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A lot of people like to give Hans Zimmer problems about his recent musical history, and why not? The composer most recently recycled his cue Time from Inception to give Solomon Northrop a theme in 12 Years A Slave, and the resemblance was more than passing. Still, every great composer borrows from their own work from time to time, and Mr. Zimmer had access to six more creative minds in order to complete his latest gig on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Judging by the results of the concert they played after the New York premiere, it looks like the results are an impressive leap forward.
Yahoo had the live stream of last night’s show, which is still available to watch in all of its 24 minutes of glory. The show opened up with Jamie Foxx introducing Maestro Zimmer, who took the stage with his "supergroup," The Magnificent Six. Among the members of that group were previous Zimmer collaborators, Pharell Williams and Johnny Marr (of The Smiths), as well as Mike Einziger (of Incubus). (Though, as vocalist Alicia Keys pointed out at the end of the performance, the total number of artists involved was actually 12.)
The performance consisted of several of the Pop numbers that are included on the soundtrack, starting with Liz and her single That’s My Man and ending with Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar being welcomed on stage to perform the end title song, It’s On Again. (Some of you might remember that song from last night’s rather sinister speculation that six future franchise baddies have been selected.)
Hans Zimmer is not a stranger to live performances, and he looks to have had a lot of fun going back to his 80’s synthesizer roots, as well as playing guitar for the evening’s festivities. Not many composers get to perform on this sort of stage, and not many would do so at an affair that looked more like a rock concert than a night at the symphony. The evening did have a nice moment of contract with the amazing Violin-centric rendition of Pharell Williams’ single Here, but soon ramped back up with The Electro Suite, which carried the night to the final performance by Keys and Lamar.
At the very least, Hans Zimmer deserves credit for the fact that he can still pull off a performance like this, and do so with a smile on his face. He was, for an evening, a rock star once more; pulling the gig off with the assistance of the admirable energy and precision provided by his Magnificent Six. Hopefully The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will take its cues from the Maestro, as it swings into theaters. In further appreciation of Mr. Zimmer’s fine work on the film’s soundtrack, we’ll close with this video from the live performance of his Inception score, also featuring Johnny Marr.