I'm off to see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra perform this weekend. This post is spawned from a few thoughts that I'll try and tie it together. Knowing I was going to see the symphony this weekend, I started thinking of memorable symphony performances within the rock world. It got me thinking about kick ass hybrids of current rock/performers that have had some heightened help with a slew of backing strings, timpani and conducting...a full on orchestra. Am I talking about the Electric Light Orchestra, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or the patchouli wearing Animal Liberation Orchestra? Negative Ghostrider. I'm talking the real deal. I'm talking G-N-R's "November Rain." I'm talking about the supposedly first instance this happened - a 1969 "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Hell, I'm even stretching this as far to say Josh Ritter's performances with a 24-piece orchestra, the Boston Pops, or with young-gunner extraordinaire, Hillary Hahn.
After that, I remembered a question I ask a handful of music-savvy friends that I'll now ask you: What one concert/performer would you see if you could go back in time? I usually get Elvis, Beethoven, The Beatles, or even the Bob Marley or Zeppelin as common answers. None are wrong, it's your choice. So, what is the one performance you'd want to see? I think mine would be Led Zeppelin performing "Kashmir" with a fully symphony in the background adding some pepper and jalapeno to the earth-moving vocals and soul-ripping strumming of Page and Plant. I'd sit in the front row of the balcony during their full sound check rehearsal of "Kashmir" soaking in every vibration. Note: I WOULD post the song here but I'm timid as Led Zepplin's pockets are pretty deep for a tiny blog like this. So, if you don't know what song I'm talking about you have two options. 1.) where the hell have you been that you don't know "Kashmir"??? 2.) Buy it now and pretend you misplaced the album or your computer accidentally erased it.
Yes, Mozart would be a tough answer to beat. But what if I used my one chance to travel back in time and found out that Beethoven's 5th or Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's concertos debut involved 8 wretched villagers who just learned to play the violin instead of the imagined polished orchestra hired by the king? I have heard from reliable sources that Zeppelin's concerts are as I might picture them. So they are my answer. Anywhoo...happy Friday.
Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Josh Ritter & 24-piece Orchestra - Girl In The War
Led Zeppelin - Kashmir