Over Thanksgiving weekend Adam and I went to The Phoenix Symphony for their “Pixar in Concert” performance and it was AMAZING! On a normal day it would take just under 10 minutes to drive downtown and get to the symphony but we had to leave a lot earlier because of the expected traffic and inevitable parking drama we would encounter.
As a quick aside, Phoenix drivers do not, I repeat, do not understand the concept of merging (among other simple driving courtesies if we’re being completely honest). C’mon people, we’re all trying to get into the same parking garage with one entrance that only accepts cash or checks (seriously, who’s writing a check nowadays and especially at a parking garage??). Do the right thing! Or if you’re not into that, do the selfish thing and pay it forward. Karma’s a bitch! Enough of that, I could go on for a long time.
Despite living so close and leaving early we got into the theater with just a few minutes to spare. As we walked into the lobby I was shocked at how many young children were running around. And then I remembered, we were there to see a Pixar themed concert. Just because I continue to watch Pixar films as an adult doesn’t mean they shifted their target demographic. The films are still meant for children. Okay, having remembered that I started to get really excited because it meant this concert was going to be a fun one to keep the kiddos entertained. I thought, let’s do this!
We walked up a few flights of stairs to get to our seats. As you can see in the pic below we were waaaaay in the back (the last row actually) but we planned that. We decided less expensive seats right in the center were better than closer, more expensive seats hidden off to the side.
As you can see above, the orchestra sat on stage in their usual positions but their was a large screen hanging over the middle of the stage. That is where the movies were going to be projected. You can’t tell either but in front of the conductor’s stand is a small monitor and headphones. The conductor wore the headphones during each piece to hear a clicking noise to ensure he would stay on beat. At the same time he would watch his tiny monitor as a second check in making sure the orchestra was playing in tandem with the projection. All while conducting! It must have been a lot of hard work putting it all together but the concert turned out beautifully.
My favorite parts were the first half closer (music from the movie “Up!”) and the encore (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story). Everyone who has watched “Up!” knows what scene I’m talking about. You know…it’s that one in the first 10 minutes without any dialogue, just music playing, that leaves everyone bawling into their tub of popcorn…so the orchestra performed that scene straight through. All of the other pieces were movie montages with clips of music from each scene. However, this five minute montage scene from “Up!” was played in its entirety and there was not a dry eye in the house. I didn’t have a single piece of tissue or napkin in my purse (although I had about 30 useless receipts) so I the snot and tears ended up in the palms of my hands. Gross. It was a great choice to end the first half of the concert although I wish they had provided tissues! The encore was equally as great but a lot peppier and cheerful. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is an iconic piece from Toy Story. The simple lyrics and easy going music are going to keep it as a timeless classic for many years to come!
This was a fun way to end Thanksgiving weekend. What fun things have you done for the holidays?