Distant Worlds @ Grand Rapids, April 14

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Official Website

My day began really crummy.  I could have sworn it was going to be a horrible day.  I was ill, and it got worse with motion sickness during the drive to Grand Rapids, MI.  It’s not that my boyfriend’s a horrible driver: I’ve either gotten so used to driving, or I have worse ear problems than I thought.  Anyhow, we got there two hours before the concert, enough time to eat dinner before feeding our geeky glee with -zomg- a symphonic concert of our favorite video game series.

Admittedly, I was half terrified about this event.  I’ve been to plenty of concerts before, so I’m used to the notion of dressing up formally, like Sunday dress.  What I was terrified of seeing were all the Sephiroth cosplayers there.  Barring certain details, um… anyways, I was glad to see no Sephiroth cosplayers.  I did see an Edea cosplayer, though! (=o) At least half of the attendees were formally dressed.

And, everyone behaved until the -maybe- last 20 minutes of the concert, but we’ll get to that, eventually.

During the concert, there was a large flat screen that showcased various scenes respective of the game the symphony was play from.  Sadly, it was a hit-and-miss.  I imagined that whoever pieced together the video had access to a wider variety of videos from each game.  Sometimes, the footage was well-chosen.  I almost cried during “Final Fantasy X: To Zanarkand” while they were showing footages of Yuna performing “the Sending”. (We’ll ignore the fact that, when ill, I get more emotionally sensitive. *lol*)  Other times, it was very disappointing.  There were a lot of regurgitated sequences within seconds of each other. *lol* I was hoping they’d show more footage of Final Fantasy XI during “Final Fantasy XI: Ronfaure“, but it was usually just the opening cinema with a hiccup somewhere in there.  They didn’t show much of Ronfaure until the last minute.  Finally, the footage would often finish a minute before the orchestra… which, we’ll get to in a minute.

The performance was wonderful.  Susan Calloway (Final Fantasy XI: Memoro de la Stono – Distant Worlds) and Jody Doktor, Mark VandenBerge, and William Bokhout (Final Fantasy VI: Opera “Maria and Draco”) were phenominal.  It was such a treat to hear their performance. (On a sidenote, my boyfriend and I wished that they showed the sequence on the screen while they were singing.  Personal experience, there are operas with subtitles.  Seriously.)

The Grand Rapids Symphony and Chorus performed (in no particular order):

  • Final Fantasy series: Main Theme, Swing de Chocobo
  • Final Fantasy I-III: Medley
  • Final Fantasy V: Dear Friends
  • Final Fantasy VI: Opera “Maria and Draco”, Terra’s Theme
  • Final Fantasy VII: One-Winged Angel, Opening – Bombing Mission, Aerith’s Theme
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Liberi Fatali, Fisherman’s Horizon, Love Grows, Don’t be Afraid
  • Final Fantasy IX: Vamo’ alla Flamenco
  • Final Fantasy X: To Zanarkand
  • Final Fantasy XI: Memoro de la Stono – Distant Worlds, Ronfaure

It was an interesting, quirky experience, hearing all of those video game songs done by a symphony.  This is an experience that I would definitely pay to experience, again.  Some of the songs, though, were slow… which we’ll get to in a minute.

Overall, this was a fun experience that made my day much better.  It was a surprise to see Mr. Nobuo Uemastu sitting among the audience just just five meters away from my boyfriend and me!!  We could have thrown something at him! *lol* Of course, we didn’t, especially since the ushers were escorting people out of the theater for taking pictures.

Mr. Uematsu seems like he’d be a quirky gentleman.  He was simply dressed… with a Black Mages bandana and sandals and toed socks (in this kind of cold, rainy, Michigan weather?!).  He also joked around on the stage:

“Can you understand my English?  Can anyone speak Japanese? *waits* Wanna translate? :D”

Mr. Uematsu looked like he was having a ball, bobbing while singing with the chorus during “Final Fantasy VII: One-Winged Angel. He was all smiles.

Folks started to relax when they did a survey of which battle theme to arrange.  Someone bellowed out FFVI’s Dancing Mad right after the conductor and Mr. Uematsu announced the time for it. *lol* The selections were:

  • Final Fantasy V: Big Bridge
  • Final Fantasy VI: Dancing Mad
  • Final Fantasy VII: J-E-N-O-V-A
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Force Your Way
  • Final Fantasy X: Fight with Seymour

FFVI’s Dancing Mad, FFVII’s J-E-N-O-V-A, and FFX’s Fight with Seymour were the final votes, with each one progressively getting louder cheers.  I hope Dancing Mad wins.

I have plans of trying to attend another one of the Distant Worlds concerts.  Maybe I’ll get there early enough to buy some goodies from the sourvenir booth before the… “hey! It’s just like the Fellow NPC BCNM battle in Ghelsba Outpost” line. *lol*

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for!  That’s it, it’s the Memorable Line of the Evening!!… ok, not really, but I figured that I’d end this blog post with this little tidbit my boyfriend overheard:

“‘You guys are going too fast!’ That’s because you’re too slow!!”


~ by aerroenu on April 15, 2009.

3 Responses to “Distant Worlds @ Grand Rapids, April 14”

  1. I was there too! :D That was such a great concert. Susan Calloway was amazing and Nobuo really looked like he was having a good time in the choir there at the end.

    I’m terrible at tracking down these types of concerts, so if you know of any others in our area any time soon, feel free to drop me a line about it.

  2. … alternatively, I could read my own freakin’ LJ comments every so often and see that you already told me about the Distant Worlds one. Way to go, Ere.

  3. I would like to make a point about the bit I overheard at the restaurant. It was stated by members of the orchestra that were discussing on whether or not they should have a beer before the performance, which led to the comment about the conductor being too slow.


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