In late July of 2005, I got to go to what has so far been the most exhilarating concert I’ve been to (as a member of the audience): Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy. Hearing this music that I’ve come to love as the soundtrack of many hours of virtual adventures played live, by the grand Detroit Symphony Orchestra, in beautiful Orchestra Hall, was incredible. When they played One-Winged Angel as an encore, and the audience finally lost the restraint it had been exhibiting and started wooing and clapping fiercely, man! Brings a tear to me eye and a smile to me soul!
July of 2006 brought PLAY! A Video Game Symphony to Detroit. I didn’t enjoy it as much because it included music from some games I’m not really familiar with, and since the audience consisted of many different fandoms the feeling in the seats wasn’t as electric. Indeed, I recall someone scoffing at one of the selections from Final Fantasy. On the other hand, three composers–Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts II), Hitoshi Sakimoto (Stella Deus), and Michael Salvatori (HALO)–came to Detroit and some fans got to meet them, and it was hilarious to hear the DSO play the Super Mario Bros. Medley.
After those two, there’d been a drought of video game concerts in Michigan, and I began to give up on the hope of ever seeing another FF concert, much less one for Michiru Yamane’s work from Castlevania (cross your fingers with me, please!). But finally, there’s news of a new concert series! Currently, the only Michigan performance is slated for April, 2009.
The new FF themed concert series is called Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. So far the set list doesn’t look much different from that of Dear Friends, but I’d go see it anyway…if it were a bit less far away. Alas, so far the only Michigan performance is all the way out in Grand Rapids. And–get this–Mr. Nobuo Uematsu himself will be there! Those lucky Grand Rapidian bastards! So far only the Grand Rapids and Denver stops are confirmed future performances, and I have hope that a Detroit stop will be added. After all, the tickets will be a guaranteed sell, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is all that and a bag of cellos!
You can find the series’ official site here.