we haven’t taken many trips recently, but on nov. 18th we drove up to davenport Iowato see Harry Potter in Concert. 

This is a worldwide phenomenon, where a live orchestra plays all the music from the score while the movie is projected.  i can’t remember how i heard about it; i bet it was when i was looking up some other event somewhere. i found one in chicago but kevin isn’t too keen about chicago, and then i found another in st. louis, but settled on the performance in davenport because it was a screening of the first film, the Sorcerer’s Stone.

it’s playing in many places in the US, many in europe, in singapore, argentina, australia – kevin wondered if the film would be shown in english in the different countries, and i tried to find this out.  i’m pretty sure it’s in english with the subtitles of whichever country it’s playing because i looked at the trailer for the one coming up in paris and that’s how it was.  i don’t know what you’d do in switzerland, though, since they have three official languages.  i did see a clip of the movie that somebody took at the hollywood bowl.  wow, i’d have loved to have seen that.

it took us almost three hours to get to davenport and while driving kevin said we could stop in galesburg for lunch, because he’d been to a great place there with his friend Garrick.  but as we got closer to galesburg it was raining and then the rain turned into huge snowflakes and we figured it could get worse, so instead we skipped the stop and drove right to davenport.  we had a tasty lunch at a great restaurant only a block from the concert hall.  i had avocado on toast, which i’d read is a very trendy thing now, and it was delicious and i’d eat some right now if i had any avocados in the house.

we walked to the concert hall and were happy that we’d decided to drive through even though the snow had stopped, because there were tons of cars in a huge traffic jam waiting to get into the parking ramp.  dodged that bullet.

we sat in the balcony; on our tickets it said the show was supposed to start at two, but on the program it stated that the start time was 2:30.  maybe they did this to get people in the door sooner?    i was really excited to see the show!

at this point the place wasn’t full, but people continue to pour in.

it was the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, and the place was Adler Hall.  a woman sitting next to us said she’d gone there when it was a grand movie theater back in the day.  the orchestra had over 70 musicians.  really cool.

here’s a bit of the beautiful lobby.

and here’s a short clip of the performance.  i’m not sure if youtube will take it down, because i’m sure it violates their copyright, but we’ll see.

one cool thing was that the conductor had a laptop in front of him with a flashing light on it for keeping the tempo, i assume – i’m pretty sure his monitor had the whole film on it, plus every once in a while there’d be a big green dot on his screen, which i think indicated that the music was about to start again.  it must have been challenging, playing along perfectly in sync.

and it’s good there were subtitles, because sometimes the glorious music drowned out the dialogue.  it was a wonderful experience, despite the fact that there were many, many children in attendance, two of them intent on kicking the back of our seats. it was such a unique experience; i read that there have been screenings of movies with orchestras for all kinds of movies, from “breakfast at tiffany’s” to a star trek movie.  watching this film made us want to watch all the harry potters again, and we’re already up to the fifth one.  when we watch them now i wish we had a GIANT screen to see them on because the scenery is so rich and detailed.  i don’t want a bigger TV, but i’d like to see the movies on a big screen again.  seeing all those lush mountains and beautiful lakes in the film also makes me want to go back to Scotland/England/Wales. sometime soon, hopefully.  i’d like to live in wales, but i guess that’s unrealistic, at least for right now.

the woman who we’d been chatting with told us that they had a festival of trees going on and if we took the walkway to the parking garage we’d be able to see them.  we weren’t sure where that might be, but we followed some people and ended up smack in the middle of the giant crowd of people entering the festival.  it was a mob scene, and kevin has been having lots of knee pain and going up and down stairs isn’t good for him, but we had to keep going up and down and ended up taking elevators repeatedly.  from what i could see of the festival, it didn’t actually look as nice as the one we have here in springfield, but we were mostly just focused on trying to find out way the hell out.

we spent the night in davenport and when we pulled into the hotel the delicious aroma of steak wafted across the parking lot.  the hotel was in one of those huge clusters of hotels/stores/malls/movie theaters, and we walked right across the parking lot to the granite city brewing company for another great meal. kevin had steak and i had a couple of kobe beef sliders, all of which were fantastic.

the restaurant had these giant growlers on all the tables.  jim thought it funny that we went to a brewery even though i hate beer and kevin can’t drink it.

even though it was a very short trip, it was certainly enjoyable.  i’d highly recommend checking out the harry potter in concert series in your area, or in someplace you might want to go.  dubai, anyone?

ok then,