I attended least year's Distant Worlds concert and thoroughly enjoyed the experience despite the fact that my only Final Fantasy experience was playing Final Fantasy VII partway through. Once again, the Houston Symphony Orchestra was to perform a variety of music from the Final Fantasy videogame series under the direction of Conductor Arnie Roth.
In order to provide something new for repeat attendees, songs from Final Fantasy XIII and XIV were introduced to the program. This resulted in other pieces being dropped, and I will admit that I wouldn't have minded hearing the Final Fantasy Theme again. The performance was wonderful and I joined the audience in enthusiastically showering Mr. Roth and the orchestra with applause and cheers at the end of each song.
Soprano Susan Calloway lent her impressive vocal talents to “Suteki Da Ne” and “Melodies of Life,” among others. Final Fantasy XIII composer Masashi Hamauzu was present in the audience and joined Mr. Roth for a Q&A session after the concert. Sadly, composer Nobuo Uematsu was unable to attend; he and the “Black Chocobo from Hell” were greatly missed.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening of music that attracted a wide variety of people. There were people dressed up in suits, dresses, slacks, skirts, jeans, and even a few attendees dressed up as their favorite Final Fantasy characters.
The only negative thing I can say about the event is that some of the attendees were just a little too overenthusiastic. At one point, as Mr. Roth was preparing to begin, there was a yell of “WE LOVE YOU HOUSTON SYMPHONY!” from the audience. Is some respect for the proceedings too much to ask? Being a musician myself, I was a bit irked at that.
That minor quibble aside, the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy concert provided a very entertaining evening. If you are a music lover, a Final Fantasy fan, or a gamer that is curious about what an evening at the symphony is like, I would highly recommend attending a Distant Worlds concert.
Indeed, you may want to check out what's going on at your local orchestra; you might be surprised at some of the neat stuff going on. The following weekend, the Houston Symphony Orchestra will be showing "The Lord of the Rings" with the orchestra playing the soundtrack alongside the movie. If not for the three-hour drive, I would be SO there!
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