John Carpenter brought his Anthology tour to The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota on November 7, 2017. I went into this tour not knowing what to expect, aside from being very familiar with the music. I would follow the tour around the country if I could. It was such a unique experience.
First off, I have to say that The Myth is a hundred times better than it has been in its many years in business. It is now run by The Knitting Factory, who basically did a complete overhaul of the place. Those of you who didn’t like The Myth in the past are very much like me. Last night was the first time I had been there in over a year. It was run so poorly prior to this that I missed out on numerous shows that I would have loved to see. Now that is being run better, sold out shows are not oversold to dangerous capacity. You can move around, get a drink, go to the bathroom (and the bathrooms are kept up), and the security and club employees are amazing. I had to mention all of that because I never would have given the place a second look without becoming aware of this.
Back to John Carpenter. Known as a movie director, you will recognize many of his films, such as “Halloween”, “The Thing”, “Escape from New York”, and many more. I’m the type of dork that grew up collecting film scores and reveling in them. I’ve played the piano since I was two, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I was always obsessed with film scores. It was only when I was older that I found out that most of them were limited prints. I’m also a huge movie buff, particular horror movies, so this show was a dream come true.
You may be wondering how this was all laid out. After all, John Carpenter is getting up there in his years and I never knew he was musically inclined. Apparently he is. John Carpenter stood at the front of the left side of the stage with a full band behind him. As they began to play the opener, “Escape from New York: Main Title”, smoke incased the area around him and three screens behind the band were filled with images of the film. The same followed for each song, making for a truly one of a kind show. He followed up “Escape from New York” with music from other films, such as, “Village of the Damned”, “Assault on Precinct 13”, and more. There were four songs scattered throughout the evening, “Vortex”, “Mystery”, “Distant Dream”, and “Wraith” that were not accompanied by a film, rather, solid color on the background screens. They were very good and I could see them being used in the future or being leftovers from scores of the past.
Other highlights of the show included the inclusion of “They Live: Coming to LA”. John and the band put on sunglasses throughout the song, much to the delight of the crowd. If you haven’t seen “They Live”, take the time and see it. It’s awesome. Just see it. One of my favorites was “Starman: Starman Leaves”, as it brought forward a wave of childhood nostalgia, having seen that movie numerous times in my younger years. “The Thing: Main Theme” and “Big Trouble in Little China: Pork Chop Express” were also really fun. The show concluded with “Halloween Theme” (of course) and “In the Mouth of Madness”, with four encores. The encores included music from “Body Bags”, “Vampires”, “Prince of Darkness” and finished with “Christine: Christine Attacks”. I actually had never heard of “Body Bags” until last year, so it was humorous to see it included. I had completely forgotten he had done that movie.
There was a far larger audience than we had expected that night. I’m happy to see that not only are there a lot of movie buffs out there, but that they also have enough appreciation for the music to actually go to see it played live. Again, if I had the time, I would follow the tour and see it again. If you get a chance, see this tour. It is well worth it and a lot of fun.
For more info on John and tour dates
Review Tracy Hansen photos Kyle Hansen