“This is not a classical concert,” cellist Luka Šulić declared to the crowd gathered at the Greek Theatre.
Someone who has never stumbled across a 2CELLOS music video on YouTube would have been surprised at that statement. Electric cellos in hand, bows poised, sharply dressed, 2CELLOS duo Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser certainly looked every bit like the talented classical musicians that they are.
But the Croatian duo is by no means limited in genre. 2CELLOS is known for putting new twists on songs that audiences know and love on the resonating strings of the cello, from classical to pop to rock and film scores.
At their July 19 concert at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, 2CELLOS performed songs from their new album, “Score.”
“Score,” which was released in March 2017, is inspired by classic movie scores, “which sound much better on the cello than the original,” joked Hauser.
It was fitting that 2CELLOS played them live for the first time in Hollywood—never before had they performed tracks from “Score” before a live audience.
The duo performed themes from “The Godfather,” “Rain Man,” and “Titanic,” among others. Hearing these familiar songs performed on the cello lent them a new, richer quality. Watching Hauser and Šulić’s fingers flit across the strings as they coaxed the music out of their electric cellos was mesmerizing.
No, this was not a classical concert—but there were a few classical elements. 2CELLOS also performed “The Trooper Overture,” a self-arranged mashup of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.” New wave heavy metal met Romantic-era opera and combined in a way that shredded the hairs of the cellists’ bows and somehow sounded undeniably awesome.
2CELLOS also brought classic rock onto the stage, covering AC/DC songs like “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black,” as well as The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” The cello isn’t typically an instrument that you think of as befitting rock and roll, but Hauser used a shoulder strap to carry his electric cello like a guitar and strutted on the stage with all the charisma and energy of a rock star. Their drummer, Dusan Kranjc, wowed the crowd with electrifying drum solos. Kranjc’s drumming was a key part in making sure that 2CELLOS and their accompanying strings and keyboard felt like true rock and roll.
By the end of the night, 2CELLOS had played hard enough to shred half the horse hair in their bows. The amount of energy and passion they poured into each performance showed how much they truly love their art. And their excitement was contagious— the crowd kept pleading for one more song at the end of the concert, and was indulged a good three or four times before the night finally had to end with a beautiful rendition of U2’s “With or Without You.”
In an age of electronically produced music, watching 2CELLOS perform is a reminder of the heart and skill that musicians put in to truly bring music to life.