Rock Orchestra by Candlelight – Ipswich Regent
Sitting in the audience waiting for the event to start, we were filled with anticipation as the stage was full of exciting things! As well as all kinds of instruments waiting to be caressed, the lighting was colourful and spooky, the stage was packed with props and decorations which were based on Festival of the Dead with a huge Devil’s head behind the drums and there were probably over a thousand candles scattered around the stage – it was already looking like a fantastic night!
A voiceover announcement filled the theatre saying we are in for a good night of a mix of classical and rock music. A massive cheer from the crowd and the musicians came on stage and kicked off the night with a rendition of AC/DC ‘Thunder’. Superb!
The whole evening was fantastic as it combined classical music with popular rock and metal tracks from the last forty years. It added a new dimension to the music but also softly introduced people to how amazing classical music can be.
The Rock Orchestra set list was awesome with each song bringing a cheer from the crowd as the song intro was recognised and then again afterwards in strong appreciation for what was just enjoyed. The excellent track list included songs from Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses, White Stripes, Motorhead, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, System of the Down, and a few slightly lighter tracks from Soft Cell, Blondie and The Cranberries.
There were many instruments on stage and I am not sure I managed to count them all, there was a percussion section with multiple things to bash, including a xylophone (or glockenspiel, I’m no expert) and bongos, the brass/wind section included saxophone, flute, trombone, trumpet and I am sure I saw a piccolo. The strings included violins, cello, double bass, and viola. With all those instruments (and more) playing alongside the drum kit they produced an incredible and full sound.
The electric violin played the vocal parts of the tracks and had different sounds, from sounding like the guitar in ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ to the beautiful classic violin sound on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – magic. Although there were not many vocals of the night, in this format they were not missed, however a few of tracks such as Evanescence ‘Bring Me To Life’ and Rammstein ‘Du Hast’ did add a few singing lyrics which added a lovely dimension.
The musical interpretation of all these fantastic rock and metal tracks into an orchestral performance was perfection. The costumes were brilliant, skeletons with lace, all the musicians had face mask and they looked liked they were having the best time and this energy bounced back and forth from the audience as we were also having the best time!
On top of everything the Rock Orchestra played, the incredible light show made it an amazing night! Highly recommended.