2CELLOS String Together Another Memorable Performance

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2CELLOS play beautiful songs. They are very romantic.

My third time seeing 2CELLOS, aka Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre was every bit as exciting as my first time. The Croatian sensations took the internet by storm back in 2011 with their GQ model looks, unassuming charm, and their virtuosity with their instruments. They attack the strings with reckless abandon, welding classical and pop/metal into an unforgettable sonic experience.

Seeing 2CELLOS live is even better than watching them on YouTube. Šulić and Hauser playfully interact with the audience between songs, whipping the ladies into a frenzy with their sexy European accents. The guys in the audience don’t mind because once the lads start playing AC/DC covers the men have no choice but to headbang and air jam in their seats. It’s genetic. Trust me.

Supporting their most recent album, Let There Be Cello Hauser, Šulić, and drummer Dusan Kranjc ripped through a lively set. They started off mellow, with Karl Jenkins’ “Benedictus,” before flowing into the adult contemporary portion of the show with “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “With Or Without You” by U2, “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay, Sting’s “Shape of My Heart,” and a pair of Michael Jackson hits: “Human Nature” and “Smooth Criminal.”

Then it was time to kick out the jams. Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” still rocks hard. The White Stripes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but ”Seven Nation Army” was a raucous romp. A cover of Hans Zimmer’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme brought a sense of adventure to the program. The boys showed their own “moves like Jagger” with the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” The audience enjoyed some vintage 90s cello grunge with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” 2CELLOS turned things up to eleven with the hard charging combo “The William Tell Overture/The Trooper” from Giachino Rossini/Iron Maiden and an assortment of AC/DC’s best. The band are huge fans of Australia’s biggest rock export. “Thunderstruck,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” Back In Black,” and “Highway To Hell” are expertly performed—you almost forget Angus Young and Brian Johnson aren’t there. The highlight of the night was “Welcome to the Jungle” from Guns ‘N Roses. The encore was more somber with Nine Inch Nails' “Hurt” (to the guy across the aisle, it is indeed written and originally performed by NIN, aka Trent Reznor, not Johnny Cash) and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The party vibe was over but the expert musianship of Šulić, Hauser and Kranjc was evident until the last note of the night faded into the standing ovation.

This show was scheduled to take place at the Chaifetz Arena, but production considerations brought the tour back to the Fox Theatre, where 2CELLOS have performed several times before. At more than double the capacity, the atmosphere at Chaifetz would probably feel more like a rock concert. The Fox’s “Siamese Byzantine” décor and ever-present sense of history tend to make music concerts, even from livelier acts, feel a little subdued. At my age, that’s fine. I don’t care to stand for two hours and pump my fists in the air anymore. However, the Fox audience tonight featured a higher percentage of families and a rather surprsing number of children who, unsurprisingly, tended to babble throughout the show. Between the bored stick-in-the-mud next to the guy in the "Make America Great Again" hat in front of me, fiddling with her phone the entire time and throwing her head back now and then in mock tantrum, and the loud youngster behind me it was sometimes difficult to concentrate on 2CELLOS. I wish people would silence their phones and their children at live performances, but at least the child was excited about the show. The bored GOP ball and chain should have just stayed home. I bet her name was Carol...

The night began with a surprising first in my experience with 2CELLOS--an opening act. Singer/pianist Jon McLaughlin performed a lively five song set, engaging the adience to be his back-up singers on a couple of call-and-answer songs. "Lost," "You Don't Talk About Me," and the touching tune written for his young daghter "Still My Girl" can be found oon his newest CD Angst & Grace, available at his website: https://jonmcl.com 

For more on the 2CELLOS Let There Be Cello Tour, visit http://www.2cellos.com/tour. And for more great shows coming to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, visit www.FabulousFox.com.  

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0