Hans Zimmer Live 2017 Review


There’s an advantage of going to see a concert for a second time.  You know what to expect – you’re losing yourself in the moment as you (and the thousand of fans in attendance) spends time with your favourite artist.

On Thursday 15th June 2017 at the SSE Arena Wembley in London, I went to see Hans Zimmer and his orchestra again in concert.

I mentioned in my review from last year that seeing Hans Zimmer perform arguably the best film soundtracks of this modern generation, a dream come true.  Second time around?  Even better!

Hans Zimmer, the rockstar turned his concert up to 11…and broke it!

The evening began in a sincere and emotional manner which was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience.  After the opening medley, Hans announced that the ticket money from tonight’s performance will be donated to Grenfell Tower, a London tower block which went up in flames in the early hours of Wednesday 14th June.  With residents presumed missing/dead and many left homeless, the public outcry and response to the tragedy has been one out of empathy, injustice and a shared humanity.  Hans’s daughter is a volunteer and considering London is Hans’s second home, it was the best gesture ever imaginable.

The set list largely remained the same from last year.  This is Hans and the band essentially playing the “greatest hits” from his soundtrack library.  The music definitely does all the talking.  But this time around there were a few changes.  The production values for example dramatically bigger this time around and became much more of a visual experience as well as audio.  That was felt certainly in the performances of Crimson Tide, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Thin Red Line and The Dark Knight Trilogy.  Probably the best and most insane change was incorporating the Wonder Woman theme into the set list.  I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again – the Wonder Woman theme is one of the most badass piece of film music you’ll hear and the live performance was stunning.

What hasn’t changed is Hans himself!  He still recognises the collaborative nature of the band.  They’re family to him and everyone gets their moment to shine in the most incredible way.  In between performances there are moments of reflection as he sets the mood for an upcoming track.  His personal stories involving film directors or his music experience are always great to hear.  Stories about Gladiator still remain my favourite – from the opening battle scene where he excitedly thought they were filming in Germany until he realised the set was in Surrey, England to an incorporation of a female voice into the soundtrack for a film that is largely male-dominated.

That’s the beauty about Hans Zimmer’s music.  There’s always an emotional connection that’s felt.  If you asked me what is my favourite Hans Zimmer track it would be Now We Are Free from Gladiator.  It’s soulful and beautifully engaging and whether it’s in context with the film or live on stage as performed by Czarina Russell, it touches my heart – every single time.

There were moments of fun as well. Hans Zimmer invited his good friend Trevor Horn from The Buggles and played Video Killed the Radio Star.  If you don’t know – Hans used to play in that band and you can briefly see him in the music video playing the keyboards.  Both Trevor and Hans performed a rap on stage.  It’s one of those moments where it was so funny, I wished I recorded it!

I’m going to let my photos below do the talking but all I can say is if you have the opportunity to see Hans Zimmer live and you are a fan of his work, do not hesitate.  If you do, you’re missing out on an outstanding, film score experience of a lifetime.

“Music has the power to move people, to affect them in a way that is visceral.  It can transcend politics, bring cultures together and inspire people to learn and take action.  If my musical scores can contribute in some way to effecting change, I will have accomplished an important personal goal.” – Hans Zimmer (2017 programme notes)

Music Set List:

Part One

  • Driving Miss Daisy / Sherlock Holmes / Madagascar
  • Crimson Tide
  • Gladiator
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • The Lion King
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Part Two

  • True Romance
  • Rain Man
  • Man of Steel / Wonder Woman
  • The Thin Red Line
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy
  • Aurora
  • Interstellar
  • Inception


To enlarge an image, click below.


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