I was lucky to be one of the very few fans that got tickets to Sunday night’s Official Battlestar Galactica: Season Two Soundtrack Album Release Show in Los Angeles.
I actually live in San Diego, not LA, but it’s close enough that I’d figure it’d be worth the drive up (and the more painful drive home… I didn’t get back until 2am Monday morning). And it’s Galactica, right?
So, let’s get to it. The doors were supposed to open at 7pm, so I arrived around 6:30. Initially, there were only half a dozen fans, but the line eventually grew to maybe 20 or 30 people before we started entering the club.
The Mint is actually a fairly small space on the inside. As you enter, there’s a bar to your immediate right, then to the left is the stage, a small open floor, and a few booths on either side of the stage.
Given the size of the venue and the makeup of the crowd, I’d say that most of the people who attended the party were friends of Bear McCreary’s and/or other people who work on Galactica. So fans who got tickets were pretty damn lucky.
BT4 starts the show up
Once everybody was settled in, the show got going. First up was lead singer BT4, backed by Bear McCreary, Paul Cartwright, and Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez with a set of five songs.
For those who don’t know, BT4 is one of several musicians who contributes to the BSG soundtrack, but he also happens to be the younger brother of Bear McCreary.
BT4’s best talent is his enthusiasm. With only one album so far, his sound is still a work in progress, but his voice is amazing and the last two or three songs in the set were strong. BTW, BT4 would like you to know that his website is bt4online.com — he kept shouting it out during the show, but in a funny way that didn’t annoy.
Surprise! Richard Hatch takes the stage!!!
When BT4 finished, Richard Hatch jumped up on stage to introduce the first set of video clips from the show. I’d seen him enter The Mint while we were all standing in line, but it was still an unexpected appearance on this part.
Richard was, as always, a complete gentleman. Once on stage, he revealed that Tom Zarek is really the original Apollo… after Galactica 1980, Apollo disappeared and wound up in a fleet prison barge. He rotted there for 25 years and eventually became Zarek. “What 25 years in jail can do to a man…”
Video presentation (Part 1)
The first video clip sequence consisted of many of the themes Bear has written cut against some of the more spectacular moments from Season 2. I didn’t have a clear view of the screen, so I wasn’t able to take any notes about what was shown. But it was a moving reminder of everything the Galactica crew faced during the 2nd season.
The BSG Band
When it finished, the full Battlestar Galactica band, orchestra, group — whatever you want to call them — came on stage. This was basically everyone who played with BT4 plus some of the other musicians who work on the show (many of which were formerly members of Oingo Boingo.)
Two other guys I should mention are John Avila and Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez. These guys are awesome, but I wasn’t able to get good pics of either of them. (There are bios and pics on Bear’s website, though.)
The 1st set
For the first set, the group played five tracks. Since they didn’t have the full orchestra on hand, the songs naturally tended towards the percussion side.
Video presentation (Part 2)
After the first set, the band took a break and the videos returned. The second video show featured Bear talking about his process a bit, and then short, funny interviews with each musician. BT4 played a funny song about working in outer space. Paul Cartwright appeared to accept cash for saying good things about Bear. Avila, Fernandez, and Gordy also appeared.
The 2nd set
1. Standing in the Mud (from Black Market)
2. Something Dark is Coming (from Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1)
3. A Mess of Me (Raya) — Raya’s version of the ‘Roslin and Adama’ theme
4. Gina escapes (from Resurrection Ship, Part 2)
5. Black Market (from Black Market)
6. Wander My Friends (from The Hand of God — Season 1)
The 3rd track was a reworking of the Adama/Roslin theme by Raya Yarbrough. It was slower, more emotional, and had lyrics that more directly addressed the long-suspected love affair about Adama and Roslin.
At the end of the set, Bear thanked everyone for coming and the band left the stage. Soon after, the band grabbed a table next to the stage and began signing CDs. The Season 2 CD isn’t actually on sale yet, but pre-release copies were available for $15.
So, yeah, it was a pretty awesome night. If they have another party next year, I highly recommend going. (Hopefully, they’ll have a bigger venue next time.)
For those who are interested, I’ve uploaded all of my party photos to Flickr.
(And special thanks to Ken Charlson and his wife for hanging with me all night!)
UPDATE: Bear McCreary sent me a copy of the official set list, so the track names are all correct now. Thanks, Bear! (I’ve also added links to the Battlestar Wiki page for each episode).