And then I heard those magical words: NOBUO UEMATSU
I was in the right place! I WAS GOING TO SEE FINAL FANTASY!
I got my ticket, and headed indoors. The atrium was smallish, but nice, and I could hear the sounds of flutes floating through the air. I immediately made a beeline for the souveniers. I wanted to get two soundtracks--one for me, and one for my mom.
Oh, I haven't told you about mom yet. She had misgiving about this vacation. She wasn't too sure about me going to Detroit alone (and I don't blame her for this at all; I was a bit nervous about it myself). But she also couldn't wrap her mind around the concert.
"So what are you going for? A concert."
"Yup. It's a concert of video game music."
"...Video game music."
"Yup. It's really, really good."
"Is it outdoors?"
"No, it's a symphony. It's at Orchestra Hall."
"Oh. I see."
I could tell that she didn't. "Let me burn you a copy of some of it. I think you'll enjoy it."
I was too busy that night to burn anything, but gave Dad my copy of the Symphonic Suite the next day at work (it was a burned copy for traveling).
Mom called me that night.
"Karen! I just had to call and tell you how much I ENJOYED the CD! I was so disappointed when it ended and I realised there were only seven tracks! WHERE CAN I GET MORE?"
So yes, mom's a Uematsu fan now. ^_^
Back to the souvenir table. Hmm, I don't see any CDs.
"I don't see it but I've got to ask: Do you have the soundtrack."
"No! I wish we did! We'd be selling them like hotcakes!"
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE SOUNDTRACK. THOSE BASTARDS!
It's okay; I can probably get it online. But it would have been even specialier to get it at the concert so I could listen to it on the train on the way home, and so I could present mom with her own copy. I did buy a program, though.
Fifteen minutes to showtime! The ticket checker told me the boxes were on the second floor, so I headed upstairs. It turns out that the flute music I heard was live--a high school flute choir was playing on the second landing.
Hey, that sheet music looks familar...
"We'll play The Royal March next."
"I've played that!"
Giggles from the schoolgirls. I hadn't meant to say that outloud, but it kind of just blurted. *grins* It was one of my favorite songs from chamber ensemble in my high school days, and it was a thrill to here it again.
On to my seat! I get my free poster as I enter, and am shown to Box K, Row 1, Seat 7 - just off center on the right-side. I sit down in my chair, which is much
more comfortable than what I'm used to at the theater.
"Oh, awesome awesome awesome."
This got me some weird looks, but I didn't care. I was excited!
And now the moment you've all been waiting for: the concert, the concert, the concert.The concert. Was. AMAZING.
First song: Liberi Fatali
. One of my favorites, as I fell in love with Squall the first time I saw it. I wasn't too sure of the high school choir at first since they pronounced the Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec different than I'm used to, but then the orchestra crescendoed and Squall was fighting Seifer on the screens and I was completely enthralled. I may have cried a bit
Then To Zanarkand
, the first Final Fantasy song I fell in love with (I went home and downloaded both the .mp3 and the sheet music after Roger played me the opening of FFX.) So, so beautiful, and sad, and haunting. They chose to play most of the Yuna's dance during the sending, which was effective even though that's not the music that goes with that scene. I got chills during this one.
Then Terra's Theme
and Theme of Love
. I've never played VI and don't have Terra's Theme
on any of my assorted discs, so this was new to me. I liked it, though, and thought the video clips looked interesting. Theme of Love
I'm well familiar with, and was glad to here it expertly played.
Then came Dear Friends
and Vamo'alla Flamenco
--more favorites, especially the latter. I have to do extra gushing for these two. While the orchestra was warming up, I noticed an acoustic guitar player sitting in the front row. Odd, because you don't usually see guitars at the orchestra, but very cool, I thought. He played on these two songs.
OMG. He was INCREDIBLE
He watched the conductor more than he watched his sheet music, so that he got the cues perfect
. Dear Friends
sounded more poignant than normal, with the slight hesitation before each note was struck, and Vamo'alla Flamenco
... *explodes from glee* Just amazing. Absolutely amazing. Not only the guitar player, but the whole orchestra. So very good!
Rounding out the first half was Love Grows
More Squall & Rinoa! I squeed when they played the Waltz of the Moon clip. May have gotten more looks for this, but I DON'T CARE. A favorite song (not this arrangment of it, but still a favorite), with possibly my favorite video clip from all the games, played by an excellent orchestra. I couldn't not
Intermission time! I decided to go downstairs and get a soda. While I was waiting in line I smelled something wonderful, and saw a girl walk by with a plate of pasta, so I craned my neck and saw they had a mini-buffet where you can purchase food. So I switched to the next line so I could get a better look, intending to get some of the wonderful-smelling pasta since I missed out on my Fettucine Arrabiata earlier, but then I saw this CHOCOLATE. MOUSSE. CAKE. and since I had thought it would be cool and sophisticated to get desert after the concert, well, why not get desert AT the concert?
Woah. Richness. Silky smooth and definitely a mousse if a heavy one, and by the taste of it, likely dark chocolate. It was very, very yummy, and disappeared too fast.
On my way back to my seat I saw a girl dressed as Rinoa. Hee! I so would have come in costume, but I can't pull off Rinoa because of my weight, and can't do Lulu because of my legs (I really would't want to be her, anyway, but Roger kept telling me I should. Apparently I have her boobs), and I'm not familiar enough with Tifa to go as her, and yeah, it would have been fun to go as Yuna and I likely could have done it (her summoner's outfit), I simply didn't think of it ahead of time. But I was wearing my pretty pretty floral outfit, and so I was happy. Very cool to see people in costume though, and I rather expected I would.
Most of my favorites were played in the first half, but the second half still had lots of goodness. Aeris' Theme. You're Not Alone. Ronfaure, from FFXI
--first time hearing this and seeing the game. I didn't realise online games could be so graphic intensive! I mean, I know computers have come a long way, but the only online games I play are Boggle and the like. I'm assuming the FMVs are played from the local harddrive, and not served over the network; still, very impressive, and makes me wonder if I should try it. :D
Then it was the Final Fantasy I - III Medley
. *squees madly* I love these melodies. The Symphonic Suite tracks were always my favorite on the N Generation CD, leading me to splurge for the full Symphonic Suite. It was so. very. awesome. to hear these played live by an orchestra--and a really good orchestra, at that!
Next was Cloud Smiles
, from Advent Children
! It was fun to hear a sneak peak of the FFVII:AC soundtrack, and to see those lovely videos. From a musical standpoint, the song was interesting because you could hear strains from the FFVII soundtrack flowing through it. It was just okay, though, because it didn't stick in my mind much, not like when I heard To Zanarkand
or Liberi Fatali
for the first time.
The concert ending with--of course!--Final Fantasy
. Just the regular orchestral version of it, but still so very lovely, if short. A great end to a great night!
Or was it the end?
The orchestra stood up, and conductor Arnie Roth took his bows, and the audience was on its feet cheering madly. Roth then left the stage while we continued to clap and cheer.
And then he came back out. And so did the choir. :D
Now, I don't know if it is normal for orchestras to do encores. I haven't been to enough symphonies, alas. I don't recall if there was an encore at the LOTR symphony, but that is likely because we were so high up and it was hot and uncomfortable up there so I was sleepy. There WAS an encore at the Do-It-Yourself Messiah, which was very fun because we got to encore OURSELVES with another round of the Hallelujah. Fun!
Anyway, back to Detroit. We are standing and screaming (screaming at the Orchestra? Sounds like a rock concert!) and someone yells "ONE-WINGED ANGEL!" and Arnie hears and says "Maybe". And he does a poll at Uematsu-san's request, asking the audience how many were from instate and how many from out of town. The instate audience is loud, but the out-of-staters (myself included!) make an impressive noise, and one person behind me yells "OUT OF COUNTRY!!! CANADA!!". Arnie then asks us wouldn't be fun if we could have the orchestra in our living rooms as we play the games? We all laugh.
And then they launched into ONE-WINGED ANGEL
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. I cannot begin to describe how awesome this was. It was awesome
. So very powerful and strong and PERFECT and lovely and GUH. Awesome. *loves madly* I am so tempted to write to the DSO to squee at them madly and tell them how awesome they were and to maybe send a donation. That's how awesome they were.
I wish there could have been even more! But alas, that was the end. :( But what a way to end, huh? DID I MENTION IT WAS AWESOME?!?!?!
Arnie Roth is signing autographs in the atrium. Mr. Roth is like a nobody to me--I don't know who he is, and have never heard of him before. But I stay anyway, to soak up more of the atmosphere. Because these are my people. These are the people I can relate to, because we all share the same love. I'm in line behind some teenage boys, but the age difference doesn't matter, and we spend most of our time in line squeeing over the various games and discussing our favorites. I heard some spoilers for FFVII, alas, but I wasn't about to tell them they couldn't talk about it because I haven't finished the game yet, and I've played enough into it that although they were spoilers, it wasn't a total shock, so I'm alright with it. One guy programmed FFVIII's card game for his Texas Instrument calculator! And then I mentioned Chrono Trigger, and the kid in front of us turned around and said "Chrono Trigger is a sweet
game", and the discussion got even larger. :D I don't recall everything we talked about, but it was a lovely way to end the evening, especially since I was still all hyper about the concert and needed an outlet for the hyperness.
Finally reached the front of the line. Folks were getting their posters signed. ARE YOU CRAZY? THE POSTER HAS UEMATSU-SAN'S AUTOGRAPH ON IT!!! NO ONE IS FIT ENOUGH TO SHARE HIS AUTOGRAPH!! I had Mr. Roth sign the front of my program-which promptly got smeared. *sighs* That's okay--like I said, I was mostly in line for the atmosphere, and not for the autograph. I told Arnie how I had missed the concert in Chicago and had come to Detroit just to see it. It was kind of loud and I was dazed, but I thought I heard something about "concert" and "2006". COULD THEY POSSIBLY BE DOING ANOTHER CONCERT SERIES NEXT YEAR?!?! OMG! That would SO rock. And if it comes to town, I'm bringing my mom to it.
They were taking people's names and email addresses, and I happily left mine. And then it was time to go. As I left the building I stopped one of the employees and asked if there was some way they could call me a cab. He walked out with me and looked for one, and when he couldn't find one immediately available, directed me to the end of the block, where there were three security guards working who would be able to get me one. So I walked down the block, and just like everyone else I've met this weekend, they were uber nice, and they got me a cab within five minutes!
I got back to the hotel right around 11:00. I had hoped the bar would be open so I could get another drink and pretend to be all sophisticated, but they had just closed, so I went upstairs and settled for soda. I sat down and t00bed about on the AlphaSmart a bit, writing up my experiences of the day, but I didn't last very long: I was tired, and had a long, busy, and early
day planned for Monday.Onto post seven!