Hans Zimmer @ Rod Laver Arena

I had an absolute blast at the last Hans Zimmer concert a couple of years ago, so I jumped at the chance to experience his film score arena extravaganza once again.

Before heading off to the Rod Laver Arena after work, I decided to be organised and research the best parking options and the fastest route, but one thing we couldn’t predict was the climate change protest march that blocked Flinders Street. We were mere seconds away from the city when the traffic came to a standstill; in the end we followed the other drivers’ example and made a U-turn over the curb and tram tracks. The detour cost us twenty minutes or so, but thankfully we had plenty of time at our disposal; I’m well aware that most shows don’t actually start on the dot but I do hate running late.

While it’s impossible to have the same revelatory experience all over again when it’s no longer new and fresh, I can safely say that I enjoyed the movie maestro’s show just as much as the first time. Musically, it was pretty much the same show as back in 2017, with the first half featuring the scores from Crimson Tide, Gladiator, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, while the second, more epic and superhero-flavoured half had the selections from films like Man of Steel, The Dark Knight, Interstellar and Inception. I’ve listened to Zimmer’s work extensively since the first concert, so I appreciated it live even more second time around, as well as the brilliant musicianship of his touring band, which includes fiery and phenomenally talented cellist Tina Guo and guitarist extraordinaire Guthrie Govan. It was lovely to hear self-deprecating Zimmer praise his team ceaselessly throughout the show.

Our seats this time were directly opposite the stage, all the better to enjoy the dramatic light show that was perfectly synchronised with the music and made the concert a true multi-sensory feast. From memory, it definitely got an upgrade since the last visit, unless I had simply missed out on the spectacle because of my cheap side seat. The Thin Red Line, accompanied by a simple image of a pulsating (you guessed it) thin red line, that grows and builds along with the music until it hits the emotional crescendo and the screen explodes with red light, was a particular standout for me. The rock version of the dark and anarchic Joker theme from The Dark Knight was once again totally badass, and Time from Inception was once again the perfect closer.

The only disappointment of the night was the absence of Lisa Gerrard, the sublime ethereal voice of the Gladiator soundtrack, who sadly was away in Europe this time (her stand-in did a fairly good job, but there’s only one Lisa Gerrard). Ah well, can’t have everything.

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