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Rock Goes Orchestral: Our Favorite Bands Performed With An Orchestra

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In recent years a lot of great bands have done the orchestral thing and decided to play some shows backed by a symphony orchestra. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous. But when did all this start? The first rock concerts backed by an orchestra are recorded as happening when Deep Purple did some shows in 1969 supporting their third album, Concerto for Group and Orchestra. There’s a video of them doing it again years later below in commemoration, though with a different score, as the original had been lost. Since then, bands like Metallica and Portishead have done orchestral live albums. Even Aerosmith got into the act by doing an MTV Music Awards performance in a symphonic style. Recently, a lot of indie bands have been jumping on the bandwagon and performing with orchestras. The Brooklyn Art Museum (BAM) started a concert series a couple years ago with local bands such as Grizzly Bear doing symphonic shows. This lead to a lot of indie bands putting together such shows, like the Decemberists booking a whole tour with a backing orchestra. Often times, bands will do one-stop shows with an orchestra. Joanna Newsom did some shows with an orchestra on a couple stops off her 2008. Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallet did similar shows on his most recent tour. It seems as if musicians aren’t afraid to be artists anymore, meaning a symphony can now be heard while drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Here are some videos of recent instances. Decemberists Final Fantasy (Owen Pallet) Grizzly Bear My Morning Jacket Joanna Newsom Radiohead Portishead Metallica Aerosmith Deep Purple and Ronnie James Dio (RIP) An old Pink Floyd video of a one time performance (1/3)

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