My boyfriend and I attended the gala premiere of Distant Worlds II: Music from Final Fantasy in London, at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday...and it was fantastic! The conductor was Arnie Roth (also a great host) and composed by Nobuo Uematsu whose appearance at the Concert was very well received...and after the concert, I totally understood why - he has created the most beautiful music I have ever heard.
I have only fully played Final Fantasy X (very addictive!) and attempted to make my way through all of them starting with VII back in October 2009...so I was worried that I may not find the music as appealing as I should as I wouldn't recognise some of them. However, the complete opposite happened and I loved a lot of the music and it gave me the push to resume the Final Fantasy games again!! With Final Fantasy XIII-2 coming out in February 2012, I have a lot to get through!
The fact that there were huge screens anchored above The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra which played out scenes from the games and also actual gameplay really helped get the emotion from each piece, whether it was sadness or humour.
The first song played (and now one of my favourites) was 'Prelude' which instantly gave me goosebumps and I was pleased that I recognised it! It felt amazing listening to it live and I had such an urge to learn to play the harp, just so I could play that song!
My next favourite was 'Victory Theme' which was exactly that! It was incredibly humorous listening to this 3 second piece...and feeling the same sense of relief when you have defeated an enemy was further amusing!
I instantly recognised 'Zanarkand' which is from Final Fantasy X but I never appreciated it all, while playing the game. It was so emotional to listen to and I'm sure I could have cried, if I had let myself!
My next favourite was 'Memoro de la Stono' which was sung by Susan Calloway and just blew me away. Her voice is just amazing and again, made me want to cry! I think I had goosebumps throughout the entire show!
I didn't recognise much of the songs in the second half, but nevertheless very much enjoyed them!!! There was one song that my boyfriend told me about that made the crowd go wild, but it hadn't been played yet. They were of course saving it for the end! This song was 'Sephiroth' and it was just outstanding! My boyfriend had told me about this months earlier but I never really cared much for it then. But after hearing it live and with the accompanying scenes - I really understood!!! This was also a character that I constantly saw every time I went to MCM Expo ...and it was all so clear...this was a great character to be! Apologies for the dodgy photo - I had actually recorded the whole thing and have no idea how to take a screenshot of a video (never even knew you couldn't do this!)...so I took a photo of it on my screen instead!
The crowd certainly went wild for this and it was lovely when Nobuo Uematsu joined the choir to sing the song!
The whole experience was brilliant and as the tickets had sold out very quickly, they will be returning next year! I will definitely be attending that too!