As Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters this weekend, NYS Music wanted to take a look back at how the epic space opera has found its way into music. Here’s a look at some of the most famous, talked about, and overlooked moments where our favorite musicians have found a way to use the Force.
moe. Wars – 10/31/2015 – Philadelphia, Pa
moe. fans are still talking about Halloween. The band went all out for the festivities dressed in head-to-toe costumes of their Star War personas. But they went above and beyond for the event, not only playing music from the films, but changing existing moe. songs to lyrics inspired by them as well.
Jedi Trey – 6/9/12 -Portsmouth, Virginia
While many Phish fans will argue that Trey Anastasio is a musical Jedi of epic proportions , Jedi Trey proves it – light saber and all – in this “Maze” clip from 2012.
Zappa Plays Zappa – Star Wars Theme
Zappa Plays Zappa is known for playing all manner of covers, but every once in a while, they like to open with the Star Wars theme. Fans at the 2015 Catskill Chill were pumped when they kicked their set off in a similar fashion to this video from Amsterdam this past October.
We’d simply be remiss if we didn’t mention the king of pop parody. Weird Al is a huge Star Wars fans. The films have inspired numerous tunes including “The Saga Begins,” “Yoda,” and “I Think I’m a Clone Now.” This past July at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, Weird Al closed out his show with a Star Wars encore that would have even made Darth Vader dance.
Primate Fiasco – Star Wars Mash-Up
Pop-up street band Primate Fiasco likes to surprise fans at festivals with impromptu sets. Their dixieland style of music not only infuses DJ-style house music with folk roots, but also the best in pop culture references. At the 2011 Gathering of the Vibes, the band posted up outside the ferris wheel and created a memorable mash-up of Star Wars favorites.
Bill Murray – “Nick the Lounge Singer”
Saturday Night Live has a history of showcasing some of the best in music and pop culture. The show also has a long history of great musical comedy. This audio clip from 1978 captures the Bill Murray as “Nick the Lounge Singer” paying tribute to the Star Wars phenomenon.
Twiddle – Star Wars Theme/Endor Set
At the 2014 Frendly Gathering, Twiddle perched themselves atop tree stands some 15 feet in the air in a set that has since been coined the Endor Set due to it resemblances to the planet Endor’s high-hut housing. The set closed out the festival and included a switch in mid set from Dopopod. Twiddle is notorious for sneaking in a Star Wars theme from time to time as well. They even dressed as Star Wars characters for their 2014 Halloween show. Here’s a look at the boys with a Star Wars homage mid “Tiberius” in November 2014 at the Met in Rhode Island.
Moosebutter – “John Williams is the Man”
Moosebutter is an award-winning comedy a cappella group that hit internet superstar status when their tribute to the Star Wars theme composer John Williams went viral. The video even spawned several video knocks offs, but nobody does it quite like Moosebutter.
Otaku Gang – Life After Death Star (Notorious B.I.G/John Williams Remixes)
The Notorious B.I.G’s Life After Death is deemed by many to be one of the greatest rap albums of all times. Enter Star Wars fan and rapper Richie Branson. He teamed up with producer Solar Slim and the duo (dubbed Otaku Gang) recently released this epic mash-up of Biggie’s raps crossbred with John Williams Star Wars: A New Hope movie score. You can check out the whole album on SoundCloud.
Meco – Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk
Back in 1977, American record producer and musician Meco released a Star Wars-inspired disco record. The space disco version of the Star Wars theme and the album were both certified platinum in the U.S. and included a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.