The legendary horror and science fiction movie director John Carpenter, who has also composed or co-composed the music of most of his films, offered last month of October a tour named ‘John Carpenter – Anthology 2018 Tour’. He stopped in 8 European cities, to give his final concert in Los Angeles on the 31st (read news).
Rafa Melgar, collaborator of SoundTrackFest, attended the concert offered on Saturday 13th @ 6 pm, at the Auditori Meliá Sitges in Sitges (Barcelona, Spain), within the framework of the Sitges Film Festival, and leaves us a summary article that we can read below.
The director and composer John Carpenter traveled on October 13th to what could perfectly be HOLY LAND for the lover of terror and fantasy: Sitges Film Festival. It is impossible to think of a more propitious scenario for the horror master to make us enjoy with a ‘weapon’ that was used disturbingly in his films: his music.
Carpenter is a cult director of the best horror films of the 80s, 90s… and of any decade he wants. He is the father of Michael Myers (Halloween), ‘The Fog’, ‘The Thing’, ‘Prince of Darkness’, ‘Village of the Damned’ or ‘Christine’, and I have to stop, or I will continue with an extensive and exquisite list of films that you should compulsory watch. I grew with his movies, and surely you, who are reading this at the moment, were also a video-club addict like me, trying to get some of those movies there.
The Auditori Melià Sitges knew about the magnitude of the event. Fans with “pedigree”, nobody was there by mistake. If you were not one who bought VIP ticket plus the Meet & Greet, then it was time to wait more than two hours in line to get in and to get the best possible seat. Once the door was open, we all went in an orderly fashion and running in the Michael Myers style.
John Carpenter is an old rocker, that’s undoubtable. Since he appeared on stage he had the style and attitude of a legendary ROCK STAR; his silly swing to the keyboard, his restless jaw (chewing gum or whatever), a band of musicians who loiter around him, and a raised fist as symbol of anarchy and communion with the public.
The staging was already revealed by previous concerts. Each theme played was accompanied by scenes of the movie. It was not a surprise and it was exactly what we wanted.
The first piece was received with heartbreaking cries. The theme which would open the concert was ‘Escape from New York’, to shake the tension of the moment.
‘Lost Themes I’ and ‘Lost Themes II’ (studio albums that are not attached to any movie) did not clash at all in the concert, and despite being two recent works, they retain the composer’s trademark. Electronics and synthesizers at full throttle. A concert for nostalgic people; a time machine of sound, that unintentionally moved me to my teenager years when I first saw ‘Hallowen’. Clapping with the rhythm, whistles, and controlled excitement by the seats. Being in a movie theater made everything more cinematic.
There was even an auto tribute and implied joke with the main theme of ‘They Live’, when Carpenter and his band paused the concert to put on their sunglasses, like the protagonist of the film did. Maybe to find out if there was an extraterrestrial among the audience?
Undoubtedly ‘The Fog’ that flooded the last day of the Sitges festival was a man who has gray hair and made a revival of his entire musical / movie career, leaving everything well tied, with no space for the disappointment of his fans. And without brakes and accelerating to the bottom, the end of the concert arrived with the theme of the movie ‘Christine’.
At 70 years old and with energy to continue way longer, Spanish rock singer Miguel Ríos used to say… “I found myself with twenty more years on the road… A long way that teaches me… That old rockers never die…”. Because the master of horror can be many things, but without a doubt, he’s an old Rocker.
Article by Rafa Melgar