I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this actually happened. On Halloween night, I got see my favorite director of all time, who also happens to be one of my favorite musicians of all time, in concert. And I got to seem him with my writing partner Jolene Haley, as well as a group of our friends. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
It's hard for me to put into words how much of an impact and influence the work of John Carpenter has had on my life. Every story I have ever written is inspired in some way by his films and his music. If you're a Carpenter fan and have read my work, you'll see how much I wear those influences on my sleeve.
Jolene is a die hard Carpenter fan as well. Her favorite horror move ever is Halloween, and the Woodsview Murders series we write together is heavily influenced by that film.
So, seeing John Carpenter stroll out onto the stage at the Hollywood Palladium with his son Cody and the rest of the band was just like a dream for me. And he started with maybe my favorite theme of them all:
Last night's John Carpenter concert was so amazing. Here's how it began. 🎃👻💀 pic.twitter.com/AUv6ZFtByW— Brian LeTendre (@SeeBrianWrite) November 1, 2018
Escape from New York sets a high bar as a starter, but Carpenter's work is so consistently great, that the setlist just went from one hit to another. He also sprinkled in some of the best cuts from his LOST THEMES albums, including my favorite, "Vortex." Here's the setlist:
Escape From New York: Main Title
Assault on Precinct 13: Main Title
Village of the Damned: March of the Children
The Fog: Main Title Theme
They Live: Coming to L.A.
Starman: Starman Leaves (Jack Nitzsche cover)
The Thing: Main Theme - Desolation (Ennio Morricone cover)
Big Trouble in Little China: Pork Chop Express
Halloween Theme - Main Title
In the Mouth of Madness: In the Mouth of Madness
Body Bags: The Coroner's Theme
Prince of Darkness: Darkness Begins
Christine: Christine Attacks (Plymouth Fury)
What made the experience so all-encompassing was the fact that each score was accompanied by movie clips that basically took you through each story. It was like re-watching Carpenter's entire catalog while listening to the soundtracks. And it was life, in front of a packed house, with screaming fans.
I honestly thought I would never get to see John Carpenter in concert, as he doesn't do a ton of dates, and usually doesn't play anywhere near me. But the stars aligned, and I got to see one of my idols, on my favorite night of the year, with some of my favorite people in the world. I will never forget it.