Sunday, April 8, 2018

Symphonic Cloud Cult @ Orchestra Hall 4/7/18

So this is a relatively quick review just to put this up before I got to bed while many of the details of tonight's Cloud Cult concert at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra is still in my fresh in my mind.

The below Set List isn't 100% accurate in both full track list, and order, but it's the best I can remember right now. It's probably 75%-80% accurate if not better, but I'm pretty sure I'm currently missing some stuff in which I may try and edit-in. I think they played 2 or 3 new tunes including at least 1 during the encore. Although I'm not sure if any of them were from the instrumental pieces they did for that film/soundtrack. Which oddly, there was really no mention of by Craig or anyone else. I.e. I wonder if many fans aren't even aware of it still.

edit: edited, but not 100% accurate still.

Okay, so the big deal was, Cloud Cult spent over a year preparing to play with the 30 or 40+ piece Minnesota Orchestra for this show; and then soon after it sold out in 6-hours last July, the 2nd show tomorrow night 4/8/18.

And the full orchestra played on maybe every song but 1 on the 2 main sets. The Encore they didn't play on anything other than maybe 1 song? I forget per the Encore was basically just Cloud Cult and with somewhat acoustic/stripped down arrangements.

I guess I can overall see having the Orchestra added a lot to many of the songs. "Love You All" for example almost became a totally new, more powerful track, and it was 1 of maybe 3 or 4 songs that brought me to tears. It just amplified the incredibly sad yet beautiful tone of that piece.

"There's So Much Energy in Us" while is a hugely epic, emotional piece, the orchestra added even more to.

I guess I can't deny though 1 or 2 points about the Orchestra. Arranging parts I'm sure can be tricky and take time. I think it was a little hit and miss with some of these tunes and parts. I noticed it was often more of the rhythm parts and harmonies rather than the main melodies that were used. Some times they were just amplifying Shannon Frid's violin parts. Like 12 violins or something.

And I'm sure that works and is intended, but I also can't help but wonder when those large ensembles can play those strong melodic sections, even as an echo or something, it can make for some amazing, breathtaking music. And I wonder if there were a few opportunities that it could have been done, but maybe was not?

"Running with the Wolves" they played, but it was during the Encore after the Orchestra had left the stage. I was telling some people I was sitting near during the intermission that I can totally hear and picture that track sounding wonderful with an expansive string section. Just Craig's guitar melody might be gorgeous.

But it didn't happen this time. Maybe another time?

A few other points:

This show before and afterwards had a bunch of things to see. An extended line to speak to loved ones who passed away along with news/video footage. The lines was 40 or more long before the show, so i passed, but I checked it out afterwards. I went in there and said a few words of thanks, but forgot to ask to speak to any of my lost relatives.

Site Lines: I was up in Balcony B, which when I bought my ticket back in July, I had no idea I was that far away from the stage and the fact part of the view was obstructed. Not horribly, but I couldn't see part of the Orchestra and Scott West's painting. I suppose part of it is, normally for a Cloud Cult show, only 10 people on stage, all would likely be view-able from that Balcony. But with the large Orchestra, there were so many people on the stage, the view from my seat couldn't include everyone per it didn't include the whole stage.

A woman named Grace Yukich was there with a Survey of some kind that people took about their demographics I guess. I went and talked to her after the show and put my email down. She's a Sociologist from Connecticut doing research on Cloud Cult's fan base, etc. What's she's doing sounds interesting and makes me curious about.

I will have to follow-up with her about her results. And my chatty self, I spoke with her for a bit and told I would love to hear about the fan base demographics from the other 50 bands I love like Cloud Cult, lol.

edit: her project is called "Courage in Unsettled Times: A Research Project"

and she teaches at Quinnipiac University in CT.

I wonder if someone could interview her and like Craig Minowa after her research is done. Might make a good topic of conversation and to hear about the various types of Cloud Cult fans.

Edit: Also a LIVE album hopefully will come out as many fans will definitely want to hear these arrangements of these Cloud Cult songs. 1 year or more worth of preparation? A Live album seems so fitting.

Living in Awe
[unclear per Might have been To the Great Unknown]
Chain Reaction
No Hell
Love You All
Come Home
Dance for the Dead
The Show Starts Now


May Your Hearts Stay Strong
Unexplainable Stories
When Water Comes To Life
You Were Born
There's So Much Energy In Us

New untitled song
Time Machine Invention
Running With The Wolves
Complicated Creation