When I first saw a article on a horror website, that John Carpenter was releasing his second studio album; Lost Themes 2. Without hesitation I had to check this out. Being a long time John Carpenter fan for his movies mostly; They Live, Halloween, The Thing and Christine, the list goes on. It wasn't long until I had my copy of Lost Themes 2 and as soon as the first song was played "Distant Dreams", it brought back the goosebumps and chills from his own score soundtracks from all of his films.
Shortly after listening to Lost Themes 2 for a few weeks, it was announced that he would tour under the release while also playing music from his films, a retrospective of the music of his career. Which when announced there was very few dates in the UK and nothing nearby me.
Round about May time, a local festival in Bristol, Simple Things at The Colston Hall, announced a special guest to close their weekend of music and that was non-other than John Carpenter himself, without hesitation I bought a ticket for the night, this was the moment that all his memorable works of film music was going to be brought to life for a live audience with John Carpenter at the helm with his synths and his incredible backing band.
After a quick queue at the venue, I was in and ready to witness for myself after all the glowing reports of his previous performances, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see John Carpenter perform live; 2016 has been the first time ever, he has gone out and done a music tour.
With no support bands, this was a evening with gig, which added to the excitement and the impending arrival of John Carpenter to the stage.
As the lights dimmed the sold out crowd gave a loud cheer, to the members of the band entering the stage shortly followed by the horror master himself, John Carpenter!
As John Carpenter got himself in position to conduct his 5* band; which consisted of Cody Carpenter on Synthesizer, Daniel Davies on the Guitar, John Spiker on Bass, John Konesky on Guitar and Scott Seiver on Drums.
Myself and the crowd was in for the musical treat, opening up the set tonight was the main title theme from Escape of New York, in no time did Mr Carpenter prove that the band he had backing him was nothing short of amazing!
All the members from the band where brilliant but his guitarist Daniel Davies, is a very underrated guitar player, this guy can nail solo's while adding feeling and emotion to the tracks from the films when guitars where not present, which added a whole different level to the music that myself and the sold out crowd had never experienced.
Through out the set Mr Carpenter gave the current contestants of Strictly Come Dancing a run for their money, at various times he got his jig on and with a strong reception from the crowd soaked up every moment, even at 68 you can jive to a sold out crowd with devil horns up in the air.
Highlights of the set was some of my favourite film themes such as They Live, Big Trouble in Little China Town, Christine and the timeless classic Halloween, which along with the large screen backdrop projecting scenes from the films added that extra connection to the music being played live. Various songs from his two studio albums; Lost Themes 1 and 2, such as Distant Dream, Night, Wraith and Vortex, was also thrown into the mix.
When I first heard about this tour and the show at the Simple Things festival, I had to jump at the chance to see this possible once in a lifetime gig, I was left hoping that this wasn't to be a one off and that myself and the fans leaving the show, would be returning to his next tour (fingers crossed he enjoyed the tour as much as I did and comes back soon!).
Everything I had heard about the show that Mr Carpenter and his band put on was spot on, if not more better then I expected. Everything from the mini introductions to the songs, to the back drop screen, which came into a life of its own when the late Rowdy Piper (who starred in They Live) appeared on the screen was greeted with a large roar from the crowd.
In the wise words of the master of horror John Carpenter "I directed horror movies, I love horror movies, horror movies will live forever...." with that the theme for Halloween was blasted through the PA system and that will be the one moment from the gig I will cherish for life.
Review By Rob Knight