Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring in Concert
October 15, 2011
The Honda Center
I watched the Fellowship of the Ring for the first time on Saturday night.
Okay, no, that's a blatant fucking lie (the first time might have been at midnight on the night of December 19, 2001 in a theater somewhere in a suburb of Los Angeles, but then again, I'm not sure if that's something I should admit), but it sure felt like it was the first time again.
Lord of the Rings in Concert was the perfect intersection of film, fandom and music, an event that made you forget juuuust a little bit about J.R.R. Tolkien's story or even how goddamn dreamy that Viggo Mortensen is and appreciate the intense labor and art that went into the soundtrack behind it all. And all it took was some 200 musicians--the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale, Phoenix Boys Choir, soprano Kaitlyn Lusk and Maestro Ludwig Wicki--on the stage of the Honda Center one night in October to help you realize it.
Anaheim was just one stop of nine for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring in Concert. Here's how it works: The complete first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, played in its entirety on a 60-foot screen above and behind the 200-piece troupe of musicians.
The only disappointing part of the night was the tiny exhibit of movie props, though the few that were available were pretty killer to see in person: a pair of hairy Hobbit feet, Gimli's axe, a Ringwraith outfit, an Orc and some other weapons, shields and helmets.
My favorite part about these sorts of things--Comic-Cons, midnight screenings, fan conventions, whatever--is the obvious die-hard dedication fans had to get here. While attendees in cosplay were scarce, there were a handful of hobbits running around--complete with their own hairy feet.
But the audience reactions to the film made it an even more delightful evening; when fans cheered for their favorite characters they've seen and read over and over again recite the same lines they'd heard over and over again on that DVD they've played over and over again.
Oh, you know, like:
- "'I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. 'Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee.' And I don't mean to."
- "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring."
- "The one ring to rule them all."
- "You shall not pass!"
- "Let's hunt some Orc."
- "Fly, you fools."
- "He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance."
- "If you want him, come and claim him!"
And so on. Not that I typed those all from memory. Nope.
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(Though, truth be told, the loudest cheers erupted when Dreamboat #2 Legolas first appeared on screen.)
Critic's Bias: Not even sure where to begin with this one, really.
Overheard in the Crowd: "[Gandalf appears on screen] He becomes Dumbledore later, right?"
Random Notebook Dump: My $5 order of french fries contained exactly 28 french fries. Also: The gal seated next to us cried at every given opportunity during the movie. Adorable.