I forget exactly how long ago Scott got us tickets for the Distant Worlds concert at Prudential Hall in Newark, NJ, but it was quite some time ago. I remember not being that eager to go because of the price, but figured it’d be fun, plus it was in the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to deal with coming home from New Jersey late at night. Plus Newark doesn’t have the best reputation, but let’s get back to the concert!
I wasn’t that crazy about the first half of the show. My main problem was the damn screen seen in the picture above. They used it to play Final Fantasy clips during the concert for every song. I felt that it really took away from the music, blocked some of the chorus from my viewpoint and made it feel more like I was watching an amv or something, especially since the acoustics in the hall weren’t that great. They started off with some music from Final Fantasy XIV (which I haven’t played). I wasn’t really feeling the songs. At some point they played something from XIII or whichever one had Lightning in it. I didn’t play that game but based on the clips I understand what people say about the game being waifu fodder, and the music wasn’t that memorable. They ended the first act with a version of the Chocobo theme, it was cute, but once again I found the use of the screen annoying. I think they were trying to be cute and fun with it, but again, I found it very distracting from the music.
After intermission they got to good stuff, One Winged Angel, Suteki Da Ne, and the opera from Final Fantasy VI.They also did a song from VIII which was nice. My biggest complaint once again was the damn screen. I wanted to actually feel some music feels when they played One Winged Angel, but the first thing on that screen was a closeup of old school graphics Sephiroth, and then him staring at “mother,” I’ve seen too many parodies and jokes that I thought it was funny and couldn’t take it seriously anymore. Then they started showing clips from Advent Children, reminding me that that movie was the most confusing thing I’ve ever watched in my life.
Suteki Da Ne was wonderful, even with the damn screen. Rikki was perfect. Seriously everything about Rikki’s performance was perfect. Her dress was beautiful, sadly I didn’t get to take any pictures. But this was absolutely the best part of the show.
The opera was also pretty good. It gets points for being the only time I felt any vibrations during the show thanks to the female vocalist. Not feeling vibrations during One Winged Angel was especially disappointing. I want to blame Prudential Hall for me not feeling any vibrations, but I can’t be sure. Like I know if this was at Carnegie Hall, or Avery Fischer Hall and I felt no vibrations it’d be solely the fault of Distant Worlds. Also when the opera was starting everyone laughed at those old school pixels on the screen from FFVI
They ended the show with some battle music and the Final Fantasy credits music. For that bit they played credits on the screen, which I felt was the only time that screen was really appropriate or worth it. It also turned out Nobuo Uematsu was there, he made a brief appearance and bowed at the end of the show 🙂 even though I think getting a picture with him would’ve been impossible, it was nice to be in the same room as him.
Overall I found the concert enjoyable. I would’ve been upset about the ticket price ($80+) had Rikki not graced us with her amazing presence and made up for all of the shows downfalls. Again, I suspect the acoustics of the hall were bad but I cannot be sure. I also think that this concert was not as great as it could have been because the organizers felt the need to pander more to young people by changing it up from a traditional classical concert. We could have had fun without the screen. I think I would’ve enjoyed the music more, and would’ve been able to immerse myself in the music had that screen not been there and had the hall’s acoustics been better. I’ve seen this pandering to “new” fans really take away from a number of things in the past. Like the stupid amps being used for the Zelda concert, and these really weird costumes and set designs in a production of La Boheme they did a live broadcast of at my high school circa 2007. Classical music can be fun for newer people, you just need to have a fun attitude and not try too hard. Trying too hard to be cute is what ruins things. And a lack of vibrations. Especially a lack of vibrations.