Red Bull’s annual music festival carried on in great fashion with amazing performances for their show “The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2,” an epic Western about the final days of America’s outlaw era. Red Bull Music has partnered with Rockstar Games to bring this brilliant piece of score to life as an art installation. The performance was spearheaded by brilliant composer Woody Jackson of various video game soundtracks fame, including the original Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire and Grand Theft Auto V.
He opened up with “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” where he was joined on stage with immensely talented violinist and singer Petra Haden, who’s worked with artists as diverse as The Decemberists and Sunn O))). She brought her ‘A’ game and filled the room with her powerful voice and amazing orchestral skills performing a few songs. The show carried on with Jackson going into “Mrs Sadie Adler, Widow,” “Revenge is a Dish Best Eaten,” “Who The Hell Is Leviticus Cornwall” and “Lost And Not Quite Found.”
Experimental Indonesian duo Senyawa joined in about halfway through for a solo, which the crowd loved. Jackson pulled no punches with other stellar guests, including Jon Theodore of The Mars Volta and Queens of the Stone Age fame on drums, and Colin Stetson, who provided orchestration on the score and for the film Hereditary, on horns. Theodore has full grasp of his drums and his contribution was unbelievably wonderful. He started off by laying a simple groove and as Jackson conducted the performers to faster and more intense music, his drumming began to mirror that. Stetson and his saxophone makes for a beautiful combination and the audience was blessed with the emotional journey he took us on. He had a solo that captivated the whole audience with awe. Bursting red and purple lights filled the studio with dynamic energy and fog machines in the back provided an eerie and beautiful touch. Little details like that throughout the performance showed how much thought was put into it to give the audience a truly unique experience.
Jackson carried on the show with grand performances of “Paradise Mercifully Departed” and “A Rage Unleashed.” Stetson then joined the stage for an awe-inspiring saxophone solo that received a long standing ovation. The crowd was quiet during the performance, taking it all in. He commanded everyone’s attention and performed a beautiful set. Large screens on the side of the studio projected various images during some parts of the performance. This included a montage of horses running together and a video of flames burning. This helped the show feel incredibly interactive and dynamic. The audience really felt apart of the show being surrounded by these dynamic images.
The show finished up with “Fleeting Joy,” “Icarus and Friends,” “Red Dead Redemption,” “The Wheel” and lastly “Blood Feuds, Ancient And Modern,” where Senyawa was brought out again. Just under an hour and a half, the performance was filled with many twists and turns, and the journey was incredible. It was a very special show that felt very remarkable. Jackson and his stellar guests really provided a wonderful night, and it was great to be surrounded by top-notch musicians and artists bringing their best.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Full Setlist
“Blessed Are The Peacemaker”
“Mrs Sadie Adler, Widow”
“Revenge is a Dish Best Eaten”
“Who The Hell Is Leviticus Cornwall”
“Lost And Not Quite Found”
“Paradise Mercifully Departed”
“A Rage Unleashed”
“Colin Stetson Solo”
“Icarus and Friends”
“Red Dead Redemption”
“Blood Feuds, Ancient And Modern”
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado