• The concert!!!

    11. Mär. 2008, 3:22

    Saturday, March 1, 2008. 8:02 PM, I arrived at to the concert late! As I made my way hurriedly through the great entrance of the Rosemont theatre near Chicago Illinois, I could hear the pulsing low strings that are the beginning of Liberi Fatali, the choir building in intensity as I, myself, was racing to get to my seat amongst darkness and people. As I came to my seat and settled they had just reached second line of text, and everything was growing in excitement. I then noticed that there were three screens above the chorus and orchestra portraying the opening scene of FFVIII (To be technical here, it was the so-called “true opening” that seemed much more like a fan-made trailer, check it out on youtube). Liberi Fatali was everything that I would have expected it to be, live. I wanted to sing along with the approximately forty person chorus, the Chicagoland Festival Chorus (If memory serves me correctly). They really did a good job on all of the arrangements that featured chorus.

    After the opening number, our conductor for the evening, Arnie Roth, welcomed us, the audience, and introduced great man who started it all, Nobuo Uematsu. He’s just like you see him on any video, very humble and energetic, continuously bowing, waving, and smiling. After that, Conductor Roth introduced the audience to two gentlemen from Square-Enix. I don’t rightly remember what they were doing there, but it was for some special reason.

    Now, I don’t really remember the order of the program, but I do remember the pieces that were performed, so in the order that I can remember the best, here is a listing of what was featured at Distant Worlds, and my take on each of them:

    Liberi Fatali
    I really enjoyed experiencing this piece live. FFVIII was the first game that I ever watched the opening to, reset the game, and watched the opening again. It is a wonderful piece that tells of the coming menace in our story of VIII.

    Aerith’s Theme
    This one was very moving for all of the Aerith fans. Along with the music, we were given multiple images of the flower girl from the game. From the time that that Cloud fell into the church, to the moment right before Sephiroth came down upon her back with his Masamune, we were reminded of our holy flower girl without having to see the disturbing images of Sephiroth. They cut him out of the scenes and skipped over the parts involving him all together. It was really sad and the lady sitting next to me started crying, and she was like 40 years old.

    Fisherman’s Horizon
    This one was definitely a wonder to behold live. It was not too different from the arrangements that we’ve heard before, but there were still some minor differences. The orchestra (horns section I think) played the beginning chord of the piece for the choir I think, but it was still nice because it wasn’t just a single pitch (maybe the choir needed that much help?) Also, I think the choir sang different vowels. Instead of “ooh”s we got a lot of “aah”s, and “aah”s are more beautiful to me. I really enjoyed this one.

    Don’t Be Afraid
    This had to be one of my favorites. We start with a darkened stage. Suddenly, on the three screens, we see downtown Dollet, which is occupied by Squall, Seifer, Zell, and a dog. You all remember this part, right? Well, I didn’t know where they were going with this at first, and I don’t think anybody else did either. Of course we all knew that Don’t Be Afraid is the battle music from eight, but what did this scene have to do with the battle? Well, the scene played out and then the player got control and started making his way to the satellite. It was at this moment, when Squall was crossing the bridge that the audience started chuckling, for now we understood the joke. Sure enough, when the screen faded in pure Final Fantasy battle transition, the orchestra started the music and we witnessed a FFVIII battle as if we were just watching it on someone’s TV. There was a lot of laughing going on. It was clever.

    To Zanarkand
    To Zanarkand was absolutely wonderful. If memory serves me correctly, it’s basically the same arrangement that was heard at Tour de Japon. Nothing more to say here…

    I-III Medley
    Pretty much the same exact thing heard on the 20020220 album. The footage was from the DS games I think, because I had never seen it before.

    Distant Worlds
    A local soprano sang this one. She did a good job, but she seemed kind of nervous. I really like this music thanks to forum member Andrew. He kinda analyzed it as we were listening to it, and it made me appreciate it even more. The choir also did a good job, and though I haven’t played FFXI, I have listened to the music, and I like it a lot.

    Final Fantasy
    This one closed the first half of the concert. It was very moving, but nothing special was added.

    Swing De Chocobo
    I’ve never really liked this arrangement of the Chocobo theme… until NOW!!! Lol. I really liked hearing this one live.

    Okay, by now I’ve noticed that everything I am saying is the same thing. I don’t really know what else to say. So here are the rest of the pieces I remember being performed:

    Vamo all Flamenco
    Love Will Grow ( I must say I loved the pianist, she was amazing)
    Theme of Love
    Maria and Draco
    Terra’s Theme

    One Winged Angel
    Around the end of the show, they tried to trick us. After Maria and Draco was performed Arnie Roth said “Oh, I forgot to tell you that Maria and Draco was the last piece to be performed… but we’ll do one more”. Suddenly some random person from the audience screamed out “ONE WINGED ANGEL!!!!” and the audience cheered in approval of the outburst. Roth responds “But that’s so predictable. .. well, we have something equally as thrilling… a great arrangement of Terra’s theme.” Nobody really said anything, but I know that they were all thinking the same thing that I was (WTF!?). Deep down I knew that it wasn’t over. I mean, the choir was still on stage! Sure enough, they performed OWA, and it was crazy.