Four Times Bands Jammed with Symphonies (or Orchestras) and It Was Awesome


This Saturday, June 17th, Houston-based Gulf Coast Soul Ensemble The Suffers will rock out The Pavilion. The Suffers have a spectacular track record – they’ve played hundreds of shows across North America, jammed with the likes of David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah, and even played NPR’s Tiny Desk.


But The Suffers won’t take the stage alone. The Houston Symphony and The Suffers have joined forces to create an all-new, outrageously inventive and wildly fun show. We think that’s pretty cool. In fact, we think it’s pretty cool when bands of all sorts team up with symphonies to create something truly creative. Here are four times bands teamed up with symphonies (or orchestras) to outstanding results.

1. Death Cab for Cutie and Magik*Magik*Orchestra

In 2012, Death Cab for Cutie and Magik*Magik*Orchestra joined together to present a show infused with emotion and teeming with life. The Magik*Magik*Orchestra helped propel Death Cab’s already influential songs to new heights, engaging audiences in new and exciting ways. From the first note, the brilliant strings of the orchestra seamlessly integrated with Death Cab’s guitars and pianos – making it a beautiful thing to behold.

2. MUSE – Exogenesis

For their fifth studio album The Resistance, English rock band Muse branched out a little bit. While their typical style invokes alternative rock on a massive, stadium-sized scale, a few songs on The Resistance set off to walk a different path. “Exogenesis”, a symphony broken up into three songs and infused with Muse’s classic alt-rock style, exploded into stadiums and stereos in 2009. The symphonic sounds only heightened the already intense Muse performances and fans loved it.

3. Cinematic Pop Covers Nirvana

There’s just something about the way a brilliant voice sounds when it’s backed by a symphony. There’s a magic that’s created – it’s almost like they were made for each other. Even with a heavy song like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” the result is a fun and engaging performance – one that’s almost impossible to stop watching.

4. Adele and Conductor J.A.C. Radford – Skyfall

In 2012, Adele released the single Skyfall in conjunction with the new James Bond film of the same name. It was a complete success, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song among many other accolades. Adele’s soulful voice coordinates wonderfully with the 77-piece orchestra led by conductor J.A.C. Radford. The orchestra backing adds something resonant and deep to the performance, and again – something a little bit magical.


If these four past team-ups are any indication, we’re in for an amazing show on Saturday. The Suffers bring unimaginable energy to the stage and The Houston Symphony is known for its inventiveness and its ability to put forward fantastical performance after fantastical performance. Oh, and did we mention that the show includes FREE lawn and mezzanine seating? Reserved seating is just $25. 

We’ll see you there.

For information about The Pavilion, and The Suffers + Houston Symphony Show, head here.