Concert Review. Hans Zimmer + “Lords of the Sound” = THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER.

This is a review on a concert, which took place on 5.11.23 – a concert of Hans Zimmer’s music in Tallinn performed by the “Lords of the Sound” ensemble and organized by the ART Partner CZ s.r.o.

As a professional musician, composer and producer with international experience, I participate and organize different events and concerts and have been waiting for this concert for a long time and was very excited.

I’ll start with what I liked about the concert. The conductor – Shahrokh Fathizadeh, – was excellent in my opinion: he made smooth tempo changes, conveying the character of the works, did interesting transitions between the themes and put in general a well-planned compilation of Zimmer’s works.

Further come things, that I didn’t like. The music was accompanied by some vague visuals on the background wall screen of the stage: constantly came pouring some kind of a pouring red liquid (blood?) over the poorly drawn and animated images. Windows Media Player has better visuals. They were of such low quality, as if drawn by a child, that there is no real point in commenting on it much. Usually, we see shot and scenes from movie where the music comes from, but that was not the case. Then, there were no programs at the concert (at least I couldn’t find them anywhere and nobody saw them either) basically, one work just grows out of another and so the whole thing goes on with some breaks for a weak applause (some of the spectators did not applaud at all). Knowing many of Zimmer’s works practically by heart, I don’t remember some of the melodies at all (and Hans is not the author of some of them at all – that’s for sure). In some places it was not at all clear what theme sounds. For example, the main tune of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” (I made an arrangement of it for solo guitar), which was played at the concert, is actually composed by Klaus Badelt. Musicians seemed to be more like students: their overall presence on stage, the way how they were there, how they moved (most didn’t move practically at all) – all this spoke of an unprofessional level. I played with various orchestras both in Estonia and elsewhere, I constantly organize concerts for my students, where there are also ensembles and I know how a student looks on stage and how a professional with a lot of experience looks. They still played normally, all right (except, of course, the conductor, who was the only one of high level there – a great and charismatic musician). But pictorially it looked more like a mess: in the foreground soloists-singers with weird choreography that didn’t feel well planned, dull and didn’t suit the other participants (no other musician had anything to do with it). Everyone wore different types of clothes (while in a professional orchestra everyone usually has the same clothes stylistically and if anyone has otherwise, it somehow fits the overall concept). Since filming and photography were prohibited, I can’t place here any pictures. The ensemble manager and the organizer are responsible for that.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment and a huge miss was that the electronics and synthetic sounds so characteristic to Zimmer and which he applies so generously in his pieces – were all missing! (and at that was not mentioned in the advertisement). Just a bunch of reverb on every instrument and not a single synth. It’s like a salad without dressing – dry and tasteless. There were a maximum of about 35 musicians on stage (enough for a rock or country band, but not enough for such an epic music) and obviously that doesn’t go with that kind of music, because it was written originally for a large ensemble/orchestra. Poor sound, I don’t know who is at fault here: the technician, the equipment, the instruments or something else. I know several people who went to events Alexela hall and also complained that the sound was each time bad. But I think the Lords of the Sound’s conductor and sound engineer had also poor communication – they should have done a better soundcheck and get the maximum out of what they have.

I have studied in different schools and courses, arranged and composed music for orchestra (also using and adding electronics, produced orchestral music (including H. Zimmer’s epic style – Action Cinematic Music – samples are available on my YouTube channel). I usually paid for such amateur concerts in Europe, organized as if by students no more than 15 EUR per ticket (ticket for this concert costed 60 EUR). I had an email exchange with the organizer about all these issues and as I understood from his words, this level was only for the people of Tallinn, because elsewhere it was great. I believe that, because the potential of the project is actually big.

As a Zimmer fan, musician, composer and producer, I am very disappointed. The project as I witnessed it in Alexela concert hall was a failure. This is not a European (not to mention world) level show. As an organizer, I would be ashamed of such work and outcome.

The organizer said that this is my subjective opinion and tried to convince me that it is the same story as in a restaurant: “When you go to a restaurant and order a dish that you don’t like, you pay for it, and then simply don’t order that dish anymore or simply don’t go to that restaurant”. To which I might as well answer: “Well, if I had an upset stomach after eating at your restaurant, I sat up all night in the toilet room and threw up, is this a usual result of the daily dinner?”. Maybe for the organizer it is a daily routine to spend his days like that, but not for me. I felt there is no point of explaining something to such an ignorant person – he sticks to his opinion and that’s it. A bad example for them too, because if I would go to the restaurant with the described result, I would after go to the doctor for a check-up, receive tests that would confirm that the food was toxic, and would ask the restaurant owner to compensate for damages caused.

I left the concert during the break after the 1st half, as many other people did – I couldn’t listen or watch this misery anymore. I still don’t understand what I paid for, but probably for the advertising of the event – it was huge in Tallinn.

I checked it with lawyers in Estonia and we didn’t find any law, that could bring the horrible organizer – ART Partner CZ s.r.o., (who is in opinion of the lawyers is also an impolite in conversations) to the responsibility.

So what comes out: one can deliver unprofessionally organized famous composer’s humiliating concert and have no responsibility for that.