Clint Mansell @ Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne (Sun 11 Oct 2015)
Clint Mansell strode onto stage 10 minutes after 8pm, wearing a Boards Of Canada T-shirt, greeted the audience and went straight into music from Pi.
Accompanied by drums, guitar, bass, piano and the incredible Sonus Quartet, the opener was fantastic, and was followed by the driving rhythms of music from Moon.
This show was meant to be a year ago, as part of the 2014 Melbourne Festival. Mansell cancelled the 2014 show only two days beforehand, citing “unforeseen personal circumstances”. When we bought our tickets, Wifey was pregnant, but would only be around 6 months in by the time the show rolled around. As happens in nature, that pregnancy turned into a baby, so for this show, Wifey unfortunately had to bow out, so it was I and Albatron-the-brother-in-law who attended this show.
The set consisted of music from most of Mansell’s soundtracks, including The Fountain, The Wrestler and Requiem For A Dream among others. The only reference to his musical past in Pop Will East Itself was the occasional PWEI T-shirt in the audience.
The show was brilliantly executed, with Mansell entertaining us between tracks with stories of the life of a composer in LA. Meeting Madonna without realising he had fast food on his jumper, to the disappointment of the panning of Noah (which was news to me to be honest- I’d only read positive reviews but have never seen it).
My only disappointment for the show is wishing we were in a bigger room. We had fantastic seats in the 5th row, but we got a lot of stage sound so the drums weren’t as boomy as maybe they could have been in many of the tracks. I was also in the unfortunate position of the bass players music stand blocking my view of the drummer. The band were very tight in most parts although there was the occasional time where it felt the drummer and bass player were on different sides of the beat. But I’m just being picky. There was also no merch for sale. Boo. Definitely would have bought a T-shirt.
Before the sublime closer of Death Is The Road To Awe from The Fountain, Mansell made a point of apologising for being a year late. He then told us that The Fountain storyline of love and loss was more apparent in his own life now more than when he wrote the score a decade ago. One can only presume that he suffered a personal loss this time last year, and that was his reasoning for postponing for so long. Reminding us that you never know when you’re going to go, or when anyone else is going to go, he told us to make sure to tell your loved ones that you love them, and to go and call our mums.
Tonight’s show was fabulous, and I hope it’s not too long before Clint Mansell returns to Australia.
Now I’m going to go and call my mum.
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