From “Twentieth Century Fox” to “Light My Fire,” the Omaha Symphony swelled and swooned to the music of the Doors.
A full-on rock band led by Randy Jackson — of the band Zebra, not the “American Idol” judge — also performed in front of the orchestra for more than 100 minutes in front of hundreds at the Holland Performing Arts Center on Friday night. The concert repeats tonight.
The best part of the show was the Omaha Symphony. I would have enjoyed some of the songs without the rock band, to be honest.
Unfortunately, Jackson doesn't quite have Jim Morrison's baritone — he sounds like a combo between Willie Nelson and Morrison — and he really didn't have the stage presence. Mostly, he wandered around onstage.
Thumbs up to the orchestra for sticking with it the whole night and playing incredibly well even though they were often drowned out by the band and forced to sit while the group's guitarist, George Cintron, played multiple self-indulgent solos.
The orchestra created depth and force for the Doors' songs, which gave them a living, cinematic quality. The band, on the other hand, was often average. Occasionally you'd feel the great/not-so-great vibe on the same tunes.
Take one of the night's most anticipated songs. In “Light My Fire,” the evening's finale, the orchestra expertly played the song's flirty melody over the band's organ. It gave it weight.
At the end of the tune, Cintron played an indulgent solo (not his first of the night) that was more absurd than Marty McFly's from the end of “Back to the Future.” It dragged the lengthy song on for another few minutes.
A few people exited the concert hall during the lengthy solo. Maybe they only wanted to beat the rush to the parking garage.
“Love Her Madly” was the best tune of the night. The orchestra played the swinging song well, and the band meshed well there. As on this tune, the orchestra was at its best when it made the songs larger than life.
Because of the orchestra, the songs felt more classic and cinematic than acid or psychedelic rock.
The band and orchestra played a variety of selections from the Doors' big catalog, including the gorgeous and forceful “Riders on the Storm” (another highlight from the Omaha Symphony) to the more obscure tunes such as “Moonlight Drive” and “Changeling” (where the strings matched the guitar solo).
Fans in the audience dug the show and many of the die-hards shouted out for songs they didn't hear.
During “Roadhouse Blues,” singer Jackson pointed the microphone at the audience, which sang the line, “well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer,” as if they were in the band themselves.
Conductor Brent Havens wrote the orchestral movements, which were top-notch.
The night ended with “Break on Through” and “Light My Fire,” the Doors' two most recognizable tunes and two of the night's best — outside of that one solo.
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