Film music is a still relatively unknown genre: everyone loves it, but most of the people don't even know its existence. Stop a person in the street, play them a big film music soundtrack like Pirates of the Caribbeans or Star Wars, and I can guarantee you that everyone will tell you that they absolutely love it. But if you see how many of them know the name of the track, the composer, you'll realise that the vast majority of it didn't even know that that music existed anywhere else outside of the film. Film music is still seen as part of the film, not as a single entity, as there is no marketing for this kind of music, unlike the other popular music genres. However, you'll find that the few of them who actively searched the soundtrack of the films they liked, they absolutely love film music and epic music. Epic and film music fans are not just normal fans, who enjoy a bit of music here and there; most of the times they are obsessed with film music, they are in a deep relationship with this kind of music and they can't stop listening to it.
Search on YouTube the most popular film music songs or those hours-long epic music playlists, and you will see millions of views, sometimes tens of millions. With no marketing at all! Some pop artists struggle to make these numbers with millions of dollars spent on marketing, how on earth can this kind of music easily make millions of views with no marketing? The answer is simple: because people truly love it, and the epic music fanbase is extremely strong.
So, why on earth didn't all those businessmen behind the music labels realise it? Why there are hundreds of thousands of pop concerts and events every day all around the world, labels pumping out music like a factory and new artists rising every day, while for this very loved music genre we often have to scrape together epic music that hasn't even been designed to be played by an audience, but merely for being licensed in trailers, and still we gather millions of views, and still, no one in the business industry is doing anything to make this kind of music more "alive" for the fanbase? Why there are few or no epic and film music concerts, while there are millions of people interested in it?
In this article, we will try to analyse and explain this fact, and we will see what film music concerts are available currently. We are film and epic music composers ourselves, if you want to listen to your music and support us, you can do it here.
Film music concerts in the past
First of all, you need to remember that film music comes originally from classical music. When cinema started in the 20th century, classical music was almost at its edge, but still was powerful. Many of the last classical music composers like Prokofiev became also film composers. And until the latest years, this correlation between classical and film soundtracks was evident; even if the 80s were the years of music innovation, most of the film soundtracks were still orchestra based. The big shift happened very recently, in the last 20 years or so, with people like Hans Zimmer.
So, before this shift, film music lovers were pretty much the same as classical music lovers, and if you wanted a film music concert, you would have had more or less a classical concert: a theatre, an orchestra, a conductor, etc. And that's how film music concerts were in the past: many orchestras like the London Symphony Orchestra played film music both in concerts with other classical music or just "tributes" to film soundtracks. However, film composers like John Williams rarely did "tours" with the orchestra, since they were too busy composing for Hollywood.
Other types of film music concerts were playing the music live with an orchestra during the screening of the film itself. But in this article we are not even analysing this, because it's not a concert of the music, it's just a screening of the film with amore entertaining way of playing the soundtrack underneath it.
The shift: Hans Zimmer Revealed
Even if during the last two decades composers like Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL made film soundtracks way more modern, experimental, "pop" and electronic, none of them ever thought of doing a concert that was more reflecting the new style of this genre. Not even all the epic music composers, like Two Steps From Hell, ever thought of doing that. Until five years ago, if you wanted a film music concert you had to go to a classical music concert.
But this suddenly changed in 2014, when Hans Zimmer decided, as an experiment, to do the "Hans Zimmer Revealed" concert at the Apollo theatre, in Hammersmith, London.
I remember that at that time I just moved to London, literally a couple of weeks before. I was wandering around the internet to see things to do to explore the city, my new home, and I randomly found it. What a coincidence! It wasn't promoted anywhere really, it was just Hans Zimmer telling people something like "hey, I'm doing a concert and if you want to come great". I obviously grabbed my ticked with lightspeed. The concert was an experiment thought by Hans, of a more modern form of a film music concert, way more similar to a rock concert than a classical concert. The orchestra was smaller, and the players were standing up dancing rather than sat down. It was more a show than a performance, with a stunning light show, miscellaneous instruments, special guests like Johnny Marr and moving comments of Hans related to his career.
Even if it had almost no marketing, this concert was a huge success. I am not afraid to say that I had tears during that concert. It was one of the best moments of my life. At that moment I realised that that was the moment of shift, and film music was finally starting to be "popular".
The Hans Zimmer Live Tour
A year later, I discovered that the Hans Zimmer Revealed concert in London was a test to test the ground for an enormous world tour, the first modern film music concert tour, which was basically the same concept but way, way bigger: the Hans Zimmer Live tour. Hans played this spectacular concert in massive arenas in the biggest capitals of Europe and the world. And they all sold out.
Hans then did a second tour in 2017, even bigger, touring in almost 50 different cities, from London to New York, from Helsinki to Vienna. The same year, he played at the famous electronic music festival Coachella. The new era of film music and film music concerts was started.
What happened after
After the enormous success of Hans Zimmer's experiments, the industry started to raise interest in doing modern film music concerts. In 2016, Bryan Tyler did a concert in London (we went to it, nothing incredibly innovative, but still a great achievement).
In 2019 Hans Zimmer announced a new tour: The World of Hans Zimmer, that will tour the world again, but this time without Hans (as he's busy composing new music). In the same year, Disney announced a small tour of Danny Elfman's The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert.
The future of film music concerts is very bright
We strongly believe that in the future film music and epic music will become more and more popular, and so film music concerts will be. Modern concerts like the Hans Zimmer one will be way more frequent in the past. However, today, it still seems that it will take a while, as the amount of concerts of this type is still very limited.
We are going to do a film music concert tour!
Ok, we don't want to be pretentious, but we think we will substantially contribute to this evolution. We are designing a film music concert quite similar to the Hans Zimmer one, but tailored to a three people band (violin, guitars and synths), and more electronic, a mix of a live set, a classical concert and a rock concert, playing originals and the most famous film music rearranged. Plus, this will be accompanied by a great light show. We will announce the dates very soon. Interested? You can read more about it here.