Saturday, March 01, 2008

Distant Worlds

The Distant Worlds concert was absolutely fantastic! Although he did not conduct, Nobuo Uematsu was present, and he came on stage a couple of times, to multiple standing ovations. Arnie Roth was the conductor, and he was awesome. I bought the CD, which was a recording of the Stockholm concert. I hope they put out a CD of this concert too, though, because they performed two pieces not on the Stockholm CD: “To Zanarkand” and “Terra’s Theme.”

The concert began with “Liberi Fatali,” and the moment the chorus started, all the hairs on my head stood on end. I’ve always loved that piece, and hearing it live was utterly electrifying.

All through the concert, images from the games were projected onto huge screens. Not just the polished cutscenes, but scenes from actual game play. So during “Don’t Be Afraid,” they projected images of several fights as the FFVIII characters were running across the bridge. “Aerith’s Theme” was accompanied by many scenes from Aerith’s life (but not her death, which everyone associates with that song).

They did a version of “Maria and Draco” from FFVI with three opera soloists performing the roles. This was especially cool, given that the original opera never had vocals--the sound technology on the old game cards couldn’t handle it. But they timed the text lyrics with the music so well in the game that you almost didn’t notice the lack of actual vocals. But it was extremely cool to hear it performed all-out as a real opera.

The audience was mixed with people dressed to the nines on down to people in T-shirts. There were a few cosplayers, but not many. I did spot a really nice red mage and white mage down on the main floor, near the front.

I’d write more, but I’m really tired, and our flight back to Omaha leaves really early tomorrow.

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