2CELLOS Fuses Classical and Hard Rock For Fantastic Concert

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2CELLOS played the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, March 31, 2016. Look for their new CELLOVERSE album!

If you don’t believe that a YouTube video about a two man band with over 56 million views is a sign that those two fellows might actually be just as good in person, then you don’t deserve to be on the Internet. I first discovered 2CELLOS the way most of the world has, from fun video clips showing these two good-looking European boys doing to cellos what superstars like Angus Young and Eddie Van Halen do to guitars—namely, beat them up like they owe them money. Two most folks, the word “cello” calls to mind a soft string quartet that plays Celine Dion or The Righteous Brothers while you make your way through the food line at your cousin’s wedding. Unless you were in your school’s orchestra from an early age, you probably couldn’t pick the cello out of any music with more than a couple of instruments involved, sight unseen. After watching them perform live at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, I will never underestimate the power of the cello again.

2CELLOS is comprised of two extremely talented Croatian musicians: Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser—accompanied on certain songs by their likewise talented drummer Dusan Kranjc. If you think of cellists as just orchestral types in tuxedos playing Vivaldi, you’d be wrong. They can certainly play some excellent classical pieces, but their charm is in their interpretation of modern arena rock and pop anthems. The fellows came onstage to thunderous applause, wearing the sort of jeans and tees they might wear on a more casual date. They took about a half-dozen bows to applause and laughter before they’d put their bows upon the strings, setting the “let’s just have fun” tone for the evening. Before long, the more elderly patron were scrambling for the exits as if they’d accidentally been seated for AVENUE Q or THE BOOK OF MORMON, their delicate sensibilities frazzled by two cellos blazing AC/DC, U2, Nirvana and Coldplay, among others. What a shame—they missed one hell of a concert!

St. Louis is home to a fairly sizeable Croatian immigrant population and more than a few were in attendance at the March 31st show. They shouted encouragement in their native tongue, which seemed to catch both Luka and Stjepan a little off guard. Luka took up the microphone the two shared between songs to inquire if everyone in the Fox Theatre that evening spoke their language. In a way, we did—not Croatian but music, the timeless songs everyone on Earth knows from just the first few notes. Michael Jackson’s HUMAN NATURE invited the audience to sing along sweetly with the chorus, which then gave way to the thrashing drive of MJ’s SMOOTH CRIMINAL. U2’s WITH OR WITHOUT YOU also had a soft chorus singing along, and I will admit to singing Coldplay’s VIVA LA VIDA quietly to myself—it’s a guilty pleasure. Everybody partied like it was 1992 when all three musicians started those first couple of notes from Nirvana’s SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT. St. Louis has always been a big AC/DC town and 2CELLOS wisely doubled up with HIGHWAY TO HELL and THUNDERSTRUCK. The band has famously performed Guns and Roses’ WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE in the past but they didn’t do it in St. Louis, which seemed to underline the weird relationship St. Louis has with GnR. Or perhaps they just put it away in favor of some of their new material from the CELLOVERSE album, which ranges from Hans Zimmer to Paul and Linda McCartney to AC/DC and a beautiful rendition of Sting’s SHAPE OF MY HEART which really moved me. Their encore included a clever mash-up of Rossini’s WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE impeccably paired with Iron Maiden’s THE TROOPER. Not your usual classical string concert indeed!

2CELLOS are not just another internet sensation—they are fantastic musicians who are bridging the gap between classical and pop/rock. When their 2016 tour makes a stop anywhere close to your town, cancel any other plans and get your tickets as soon as possible. Heck, bring your grandparents if you want—just make sure you explain that there likely won’t be any ODE TO JOY by Beethoven, but more likely Michael Jackson, AC/DC and Iron Maiden.  

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0