The man, the myth, the legend, Danny Elfman put on a show appropriately timed for the season this weekend in LA. For two hours this composer took us through all of his songs that make up every Tim Burton movie since the late 80’s. The full orchestra packed the stage and left enough room for chorus of over twenty people and filled the entire Nokia Theater with haunting tunes all night long.
Danny Elfman came to fame from his time fronting and writing for the band Oingo Boingo. The synonymous Halloween song Dead Man’s Party was his brainchild. After the band faded away Elfman put his heart into composing and after Tim Burton reached out to him, movies would never be the same again.
The night started out with video clips and renderings from Beetlejuice and PeeWee’s Big Adventure. A older crowd and very mellow for the event took the beautiful arrangements in silently. For such a festive time we hoped to get more from the show. The presentation almost beckoned for something else. Sure the music was perfect, but the show aspect was missing.
For the first part of the show we sat and listened to the songs and watched the stills from movies pass by, but then intermission hit. It was exceptionally long, but that didn’t seem to wear down the crowd. They came back for more and we finally got a bit of liveliness out of the show.
The show started back up for the second half and this time the orchestra was joined by Danny Elfman on vocals finally. This meant that they were finally going to get into the tracks from the soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Everything was pretty much leading up to this.
Jack came to life as Elfman began to sing the main songs from the movie. Acting out his motions on stage the energetic singer provided the only excitement for the night. I do realize that this is a orchestra performing, but you can always add other elements to make it more of a show. It felt like there was something missing the whole time.
Don’t get me wrong, its was amazing to hear Elfman live and bring Jack and his other co-stars characters to life, but standing or sitting and just singing these songs for two hours can leave you wanting more. I would also think that it being Halloween they could have taken things up a bit from a basic philharmonic performance.
I hope next year they add in some more live elements because the crowd really wanted something more after chatting post-performance. It sounded great, but I’m not naming names, but someone next to me did fall asleep during the set.