, Composer, John Carpenter, that hasn’t already been said? The man is one of the greatest Filmmakers of our time and in his over forty years of filmmaking, he’s managed to entertain the masses with classic films such as They Live, Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, Escape from New York and Christine, just to name a few. In addition to filmmaking, Carpenter has a knack (and yearning) for scoring his own films; everyone knows the haunting theme song from Halloween—it’s embedded in our heads, but many of Carpenter’s hardcore fans appreciate just about every film soundtrack he’s produced. Most notably The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween 3, Escape from New York and Prince of Darkness. These particular soundtracks are synth heavy and lend very well to his imagery on screen. Which perhaps makes sense that Carpenter has decided to take his music bank on the road, performing with a live stellar lineup of musicians as clips of his accompanying films play behind them on stage. I can’t think of any other director who could pull this off with such panache while commanding near-capacity crowds every night on tour.
Opening with Escape from New York, fans were treated to the classic theme as imagery from the film blasted its way on screen. This was followed by Assault on Precint 13 and The Fog—at which point, a fog machine threw fog about the stage as the performers played on. Of course the classics were pulled out, including Halloween and Big Trouble in Little China, but one of the highlights and crowd favorites was the theme to the classic cult film, They Live. Carpenter and his band mates donned black sunglasses during the song, referencing the key element to the film. The finale was the theme to the classic film, Christine, which had just recently received the re-issue treatment on special edition vinyl. The Thing has fans cheering and perhaps and out of place addition was the beautifully composed theme to Starman, which was originally performed by Jack Nitzsche for the film.
It’s great to see a man nearly 70 years old in age, after all the accolades and rewards from filmmaking, taking the leap into live performance after all these years, bringing his classic movie themes that fans have loved over so many years, out on the road with a solid lineup of musicians—including himself. Hopefully he’ll continue this for the next few years; people deserve to enjoy as much of his work as possible—be it, film, comic books, soundtrack music or live performances.