Hans Zimmer at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, October 7, 2019 – Live Review

Chances are, if you love your movies, you would have heard of Hans Zimmer and his incredible compositions. The Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning composer last visited Australia in 2017 as part of his tour, “Hans Zimmer Revealed”. Finally returning last night to perform on Monday the 7th of October as part of “Hans Zimmer Live” and presented by MJR Presents, Hans Zimmer and his talented friends ended their 2019 run of their world tour in Melbourne, Australia at Rod Laver Arena.

With a collective of talented musicians and many being multi-instrumentalists, Zimmer triumphantly returned to Melbourne, equipped with his iconic and classic scores from films such as Gladiator, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, and Interstellar, just to name a few.

Humbled yet evidently proud of his accomplishments, Zimmer commanded the stage, but in a way that didn’t overshadow the other musicians. The spotlight often focused on the musician that took the lead of the performance, rather than linger on Zimmer himself. This choice is no doubt Zimmer’s, expressing to the Melbourne audience how proud he was to have such an internationally diverse and talented team share the stage with him. Not only did Hans Zimmer make sure to introduce every member of his team before or after they played a predominant role in delivering one of his pieces, but he always followed up his introductions with praise.

While every composition performed during “Hans Zimmer Live” is a work of art, there were many performances that stood out. Particularly, when cellist Tina Guo took the lead to perform the Pirates of the Caribbean medley; consisting of “Captain Jack Sparrow”, “One Day”, “Up Is Down” and “He’s A Pirate”. Becoming one with her white electric cello, it was hard not to be captivated by her dynamic, powerful yet passionate performance. I also loved when violinist Leah Zeger performed an exquisite and moving rendition of “Chevaliers de Sangreal” from The Da Vinci Code which gave me goosebumps, when guitarist Guthrie Govan stepped in to perform mind-blowing guitar solos throughout the show, and every time when I looked at Pedro Eustache, he was playing a different wind instrument, much to my surprise.

South African composer and producer Lebohang ‘Lebo M’ Morake was a wonderful nostalgic surprise for fans of The Lion King franchise when he took the stage to sing a medley consisting of “Circle of Life”, “Lea Haleleia” (also known as “Shadow Land” in the stage musical adaptation) and “King of Pride Rock”. After finishing his performance, Lebo M parted from the stage, but not before giving Hans Zimmer a grateful and affectionate hug for changing his life all those years ago back in 1994, when they worked on The Lion King together.

The lighting in “Hans Zimmer Live” acted as another instrument, used to help accentuate the music and create theatrics for the show. This was particularly evident when the Inception medley was performed; “Half Remembered Dream”, “Dream Is Collapsing”, “Mombassa” and “Time”, creating the peak moment of the concert.

“Time”, the final number, was extremely dramatic. Armed with a piano, Zimmer played the iconic piece to an attentive Melbourne crowd who had been waiting with bated breath to hear it all night. The audience were so respectfully silent during the song, you could hear a pin drop with how quiet it was during those final moments of the show. It’s no surprise that after, the entire arena gave Hans Zimmer and his team a thunderous standing ovation.

Although the Melbourne show was the final stop of the Australian tour, and the world tour for 2019, I would highly recommend seeing Hans Zimmer perform live, should he grace our shores with his presence again. Not only is it an absolute MUST for both film and music fans alike, but witnessing the most successful composer of our era on stage is an experience I promise you’ll never forget. I genuinelly cannot wait for Hans Zimmer to visit Australia again.

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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