2Cellos Live at Highline Ballroom
New York City, NY April 2, 2013
There’s been a long standing debate over the value of classical based instrumental music outside of the traditional music settings. For example, many from the classical music population argue that rock music lacks the structure and integrity of formal music. While the heavy metal/rock followers often feel classical music doesn’t have the spark and enthusiasm of their favorite genre. That being said, 2Cellos are a perfect blend of each.
What was so invigorating about seeing 2Cellos is that there was absolutely none of this pompous, elitist attitude from the musicians or the audience. The two talented, classically trained cellists from Croatia just wanted to rock and have fun. It shows by the choice of songs they play and especially how they perform them. It’s actually a great way of cross pollinating the two types of music because it opens the door for them to establish a much larger audience.
Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic began the evening by performing “Where The Streets Have No Name,” which brought an infusion of energy to the New York City crowd. The two guys play with such an incredible amount of passion and emotion, which is visually obvious in every song. The music was so emotional that you could almost hear the words being sung from the cellos themselves.
The men were smart with their arrangement of songs by taking the audience up with “Streets” and then easing us down with another U2 song “With Or Without You.” This was a brilliant approach as everyone could get energetically into one song and then catch your breath in the other. They did this tactic pretty much throughout the whole show, like playing Michael Jackson’s sensitive “Human Nature” followed by their breakthrough version of the late performer’s “Smooth Criminal”
I think the songs that really showed off 2Cellos instrumental prowess were all the rock songs like Guns N Roses “Welcome To The Jungle,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and three of their renditions of three AC/DC songs “Back In Black,”” You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Highway To Hell.”
Though I’m from Seattle, I never really liked the grunge music, but I will admit the Nirvana song “Smells like Teen Spirit” and Green Day’s “Good Riddance” actually worked wonderfully as rousing soulful renditions.
I have never experienced a concert like this. If you haven’t already, please do yourself a favor and look at 2Cellos’ concert schedule. They are set to play dates scattered across the country until the third week of April. Going to see them would refresh your musical palate and undoubtedly bring sparkles of joy into your life. If there are no dates near you, I suggest you check out their myriad of videos on their website.
If you think this concert was full of emotion, you should look at the passion of the Bach Double Violin Concerto in D Minor.