Review: ‘Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’ in Concert at Southbank

Review: ‘Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’ in Concert at Southbank

By Adam Davidson

When ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ hit cinemas in 2018, it became an instant classic and revered by critics and movie-goers alike. This ‘In Concert’ event at the Southbank Centre breathes new life into the superhero movie and shows it like you’ve never seen before.

The film introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the Spider-Man mask.

The ‘Spider-Verse’ fans were seated, waiting in anticipation for a unique experience in this prestigious venue. The orchestra also took their seats as the conductor announced the special guest for the evening, Daniel Pemberton – the British composer who scored the ‘Spider-Verse’ movies.

There were huge cheers from the crowd as this was an unexpected treat for the sold-out crowd, seeing the original composer work his magic on stage.


The composer said that it’s usually his pet peeve when people talk or applaud during movies but he emphasised this isn’t your normal movie screening. Instead, he encouraged everyone to leave their British sensibilities at the door and cheer during their favourite scene or when their favourite character makes an appearance.

The idea of people cheering through a movie could be seen as cringe-inducing and prompt eye-rolls, which is usually my go-to reaction. Nevertheless, it worked really well for an animated movie like this that is full of action and drama. It gave everyone a fresh take of an established movie – which is a rare experience indeed.

Also joining Daniel Pemberton and the orchestra onstage was Londoner DJ Blakey, who featured in the original movies. It was a great contrast to see the modern DJ techniques in the same space as a classical orchestra, but both brought their unique spins on the soundtrack to great effect – especially during the scene where Biggie Smalls’ ‘Juicy’ blasts.

The ‘Spider-Verse’ movies are amongst the most stunning animated flicks ever created with ground-breaking animation, beautiful colours and graphics and heartfelt drama and action. The live orchestra enhances this with the music creating an intense drama and added emotionality.

One of the best examples of this is the scene in which Miles Morales dons the black suit for the first time before the action-packed climax. It is already one of the most thrilling scenes in the movie, but with a full orchestra, drums banging and an audience clapping and cheering along, it created an atmosphere that would be hard to replicate.


The movie ends and typically as soon as the credits start rolling that is the cue for everyone to get up and leave. However, this wasn’t the case tonight, because remember, this isn’t your normal movie screening!

The orchestra carried on performing the score throughout the credits, making it a must-watch viewing. It was interesting to watch the orchestra perform, as even though they had been performing for the last two hours, my eyes were fixed on the movie for the most part.

However, watching a live orchestra in the flesh was a stark reminder of the transformative power of a great soundtrack which can often be underappreciated in these types of superhero movies.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came at the end of the credits, Daniel Pemberton thanked the crowd and announced that they will return in October for ‘Across the Spider-Verse’, which will inevitably be a similar smash hit.