Final Fantasy Distant Worlds, I went!
April 12, 2009

Tonight I had the pleasure of going to the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis to see Final Fantasy Distant Worlds, a fully orchestrated, full choir, all exclusive Final Fantasy concert. I think it was some Philharmonic Orchestra, possibly? It was an amazing experience, I must say. One I don't want to forget, so while the concert is fresh in my memory I'm going to talk about each song that was performed in the concert, and some other moments related to the show.

I took the bus into the city to get to the Orpheum Theater and along my ride I noticed a gaming acquantince of mine who goes by 'Dance Dragon,' and was glad to see him. Before he got onto the bus I was trying to psyche myself up a bit more for the show and really just wanted someone to talk to about it. When he got on the bus it took me a second to realize who it was but then patted him on the shoulder and said, "Let me guess, Distant Worlds?" and he says, "Yeaaaah!" and does a homey style hand shake. We talk about the concert and some video games too untill we arrive in the city. This was my first time walking with him and he walked really fast, I thought he was really excited or something! Well, I was too except I wanted to smoke a cigarette before going in. People were flooding into the theater entrance at this point and I felt obligated to follow the crowd untill two female cosplayers appeared in front of Dance Dragon and I, one was I believe Rydia or Terra Bradford and the other I think was either Paine or Locke, I didn't have enough time to examine their costumes to make certain. Dance Dragon immediately asked them for a picture, and in that moment I jump into the frame to get my picture taken with these hot cosplayer babes! Yeah! I had a big grin on my face.

I find my seat and I'm located on the floor about mid center, a great seat that I had no complaints about. The acoustics felt right enough there throughout the show. But I was nearly sandwiched by couples, making me wish that I had a girl to bring with me to a fucking Final Fantasy concert. Apparently one of the chicks I was sitting by was into cosplay too, she liked to do the White Mage from FFXI... and let me tell you, she had the white mage aura or something.

The show began with Liberti Fatali and let me just say, my jaw was dropped when I heard the first few songs of the night. The emotion of the compositions in their orchestrated form seemed to ride on my face and change my expression periodically. The choir was exceptionally fun to hear for Liberti Fatali, and it all came together as visuals of the opening FMV from FF8 were projected largely onto the background of the orchestra. I hadn't seen that footage for a long time so it brought up some old memories as Seifer and Squall clashed swords on that grey plain.

I don't quite remember the order of each song throughout the concert so I'll touch on some of them that I thought were before the intermission.

1. FF I-III Medley:

This was a well arranged piece, each melody flowed into eachother very smoothly. Chocobo and Rebel Army were included, among others.

2. FF Series Main Theme:
It's the main theme in all it's glory, not much to say, it was awesome.

3. Swing de Chocobo:
This was a very fun performance, I think it was closest to FFX's chocobo theme. High energy and had the audience laughing at a backdrop of a sprite chocobo running back and forth, with the camera zooming in more and more. It was very joyeous to hear. I think it had a horn solo of some sort.

4. Dear Friends:
Very awesome performance that featured a classical guitarist of some notoriety... I had never heard of him. A bit touching.

5. Vammo Alla Flamenco:
Awesome, the guitarist did some pretty quick licks.

6. To Zanarkand:
This song has always touched me a little bit and even moreso in orchestrated version that I got a bit teary.

Come the 15-20 minute intermission, I was already blown away at what I had witnessed. Because of this I was in a pretty talkative mood and tried to converse with some of the smokers outside during the intermission. Which was fun. I inadvertantly hit on this girl by saying "If there was a flower girl out here, I'd totally buy a flower from her," walking through the entrance I then add, "if you get that reference," and she perks up and says "Thanks!" like I meant she could have been the flower girl, ha ha. She WAS wearing pink, like Aeris, however. (Erm, her boy friend had left before this point, lol)

Then I contemplated buying an alcoholic drink for the rest of the show but observing the $6 and above prices, I passed for a three dollar coke. Yay, coke!

The highlight song of the night was definetely 'Maria and Draco', the FFVI opera scene. They had 2 male opera singers and a female do the vocal leads of the song, just like in the game. They showed the scene in the backdrop, even with some of the gameplay where Locke is running back and forth and the cakewalk battles. Heh heh. The lyrics were indeed in English, which made it even more fun. They stood side by side, and Maria held Draco's hand mid-point into the song, and Draco made a blushing face. (Well, the real people.) It gave us a chuckle. And the other dude competing for Maria's love sings, "Noooooow, we must duueeeel." (Laugh.) It got a standing ovation, it was really brilliant.

Fisherman's Horizon was also pretty brilliant. The choir breathed a lot of life into the piece, and the arrangement was freshened up a bit from FF Concert 2002. One-Winged Angel, Opening - Bombing Mission, and Aerith's Theme had me laughing at the awesomeness of each piece. OWA was the last song played, and it triumphed the night over, definetely. Cheers were had all around.

At the end of the show, Arnie Roth and Mr. Uematsu gathered on the stage to gauge the audience's cheers for the next song to be added to the Distant Worlds Tour, all of them being battle themes. We were asked to speak with our cheers. Out of Jenova, Dancing Mad, Clash on the Big Bridge, Force Your Way and Battle with Seymour; JENOVA won the loudest cheer with Dancing Mad tieing in closely. I rooted for Dancing Mad the most, personally, but thinking about it, JENOVA would be fucking awesome to hear orchestrated and all.

Uematsu was sporting a bandanna and long frizzly black hair, he looked pretty damn cool. Unfortunately I was not able to meet him as the VIP tickets were all sold out by the time I found out about the concert. But also, the VIP tickets were double the price of a normal ticket, like $140 for ticket and VIP or something crazy like that. I wonder if it was really worth it for the 100 some folks that got those VIPs.

At the end of OWA Uematsu came onto the stage and yelled into the mic, "Arnie Roth!" I was thinking the same thing, heh heh. Arnie Roth is the conductor for the tour, he was a pretty cool guy. The place was nearly packed and I had a great time. I recommend any of you Uematsu fans, go to this concert! It really is splendid, and one of the best theater / concert experiences I've ever had. It was sex for my ears, basically.

I'll post the picture of me with those cosplayers on my blog eventually, so, 'till next time! Minneapolis was only the first destination of the tour, so check if it will by you, too!

Most recent blog posts from Luke Schirmer...

Suskie Suskie - April 12, 2009 (05:38 PM)
I'm jealous. I should find out if there's a show in my area, if there hasn't already been one...

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