OKAYS! Here we go -- a nice description of the music, the video, and the people!
Had to snap a couple of quick pictures before the concert started -- ya know, it being my first time at Distant Worlds and all:
Before the concert even started, the announcer introduced Final Fantasy's
own Masashi Hamauzu (composer of XIII and XIII-2... Which, fun fact,
for those of you thinking that Nobou Uematsu has completely left the
Final Fantasy series -- he totally hasn't. He is freelance now, but still
works with SquareEnix. He was originally going to compose XIII's main
theme, but passed it to Hamauzu because he instead composed XIV's
entire soundtrack. Fun fact!
) where he walked out and sat down in a
row with his wife -- a row that was empty except for a random couple
sitting at the opposite end of the row. (We'll come back to the random
Then the conductor of the Distant Worlds tour, Arnie Roth, walked onto the stage, and gestured to the harpist -- and so the Prelude began.
If that didn't give everyone goosebumps, then I don't know what would.
The choir joined in, then the brass, and finally the strings. How better
to start a concert dedicated to Final Fantasy?!
Immediately after the Prelude (I) ended, they dove right into Liberi Fatali
from VIII. oAo They played video from the game during the music,
and you literally just let the music take you away. Once the song ended,
Arnie Roth welcomed us, and announced to us the upcoming songs --
but before he got to that, he turned to the orchestra and they trumpeted the Victory Theme. ^^ So cute!
They moved on with J-E-N-O-V-A (VII) (amaaaaazing!) and A Place to Call Home (IX). After playing J-E-N-O-V-A, Mr. Roth gave us a fun fact: he told
us that Mr. Hamauzu, before he was a composer, sang in the very choir that recorded the original version of One-Winged Angel for Final Fantasy VII
(holy crap, right?!) It was very interesting to learn. From here, I will have to apologize because some of these songs got jumbled now that I'm trying to remember the order. >.> All I know is that these are the songs that they
did in fact perform -- in the order that I remember best ;v; (please don't
hate me for not remembering! It was all so freakin' good!)... At this point, they introduced the "voice" of Distant Worlds (she's been touring with them since the beginning!) Susan Calloway to sing Memoro de la Stono - Distant Worlds (XI). Once the video was done for this song, the lights stayed down and gameplay from VIII started up: the mission in Balamb, when Squall,
Zell, and Seifer are talking (with that dog barking at you the whole time)
then it showed Squall running aaaand~ queue battle music! That's right,
they introduced Don't Be Afraid (VIII) the proper way -- by showing actual battle game play! It was so great! XD
Of course, they figured a change in pace was appropriate... So they began playing Zanarkand (X) which made me absolutely giddy. In my opinion, this song is from one of the most moving points of the entire story of X.
As is only right, they showed the group arriving at the ruins.
If I remember correctly (
) they reintroduced Susan back to the stage to perform Kiss Me Good-Bye (XII) and then tied off the first half of the
concert with the single most adorable composition and video EVER: Chocobo Medley/Swing de Chocobo (FF Series).
During the intermission, I happened to spot some familiar faces:
It made me so happy, and it definitely made me want to come to
a Distant Worlds concert again and maybe dress up myself. XD
At the beginning of the second half, Arnie Roth walked out to applause, reintroduced Masashi Hamauzu, and started right in with what is arguably
the most iconic opening theme in the entire series (apart from the Prelude): Opening - Bombing Mission (VII). They literally played the opening
sequence of VII during this, and every body LOVED it. XD Mr. Roth
mentioned that the piece was their favorite one to play coming back from intermission. (Again, with the next three, I can't remember if it is the exact order, only that they were in fact the songs played, but I am fairly sure I have these in the right order.
) Mr. Roth reintroduced Susan to the stage to perform a composition that they don't normally get to perform -- Suteki
Da Ne (X). (Get this, guys, it was all in English except for the phrase "suteki da ne", which translates into "isn't it wonderful". I don't know if you've ever found a rough translation of the lyrics, but the fact that they got the English version to fit perfectly with the beat and rhythm without sounding cheesy... Well, let's just say I would prefer the song either way. I am honestly
glad that they left "suteki da ne" unchanged.) Kind of keeping up with the romantic theme, they played Theme of Love (IV) where they showed video from the DS version of IV. (Oh, love triangles~!) Still keeping up with the theme, they performed Eyes on Me (VIII) which everyone went nuts over (because it is just as iconic as Suteki Da Ne!)
Mr. Roth took this opportunity to announce that they would (finally) play two pieces from XIII: The Promise and Blinded by Light. During The Promise,
they played the cut scene where Snow and Serah are flying around the fireworks (soooo sweet~!) and then Blinded by Light showed various action sequences from the game. It was such a wonderful addition to the concert! After these songs, Mr. Roth paused for a moment and asked for the staff to bring the video of Snow and Serah back up, telling the audience that Snow had an important message that he says during the scene. At the point where (if there was audio) Snow asks Serah to marry him... Well... You remember that random couple I mentioned? On the screen, text appeared (not giving
the full name, sorry): "Rita ****, would you do me the honor of being my wife?"
That's right. The cutest Asian couple ever. And he proposed to her at the Distant Worlds concert!
The audience was cheering for such a long time, waiting for her to answer (I do believe she was quite surprised) and then erupted into a nearly deafening roar when she said yes. SO ADORABLE! XD I knew there was a reason that they were the ONLY two sitting in the same row at Mr. Hamauzu!
Once the cheering died down, they continued on with Clash on the Big Bridge (V), and (to everyone's great pleasure) The Man with the Machine Gun (VIII) (Yup yup, Laguna! Don't tell me that I'm the only one who loves him!!)
They concluded the concert with Terra's Theme, and on the screen, they played credits as if it were from a game! When the song was over, Mr. Roth exited the stage.
There is seriously something blasphemous going on! YOU GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE CONCERT WITH OUT THE SONG?!
It is literally THE SONG
that everybody has heard and knows by heart --
HOW CAN THEY NOT PLAY IT?!?!?!?!
Pfft, you think they would just play
a Final Fantasy concert without it?
In an encore performance (I mean really, how could they be so cruel?) Mr. Roth invited Mr. Hamauzu to the choir section to SING ALONG WITH THEM in none other than One-Winged Angel (VII).
Sephiroth must be shown love -- he demands it.
It is simply Final Fantasy nirvana to listen to live what is considered to be the single most iconic song that has ever come from the Final Fantasy series... And a wonderful way to end the night. (Especially when the very last part is played while Sephiroth is in front of the flames, the shot from Advent Children.) After that, the Distant Worlds logo... Well...
Yeah. Flames. XD
PHEW! For any of you who read through this whole thing, thank you for reading! If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of these concerts,
jump on it. It is well worth the money and whatever travel is needed.
And what kind of fan would I be if I didn't stop and buy some memorabilia?
They did have a meet-and-greet for Mr. Roth, Ms. Calloway, and Mr.
Hamauzu for the people who purchased VIP tickets (at what, like $200 a piece? If I had the money to spare, I would have) which could make anyone jealous. However, it would have been insanity if Nobuo Uematsu had been there. XD
Again, thank you for reading. You get a cookie!