Updated: 19th April 2018

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience review Westeros brought to dazzling life

The ambitious event gives fans a musical tour though classic moments from the series and offers a few visual flourishes along the way

In the annals of television history, there hasnt been anything quite like Game of Thrones. After six seasons, the epic mythological series has captivated audiences worldwide thanks to its massive scope, layered storylines and shocking twists all adding up to global fandom and critical praise. Perhaps its no surprise then that its stage show would exist on a similar plane.

The product of a partnership between HBO and concert producers Live Nation, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience both complements the series and serves as a thank you for devoted fans while shining a spotlight on the shows composer, Ramin Djawadi, and the lush score he created for the series. Stopping at Madison Square Garden while on a nationwide tour, the Concert Experience puts that score on full display thanks to a large orchestra, which hums along as clips from throughout the shows six-year run play on monitors up above. Its famously extensive tales of love, war, heroism and tragedy, starring the shows dozens of characters, are streamlined into a chronological montage of the shows most important scenes and story points, giving avid Thrones watchers a refresher on the ups and downs of life in Westeros.

Wisely knowing that the whole affair would lack that essential wow factor if it were simply an orchestral show, the producers sprinkled in as many eye candy elements that could fit on to the Gardens massive stage to transport audiences through sight and sound to the shows fantastical world. At certain points, trees grow out of the stage that later literally shed their leaves (AKA confetti), a snowstorm hits with flakes overtaking the Garden, and smoke billows to represent the war-torn lives the Thrones characters have had to endure. In addition, a massive pyrotechnics rig shoots fire into the air during key moments, the reality of the flames unmistakable as the audience actually begins to feel the heat.

Moments like these were the definite highlights of the night, adding a layer of needed suspense to storylines many already knew by heart. They were also key due to the fact that the gargantuan screens above the stage consistently played clips sans dialogue which, while fun at first, slightly wore on after two hours and virtually ensured that you had to have seen every episode to understand what was being shown. However, the reactions of the audience themselves was another facet to the shows charm, with many hooting for their favorite characters. Peter Dinklages Tyrion Lannister garnered the loudest cheers, as did Kit Harringtons ubiquitous Jon Snow.

Despite all of the fanfare that takes up the stage, the real focus, however, is the music. Featuring an array of epic battle anthems and love ballads, theyre all the brainchild of Djawadi who takes center stage throughout the show. Unassuming in personality and stature, Djawadi has built a beast of a score for the series, including its famed theme song that despite not having any lyrics, has become an instantly recognizable ode for the series, spawning a multitude of covers that fans and musicians post online as a testament to their Thrones passion.

Its that passion that makes the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience just one part of an expanding Game of Thrones universe. Taking a page out of the Star Wars playbook, the series has launched a variety of ancillary projects and offshoots, including the aptly named Con of Thrones. Set to launch in Nashville this summer, the three-day festival serves as a convention for fans of the series and will be a mecca for the worlds that author George RR Martin created.

In an interview with the Guardian last year, Djawadi explained that the idea for the Concert Experience was hatched after the composer was playing fresh cuts of tracks for Thrones showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff. They said, I want to see this live. How cool would it be if we had a choir and an orchestra on stage?

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us