ST. LOUIS - After an unavoidable reschedule from last October, the hit duo 2CELLOS dropped in to the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis on Jan. 29.
Playing to a packed house, Luka Šulić of Slovenia and Stjepan Hauser of Croatia, along with drummer Dušan Kranjc, opened the night with the accompaniment of a 10-piece orchestral ensemble and an additional keyboardist.
The show started at an easy tempo, playing songs from the group's latest album, “Score,” bringing familiar sounds from the silver screen to the theater. From the opening strains of “Chariots of Fire” to the haunting melody of “My Heart Will Go On,” songs that everyone knew were recreated to sound new and exciting, with just enough of a twist that they didn't feel rehashed.
After talking to the audience a bit - and judging by the responses making more than a few hearts flutter with their husky voices and Eastern European accents - they closed out the “softer side” of the set with “Now We Are Free” from 2000's "Gladiator."
Following this number, the tone of the evening changed. Beginning with Hans Zimmer's “Mombasa” and moving into a medley from the hit "Game of Thrones" series, the energy jumped up to 10 without any break to catch a breath. From there, it just cranked up even higher.
2CELLOS' trademark style is taking rock and heavy metal songs and turning them on their head.
Starting with Michael Jackson's “Smooth Criminal” and moving into the back half of the set, the night was filled with pounding sounds of AC/DC, Nirvana, Iron Maiden and the Rolling Stones.
With most of the stage clearing, leaving just Hauser and Šulić out front and Kranjc behind the drums, it gave room for more showmanship than had already been displayed. During the cover of AC/DC's “Highway to Hell,” for example, Hauser managed to take his cello and emulate Angus Young's famous duck-walk (itself cribbed from St. Louis-native Chuck Berry) across the stage while still keeping things rocking.
Closing out the night after a brief respite was a four-song encore, kicking off with the famous “William Tell Overture,” with its suggestions of galloping horses blending perfectly into “The Trooper” from Iron Maiden. Following this number were modern hits “Wake Me Up” from Avicii and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi. The final song of the evening, featuring only Šulić and Hauser, was “With or Without You” from U2, another band that has had to recently reschedule a show for St. Louis.
For those who knew what to expect from the show, it was a master class is execution, delivered with all the style, humor and talent they paid for and expected. For those going in, brought by friends or family without a hint of things to come, the night was full of surprises and energy.
And to everyone walking out of the Fabulous Fox, I don't think I would be overreaching to guess that there's one question being asked over and over again: When are they coming back?