Experiencing the music of Danny Elfman

Danny-Elfman-620x483I’ll admit this right now: I’m probably one of the most uncultured people on the NR staff. Fancy occasions like orchestral concerts generally aren’t my thing. I mean, I play video games all day, what do you expect?

However, I do make exceptions, and a concert for Danny Elfman’s music from a number of early Tim Burton movies is one of those exceptions I’m willing to make. And after attending last night’s performance, I was glad I made it.

Elfman has been a large contributor for the music in Tim Burton’s movies for years, and while I may not care for some of Burtons more modern films, particularly ones where he thinks he’s capable of handling remakes or retellings, you can’t deny that Elfman’s music is by and large one of the strongest factors in them. Because of their partnership, the music has become just as much a part of the brand as Burton’s insistence on having Johnny Depp play in almost every movie he directs.

AP2_4613hiresWhether you love or hate Burton’s films, Elfman’s music always finds a way to come out strong, and this concert was meant to show just how. The orchestra went through numerous films from the Elfman/Burton catalogue, including Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and Batman. Even Mars Attacks and Big Fish, two of the more obscure films in their resume, received attention, all led by famed conductor John Mauceri, known for being the first music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, among other musical accolades.

Of course, the big draw of the night was when Danny Elfman himself took the stage during the later part of Act 2, singing familiar Nightmare Before Christmas songs to the packed crowd. Elfman was definitely getting into it as well, doing short dances during overtures, employing mannerisms when he was doing his original vocals, and even getting Mauceri to take part when they did Oogie Boogie’s Song. The biggest surprise of the evening came from Catherine O’Hara, the original voice actor for Sally, making an appearance to sing Sally’s Song, much to the delight of everyone in the Nokia Theater.

If you’re a fan of Danny Elfman’s music, Tim Burton’s movies, or even both, then you definitely owe it to yourself to check this event out, especially since tonight is its last show. Tickets are still available through the Nokia Theater website, though they are guaranteed to sell out fast, so get them quick.

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