Reviews

'Game of Thrones' Live Recaps Six Seasons of Westerosian History at Madison Square Garden

Composer Ramin Djawadi being thanked by actor Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark).

Game of Thrones epic live concert experience featuring Ramin Djawadi's powerful score also serves as a two hour "previously on..." catch-up for the upcoming seventh season.


'Game of Thrones' Live Concert

City: New York
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Date: 2017-03-07

I have heard about concerts for video game music (and had been to one of the Final Fantasy tours long ago) and live scores of films performed with a screening but, save for that one The Simpsons concert in California, I don't recall hearing about any television score performances. So if Game of Thrones Live is the first of its kind, the experience is a genuine treat for fans of HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels.

That is, if you are all caught up on the series. On giant screen above the kind-of in-the-round stage, some of the most heart-wrenching scenes, many large, climactic battles and generally all of potential spoilers from the first six seasons of the show are broadcast. This epic show is essentially a huge "previously on" summary leading up to season seven. During intermission there is even a teaser which shows props and sets being created before a hefty script promptly labeled "confidential" is dropped on a table.

But if you have seen through the end of season six, watching the clips on Jumbotrons enhances the atmosphere of the show, particularly a climactic battle between the Jon Snow and the Night's Watch and Ramsey Bolton and his army. I actually felt sorry for the VIPs seated on the floor close to the orchestra -- they couldn't witness those glorious moments.

Those VIPs could however get a better glimpse of the live action which included flames mimicking dragon breath, a performer wielding a long horn that resonated like a wooly mammoth trunk (which was appearing on screen) and the precipitation of pretty cool confetti as snow or rose petals. One awkward live action moment came as video clips tied Cersei to her imprisonment by the Sparrow's group and on stage, a singer dropped a cloak revealing a flesh-toned garment. I was concerned that chants of "shame" may have rained down on the singer -- fortunately they did not.

My other primary consideration about the experience is in regards to the music. Perhaps I wanted to experience the music in a setting more suitable for an orchestra -- one which allowed for audio to have more resonance and depth. All the sound emanated from the center. Djawadi's powerful score doesn't necessarily suffer from this and I can't see any way around it (given the arena setting) but maybe he'll eventually visit the music in smaller venues. At least Djawadi can now say he's played at the famous Madison Square Garden. And so can Game of Thrones which is only gonna get bigger from here.

Tour Dates:

3/9 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena

3/11 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - BB&T Center

3/12 - Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena

3/14 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena

3/16 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center

3/17 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center

3/19 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center

3/23 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum

3/25 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena

3/26 - Phoenix, AZ - TalkingStick Resort Arena

3/29 - San Jose, CA - SAP Center

3/31 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena

4/1 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena

4/2 - Portland, OR - Moda Center

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