Him: What are you doing over the long weekend?
Me: We’re going to listen to John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl, I’m so excited!
Him: Sorry Jessica, I’m not that hip. I don’t know who John Williams is.
Me: You totally he do! Maybe not by name. He’s the composer for the music in Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Him: Oh! Yes.
The show started at 7pm, but you can get there a bit earlier and have a fine dining experience at the booths either by ordering from their restaurants and having it delivered to your seats or by bringing in your own dinner including your own wine which is awesome. There are these neat wooden box seat overhangs that you can morph into a table. We had previously had a late lunch so we decided to show up nearing 7. We had paid for the shuttle service to the bowl, which I would highly recommend. The shuttle takes you to the top of the bowl, where there’s no waiting in crowds or long lines, and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the parking lots afterwards since there is a designated pick up area that is relatively traffic free.
To be perfectly honest, we didn’t look at the schedule till we decided to go to LA already and lucked out that it was the only where John Williams happened to be playing. It was an odd day in LA where it was 102 degrees to quickly turn cold and started to sprinkle. Once we arrived however, the rain cleared for a perfect showing.
David Newman opened the show with some classic movie scores of which he mesmerized us with music from Dr. Zhivago. Spoiler alert, they also showed the ending where the main character collapses in the street as his love walks away.
Then John Williams walked to the stage with many a lightsaber waving in encouragement. He started the concert with the iconic theme from Superman, and as the beautiful music echoed through the Hollywood Bowl, it wasn’t a bird but a plane that ironically streamed across the sky.
A enchanting violin solo from Sabrina was up next.
Then several songs from Harry Potter engaged us, and I just thought to myself, how wonderful would it be to be the genius who can watch a film without music and help create a parallel story to accompany to the main story in music.
I mean as much as I adore going out into the world and scaling mountains, viewing stars, and enjoying the natural world around us, I am constantly inspired by art and technology because I love the beautiful things that we humans, can create for ourselves. Music for me is a time traveling vehicle to nostalgia.
Oddly enough John Williams pauses to tell a story about how he met Kobe Bryant. Who knew he did the score to an animated poem by Kobe?
Then Williams played some of the newer Star Wars themes, starting with Rey’s theme, which he first called Daisy’s theme as she was in the audience.
We ended with Star Wars, and as it started people pulled out their lightsabers and swayed them gently to the beat. The crowed cheered, two guys in the front yelled “We love you John!”
Then John heads offstage with the crowd standing while whooping and cheering. Two encores later and John does the most adorable I’m sleepy pose and walks off stage for the last time.
I couldn’t have asked for a better first Hollywood Bowl experience. Yet another reason why I love LA.