Zimmer led the charge from behind his keyboard as his Planet Earth II co-composers – Bleeding Fingers Music’ Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe – and an orchestra of over 25 members crammed onto the Ed Sullivan Theater stage to provide the theme while images from the acclaimed documentary project behind the musicians.
As the strings swelled and the music intensified, so did the visuals that accompany it: Colts fighting, a young tiger attacking a full-grown giraffe, penguins braving crashing waves.
Zimmer – whose scores include The Lion King, Inception, The Thin Red Line and Interstellar – previously made only two other U.S. late-night appearances, backing Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams for “It’s on Again,” the Amazing Spider-Man 2 collaboration they performed on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live in 2014.
Planet Earth II premieres February 18th on BBC America. As Colbert noted, the composer will embark on his first tour of the United States in April, a five-date trek that includes stops at both Coachella weekends.
Hans Zimmer Tour Dates
April 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
April 16 – Indio, CA @ Coachella
April 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic
April 21 – Las Vegas, NV @ Park Theater
April 23 – Indio, CA @ Coachella