Skip to Content

Trap Meets Classical As Metro Boomin Is Backed by a Full Orchestra in Hollywood

The evening was a spectacular reminder that rap and trap music deserve to be in the same conversation as classical music.

6:55 PM PDT on October 27, 2023

Metro Boomin Performing at Red Bull Symphonic LA // Natalie Somekh / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202310271567 // Usage for editorial use only //

Standing on top of a giant DJ booth before a sold-out crowd and backed by a full symphonic orchestra, GRAMMY Award-winning producer Metro Boomin’ ran through nearly a decade of his hits at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Thursday evening.

The show began with a slightly creepy computer-generated voice explaining to the audience that they were about to witness an unprecedented live event combining trap music with a live symphonic orchestra. 

"The duality of these two genres will blend in perfect harmony like a coin with two distinct faces," the voice said.

Metro's 25+ setlist opened with him dropping one of his signature "Metro!" adlibs followed by a roar from the sold-out crowd, before a string section consisting of more than two dozen handpicked musicians beautifully eased listeners into the introduction of 'Wicked,' a string-heavy 2016 banger by Future, co-produced by Southside and Metro Boomin'. 

Meanwhile, Metro controlled the 808 drum patterns that he and Southside helped pioneer from the DJ booth, positioned a couple of stories over the orchestra.

As the night progressed, so did the energy in the crowd. By the time Metro Boomin' got to his 2015 hit “Jumpman” with Drake and Future, nine tracks into his set, mind you, half the audience was on their feet dancing in between rows of seats like they were at an Atlanta strip club. 

The Red Bull-sponsored event attracted a who’s who of local tastemakers, including Do Knows from the Brown Bag Podcast and Randy Savvy from the Compton Cowboys, as well as streetwear clothing designers the Paisa Boys. In addition to musical icons such as from the Black Eyed Peas.

The West Coast premiere of the Red Bull Symphonic brought one of rap’s most successful producers and one of the most acclaimed conductors in the world to the same stage. Previously, Red Bull Symphonic worked with rapper and entrepreneur Rick Ross.

Led by conductor Anthony Parnther and music director/live show designer Laura Escudé, a hand-picked 43-piece symphonic orchestra worked with Metro Boomin’ to reimagine his chart-topping hits, which include collaborations with Kanye West, Future, Migos, and Post Malone.

Adorned in a black conductor’s tuxedo, white gloves, and an assortment of bling around his neck that still glistened in the light from the third floor of the Dolby Theater, Red Bull Symphonic surprised fans with special guests and performances by Swae Lee, Nav, and John Legend.

The performance was a seated event, but there were moments when the crowd couldn't contain themselves, and the Dolby Theater felt more like a packed club.

After a 90-minute performance that included nearly 30 tracks, a giant piano was wheeled on stage, and Metro Boomin’ closed out the night accompanied by John Legend, a 15-person choir, and an opera singer.

The evening was a spectacular reminder that rap and trap music deserve to be in the same conversation as classical music.

Below are some photos from the evening, courtesy of Red Bull.

Metro Boomin and Anthony Parnther at Red Bull Symphonic on Los Angeles, CA, USA on October 26, 2023 // Greg Noire /
Attendees at Red Bull Symphonic in Los Angeles, CA, USA on October 26, 2023 // Greg Noire
Anthony Parnther Conducting at Red Bull Symphonic LA // Natalie Somekh
Photo courtesy of Kirby Gladstein.
Kirby Gladstein / Red Bull Content Pool.
Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Woman Brings Claim Against City, Alleging Former LAPD Assistant Chief Put Tracking Device on Her Car

While on a trip with friends in September, the plaintiff discovered an Apple Airtag in a black box attached to the undercarriage of her vehicle, the claim states. Her friend scanned the Airtag and found that the serial number and owner information matched the last four digits of former Assistant Chief Alfred Labrada's city cellphone, according to her claim.

December 6, 2023

Exclusive: Macheen and Horchatería Rio Luna to Open New School Torta Shop in Paramount

Expect a tender beef barbacoa torta served with guajillo consomé to dip, a torta ahogada de camarón (shrimp) with a yuzu avocado puree drowned in a spicy lobster stock, and a "Mexi-Italian" sandwich with panela, hot pistachio salsa macha, and mortadella. This innovative torta venture in SELA is set to open next week on Monday.

December 5, 2023

Bésame Mucho 2023 Proved It’s Officially the Best Latino Music Festival Right Now

The ticket price of Bésame Mucho may be worth it alone for the amusing, overwhelmingly positive people-watching experience, especially seeing multiple generations of Latinos dancing to the same live music many of us grew up listening to at family parties.

December 4, 2023

Who Keeps Whitewashing Boyle Heights’ Anti-Gentrification Mural?

“We’re not going to let the gentrification of Boyle Heights go under the radar," says Viva Padilla, the founder of the anti-gentrification collective who collaborated with local artist Sergio Robleto to create the Posada-inspired art. They both have their suspicions of who is responsible for it.

December 2, 2023

L.A. Mayor Warns Unhoused Not to Sleep Alone As Police Seek Killer of Three Sleeping Homeless Men

Los Angeles police are searching for a man suspected of walking up to three unhoused people this week while they slept during the early hours of the morning and shooting them to death.

December 2, 2023
See all posts