The Best Night of My Life

A while back, Stevi and I were invited by Beth and Jorge to be their guests to The Lost Symphony at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. The event was to celebrate the show LOST and the music of academy award winning composer Michael Giacchino. As you may know, i am a huge fan of film music, have been my whole life, but more importantly i have been a fan of Michael Giacchino since 1999’s Medal of Honor. The fact that this was a film score event as well as a LOST even, this was definitely two worlds that i admire greatly coming together for the most perfect night ever.

Me and Stevi met up with Justin and Kathy and headed to Royce Hall. When we showed up, we picked up our tickets as well as our VIP wristband (pictured above). As you can see, the ticket was a boarding pass and the wristband had the hieroglyphics from the Swan Station’s countdown clock. As soon as i got these items, i got incredibly excited. This was more than just a mere concert, this was in fact going to be a celebration.

As we walked into the hall I was immediately recognized by Jo Opinionated. Talk about awesome!! As we walked down to the front of the hall i noticed that some of the seats that were surrounding us had place cards on them. The place cards had the name and the photo the person who would be sitting in the seats. Directly behind me was the place card for Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Roebuck and Daniel Dae Kim . Yes, that is correct, i had a closer seat than at least three of the cast members of LOST. The show was about to begin so i sat down. Unfortunately, my pants pocket got snagged on the arm of the chair and ripped the seam in my pants. DAMMIT. Oh well, my jacket covered it up.

So Damon and Carlton came out and introduced the cast members in attendance. It was a pretty crazy list: Daniel Dae Kim, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Michael Emerson, Henry Ian Cusick, Harold Perrineau, Nestor Corbonell, Ian Somerhalder, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Roebuck, William Mapother, Rebecca Mader, L. Scott Caldwell, Sonya Walger, Titus Welliver, Lance Reddick, Francois Chau, Kim DickensSterling Beaumon and Jeremy Davies.

After the cast left the stage, Damon and Carlton introduced Michael Giacchino and the performance started. I am so glad that Beth was kind enough to give me a tissue prior to the show, because i knew i was going to get misty-eyed at one point or another and i was right. The performance was beautiful and moving. In between cues, various cast members read messages from a bottle, from survivors of the island who’s stories had yet to be told.

The music was played over still images from the show’s 6 season run. Giacchino conducted the orchestra as they played many of the key themes from the show. One of my favorite pieces was the “Jacob Theme” played along side “Locke’s Theme”. It was a great piece! At the end of the show, they played “Parting Worlds“, with a montage of footage from the highs and lows of the LOST story all leading to the footage of Michael, Walt, Jin and Sawyer leaving the island on the raft. It was pretty moving.

After a long standing ovation, Giacchino came back out in a Dharma Initiative jumpsuit that said ‘Conductor’ on the back. He then performed his theme for the Academy Award winning score to Pixar’s “Up”. Of course I had to break out my tissue yet again.

The concert had concluded and even though it was already an incredible night, it was far from over. The producers came out and brought up some members of the production team, including writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (LOST, TRON: Legacy). Edward and Adam introduced the penultimate episode of the series, “What They Died For”, an episode that was premiered, in its entirety,  for the audience in attendance.

There is not much that i can say about the episode, other than the fact that it was chock full of LOST goodness! There are so many twists and turns, it made my head spin. This episode also had my favorite scene of the entire season. The scene was so badass and amazing, i could not wait to see what would happen next. When you watch it, you will know which scene i am talking about. The sounds system was loud, the audience reaction was amazing and the episode brought the house down!!

The night was already so amazing. I thought that I would never come down from cloud 9, but the funny thing is, the night was only half way over!

After the end of the episode, we all immediately stood up and were escorted into the back stage area. After we walked past the security employees, we walked out onto a rooftop patio and were greeted by a full bar and all the creative forces behind LOST. I felt like Charlie Bucket walking into the Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I am sure my eyes were as big as saucers!

As a fan of the show, i felt like i didn’t deserve to be at this event. Everyone from Damon and Carlton to Brad Bird (d. The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) were in attendance, not to mention all of the cast members mentioned above. It was incredibly surreal.

My favorite encounter was meeting Edward Kitsis. I got his attention and waved him over to me. He obliged. I let him know that i was kicking myself big time for not wearing my 89 Forever pin. His eyes lit up! I told him about going to San Francisco for the day just to see the “Alan Bradley” speech. His eyes lit up again as he told me the story of being in a hotel room that night with Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan, going over his script for that event. Stevi was standing with me while we talked and i let Edward know that she was not a fan of the original. He did not take offense and told her that he hoped TRON Legacy wouldn’t make her as sleepy. It was so amazing!

I met so many cool people. I had such a blast hanging out with Justin, Kathy and Stevi the whole night. We were all geeking out pretty hard and the drinking only made it more difficult to hide our excitement.

I cannot thank Jorge and Beth enough for allowing us to be a part of such an amazing event! I will remember this night for the rest of my life!!

CHECK MY PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT!

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About casinoskunk

...is an action film made in 1982 directed by former stuntman Hal Needham.

20 responses to “The Best Night of My Life”

  1. Suzanne says :

    Dude. Awesome. The ticket/wristband are so COOL! I want to see them. I am going to look at the photos now.

  2. Michael says :

    I was going to whip out my hieroglyphics guide, but I have a feeling that it’s all nonsensical gibberish anyways…

  3. Dan Wong says :

    Brad Bird!!!! So jealous about that! Sounds like a really really awesome night 🙂

    • casinoskunk says :

      Once Jorge gets his cord for his camera back, he said he would send me more pictures. There is a great picture of Me, Jorge, “Old Birdie” and Justin that i cannot wait to see!!

  4. Producer Ryan says :

    I am thrilled an excited that you got to be a part of such amazing event. I can’t imagine anybody who might appreciate it more than you. You truly have thoughtful and generous friends.

  5. SouthernmostKris says :

    I am so happy for you. Even though I’ve never posted, or called or tweeted with you, I’ve followed your Lost endeavors for years now, and I’m so glad that this happened to you of all people! And that fact that you shared it with us all makes it so humble and your excitement is palpable and contagious! Congratulations on the best night of your life!

    • casinoskunk says :

      I have never gotten paid for years of podcasting. All of these years of doing the show has still be rewarding, especially when it comes to positive fan response such as this. This event was the icing on the cake. As it turns out Jorge and Beth are big fans of the Dharmalars and they the fact that they thought of me and stevi when they were asked to participate made us incredibly warm inside.

      There is nothing that i will ever be able to do to repay them with gratitude. It was an incredible event and i wish that more people could have experienced what i had last night. I hope that my piss-poor writing gave you an inkling of what the night was like. I may have to go into more detail about the event with Jorge and Ben on our Finale episode of The Dharmalars.

      Thank you so much for the comment, it really made me happy.

  6. jshady says :

    It was pretty awesome, dude! Glad we got to share it together! And then share our wives.

  7. Eric says :

    Great recap of the nights events! Dude, your writing style is great. Jorge chose…wisely. Anyway, do you think the messages from the bottles will be considered canon for the series, or just something fun they did for this event?

    • casinoskunk says :

      I suppose you can consider them canon since they do not effect the main story line. They are all from passengers from the passengers of Oceanic 815 who wander the background of the show. Some of thej letters refer to event that we have seen, such as Aaron being born or the scary noises heard in the jungle. It was really cool to listen to.

  8. paulyS says :

    Wow, sounds like you had the time of your life. I am a fan of the show, but nowhere near as big a fan as you! I don’t know you that well, other than a few conversations on Facebook, but I think you definitely deserve this as payback for all of your dedication to the show over the years… well done mate!

    Also, butt babies take about 12 hours to mature…shorter if you eat plenty of branflakes…

    • casinoskunk says :

      I was there mostly as a Giacchino fan. I remember going to a John Williams concert and there were nerds with lightsabers. I am glad that the LOST fans that were there were respectful of the event. It was really great!

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