Trailer Music Live in New York : an Audience Perspective

This is a review by guest author Mike Vallone, who attended the Trailer Music Live concert in New York last Saturday, Feb. 19.

I have to say before I talk about the show, that I feel incredibly fortunate to have seen both Trailer Music Live (TML) shows in Santa Monica and also New York City. I never had thought in my wildest dreams that I would see a whole concert dedicated to trailer music, nevermind get to see it twice. I will try to bring my experience of both into the review on the TML concert in NYC. Also, if I forget some of the cues that were performed I apologize in advance, but I do remember most of them :-).

So living in New Jersey, it was just a short train ride into NYC to get to the concert. I went with my brother (also a huge trailer music fan) and got there about 40 minutes early. Overhearing some conversations from people around me, it seemed as if many in attendance were not hardcore fans, but more just interested in the genre and excited about what they would hear.

My seat was in the center orchestra, row J, which I thought was one of the best seats in the house (in Santa Monica, I was in the 2nd row and it was slightly difficult to see everyone on stage and the screen). The lights dimmed just after 8pm and the concert started to what was nearly a packed house. The “TML prologue” that was performed first really set the stage for what would be an epic night of music and trailers. “Dark Side of the Power” was played next, which was soon followed by “An Epic Age”, which really got the crowd and myself included engaged in the show.

After the first few cues that were played, Yoav Goren spoke to the crowd, along with a narrator, who both talked about what trailer music is and how there are companies like Immediate Music who’s sole purpose is creating music for trailers. Continuing with the first half of the show, the cues “Electric Romeo” and “Seranada Immortale” were played since none of the lead vocals from Globus were there. I actually enjoyed the change since I had already seen Globus perform both Europa” and “Orchard of Mines” in Santa Monica.

Then, Yoav Goren spoke again explaining how he created “La Coronacion” and how it was used in the Elizabeth trailer. The performance after was phenominal, with the footage of the Elizabeth trailer projected on the big screen. That was one of my favorite tracks played that night. “Empyrean Mercenaries” and “Birth of a Nation” were also performed during the first half of the concert, which were received with loud applause. By the time I realized it, it was the intermission, and I could almost sense a slight shock from the people around me of how great trailer music really is (which I have no idea how they didn’t know that before!! :-)). To begin the second half of the show, Yoav apologized to the crowd as the video screen did not work during a couple of the cues played in the beginning of the concert (which I was wondering about at the time). He asked the crowd if they wouldn’t mind hearing a couple of the cues played again with the trailers on the screen this time, which of course was received with applause. “Dark Side of the Power” and “An Epic Age” were played again, this time with the trailers played simultaneously. To hear those cues performed again (and they are both two of my favorites) was extra special.

Soon after that, the voice of a trailer voiceover artist spoke the the crowd and introduced himself, and in comedic fashion I must add. The narrator then asked the crowd to be a supervisor and vote on which cue would best suit The Defiance trailer, after having just shown it without music (which they also did in the Santa Monica concert). They then proceeded to play excerpts fromJourney to the Front,” “Igor’s Theme” (which really got the crowd laughing) and “Prometheus Rising.” Even though everyone applauded the one they wanted, Yoav mentioned that ultimately it’s the movie studios that decide which one will be picked, and said that both “Journey to the Front” as well as “Prometheus Rising” were actually chosen for The Defiance trailers/promos. The performances of both were great with the trailer shown on the screen.

“Preliator,” “Arcana,” (my personal favorite Immediate cue) and “Age of Discovery” soon followed, and before I realized it, the narrator mentioned that there would be only a few more cues before the concert would end. Yoav then spoke saying that although you may only hear 15 seconds of a trailer cue when you watch a trailer, the whole piece in its entirety is something great. “Oratio Sanctus” and “Crusaders of the Light” were performed, which really showed what Yoav meant by his statement. “Sarabande” followed, which, despite an awkward finish of the piece, was executed remarkably well. The show ended with “Diem Ex Dei,” which although performed well, didn’t line up with the final trailer footage on screen which then created a somewhat awkward ending.

Despite the minor hiccups near the end, however, the crowd gave a loud applause for what was an extremely epic night of music. As much as I loved this concert, however, I would be lying if I didn’t mention that I was a little disappointed in some of the execution with some of the pieces played during the concert, as well as the syncing of the trailers played on screen. In a couple of the pieces performed (“Age of Discovery” and “Preliator” are a couple I recall), there were times that either the pitch or the tempo were drastically off, which unfortunately took away from the awesomeness of those pieces. Before one piece, the drummer Todd Waetzig began playing “Archangel” when it was an entirely different piece being played. The trailers on screen were also either not playing when they should’ve been or when they were playing, they weren’t syncing with the live performance of the cues on stage. Having said all of that, however, I realize how difficult it must be to pull off a concert as grand as TML with over 100 musicians on stage without having some mistakes. With this only as TML’s second ever performance, I can understand that the concert probably won’t be perfect as of yet.

Overall, my second TML experience was fantastic. To hear trailer music played live is a dream come true for me, as I would consider myself to be a hardcore fan of the genre. Even better than that, however, was seeing the excitement in the people around me during the show. Right in front of me were two parents with their two young children, and all four of them were really getting into the show. When I looked to my right I could see what I’m sure was a trailer music fan as he was singing along to the Latin lyrics (as was I :-P) Behind me were a group of young women so overawed by what they were hearing. It’s those observations that made me excited about where the genre of trailer music is headed.

It made me so thrilled that Yoav and Immediate Music created TML, not just for trailer music fans, but also to open up the eyes and ears of the general music listener. Trailer music is a genre that needs to be heard in its own setting, and TML has created just that atmosphere. To conclude, I urge any of you that live in the areas that TML will go to in the future, to find a way to attend and support trailer music, starting with their next show in April in Moscow. It was an absolute joy and privledge to hear trailer music played live, and I hope all of you will get an opportunity to see TML in person!

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February 22, 2011
Mike Vallone