John Carpenter Live! – The Halloween Special

When you think of Halloween and movies you probably think about the movie Halloween. That may be the most pointless sentence ever written on the internet but its true. John Carpenter essentially created the slasher genre (I know Friday the 13th was before it but Halloween perfected it) and introduced terrified audiences to the unstoppable Michael Myers. The film also had another big trick up it’s sleeve with it’s groundbreaking synth soundtrack which was composed and performed by Carpenter himself.

So when I found out John Carpenter would be coming to Edinburgh as part of his UK tour playing all of the classic scores from his greatest movies I jumped at the chance. Was it any good? Hell yeah it was! Carpenter and his band (which includes his son Cody) were great. Here’s a little sample of the favourites played to the packed crowd of Carpenter fans.

Escape From New York

The band kicked off with the amazing, pounding, ass-kicking theme to Escape From New York. As soon as that computer generated 80s style map of the Big Apple appeared on the screen behind the stage the crowd went wild. What an opener.

Assault on Precinct 13

Another of my fave John Carpenter films, the theme perfectly captures the tension and fear that seeps into every frame of the movie. I had a big grin on my face when the screen played the clip of the little girl with the ice-cream getting shot. I may have problems.

Big Trouble in Little China

My all time favourite Carpenter film, I could have sat and listened to the whole Big Trouble in Little China soundtrack. There are so many great tracks on it however the band played the guitar led opening theme and nailed it. And of course it was accompanied by clips of Jack Burton being cool.

They Live

As soon as John put on that pair of sunglasses the crowd went wild. We knew what was coming, the theme to They Live, the classic with Roddy Piper kicking ass and being out of bubblegum. It’s not the coolest composition Carpenter has ever written but it’s perfect for the film.

That’s just a little taste of what was an excellent show and the best fun you could ever have watching a 68 year old man playing a Casio keyboard. I recommend Carpenter’s soundtracks to anyone if you like cool, minimalist, synth compositions. And go watch his films while you’re at it. Happy Halloween!


  1. Holy shit – you went to this?! I’m so jealous!!!! Laura did as well (you know – Twitter Laura? Did you two discuss it?). Anyway… Happy Halloween! Lol. (I’m behind on reading blogs) 😉


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