Sitcom and movie themes took center stage last Saturday night (Apr. 16) during a unique set by composer extraordinaire Danny Elfman at Coachella, which was finally back after two years of COVID cancellations.
The rare appearance by the composer and Oingo Boingo leader included a number of songs from films that Elfman has scored. Conducting a full orchestra behind him, Elfman led the crowd through music from Edward Scissorhands, the 1989 Batman movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Spiderman and more before a powerful rendition of The Simpsons theme song. Twitter video from a good chunk of Elfman’s set at the festival can be found below.
As well as the orchestra, Elfman employed a who’s who of rock as his backing band. Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle) was on drums, Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) and Nili Brosh (The Iron Maidens) handled guitars and Stu Brooks (Mike Patton) was on bass. Elfman ran through a bunch of Oingo Boingo tracks as well, including “Insects,” “Nothing to Fear (But Fear Itself),” “Only a Lad,” “Who Do You Want to Be” and the Halloween classic “Dead Man’s Party.”
Elfman, who showed off an impressive physique (and tattoos) for a 68-year-old (he had stripped off his shirt by the end of his performance), promised and delivered on as he put it, “a strange little show.” As he wrapped up, he said, “Thank you for bringing me out of… whatever it’s called, I forget,” stopping short of using the word “retirement.” He then added, “Thank you. I like it here.”
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