The legendary Master of Horror himself, is bringing his own personal touch of darkness to live audiences this year, in the flesh and on stage, through live performances of his killer soundtracks! That’s right, John Carpenter, the man who has brought you iconic pop culture characters like Michael Meyers of the Halloween series is on tour!
Since Carpenter wrote the soundtracks to many of his own films, it’s amazing to see him recreate the movie magic in a live concert setting. If you think the eerie atmosphere of horror classics like The Fog or Christine sounds creepy coming out of your TV set, seeing it come to life before your eyes is another beast entirely.
One thing that made this a unique experience is the way in which Carpenter angled all of the screens featuring music videos made of clips from each film of which he was playing the theme. Since there was no lead vocalist or lyrics to get lost in, he managed to create a wildly cinematic onstage experience in a way most audiences don’t get with other live performances.
Carpenter kicked off the evening by opening with the theme from the dystopian cyber-punk classic action thriller Escape From New York. The audience was like the band of misfits in the movie that watch Kurt Russell kick ass as Snake Plissken, cheering him on in the Duke of New York’s arena as he fights for his life. Carpenter then cut straight into cult favorites like the intense synthesizer symphony of the theme for Assault on Precinct 13, They Live! and the wildly underrated movie, Starman.
Carpenter continued to blast through bombastic classic cuts from brilliantly chilling films like The Thing, which was originally written by mastermind maestro Ennio Morricone. Morricone made a name for himself writing legendary movie themes like The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly as well as Once Upon in the West. Watching Carpenter and his crew of musicians conjure this kind of sonic sorcery in front of an audience was pure magic.
Allowing yourself to get lost in such an engaging and immersive experience is a great reminder of all the elements that make John Carpenter a true auteur. His ability to create thrills, tension, atmosphere and suspense is exactly what pop culture could use more of, especially right now. Seeing this side of his body of work opening itself up to allow audiences to experience it in a whole new is a wonder unto itself.
John Carpenter’s Set List:
1. Escape From New York
2. Assault on Precinct 13: Main Title
3. Village of the Damned: March of the Children
4. The Fog: Main Title Theme
7. They Live: Coming to L.A.
8. Starman: Starman Leaves (Jack Nitzsche cover)
9. The Thing: Main Theme – Desolation (Ennio Morricone cover)
10. Distant Dream
11. Big Trouble in Little China: Pork Chop Express
13. Halloween Theme – Main Title
14. In the Mouth of Madness: In the Mouth of Madness
15. Body Bags
16. Vampires: Santiago
17. Prince of Darkness: Darkness Begins
18. Christine: Christine Attacks (Plymouth Fury)