Posts tagged music

Concert Review: Distant Worlds

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!

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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.

Final Words

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.

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Advant Garde: Just Say No

Last night was one of the weirdest most tedious nights of my life.  My father got tickets through work for a concert at the Park Avenue Armory. It was the most beautiful building I have ever been in, in my life. I should have brought a camera. But not even a camera could capture every intricate detail of the Tiffany stained glass and chandeliers and all of the wood carvings in the ceilings and on the walls.

Anyway, onto the horror of the night. So my dad got the tickets because the armory rented some pianos. My father figured the concert would be modern but pretty normal because it had pianos in it. How wrong he was.

We saw powerLESS, a part of the Tune-in Music Festival.  The first piece, “in vain” had a title that fit the piece. It was literally in fucking vain. There was a harp in that piece. And the harp made horrible dissonant noise. Believe me when I say it’s pretty hard to make a harp sound awful, but this piece managed to do it. There was no beat, no melody, constant tension and no resolution at all. At two points during the show the lights were shut off leaving us and the musicians in total darkness. The first time it hurt my eyes because they kept trying to see… in vain *eyeroll* The second time it didn’t hurt my eyes, but then they started using a strobe light in split second flashes to bring more pain to my eyes. The darkness bits were each about 10-15 minutes long, with the whole piece being at least an hour. Then it ended. I was so happy that damn noise was over. But to my surprise, the audience was cheering as if they *loved* it…. like they wanted a damn encore. I even overheard someone say, “they need more of this at Carnegie Hall” The only thing that would have been better about hearing that in Carnegie Hall is having more comfortable chairs to fall asleep in >.>

There were also some people that left over that. My dad over heard someone say “can you believe that they would leave now?!”  … I can, why couldn’t they?

There was an intermission and the next piece was going to be a “vocalist.” After the first performance I had a strong feeling the second was not going to involving singing. And I was right. The next piece was some average looking normal guy sitting in a chair speaking gibberish for half an hour. In retrospect it’s hilarious, but while watching it at times it was agonizing. And when he was finished, once again, the audience went wild. I mean I found it interesting but didn’t get it…

After that we left. It was getting kind of late and we had a feeling of what the rest of the show would be like. I may have been able to stand it if it was during the afternoon, but totally not a Friday night. On a Friday night I want a show that will get me worked up for the weekend, or a show that I can relax while watching and unwind. No avant garde. NEVER AGAIN!

Anyway, on the ride home my father and I were discussing where the hell the audience came from. His theory is that they were classical music burnouts. From very young ages they were raised on classical music and had it in their lives constantly, then they burned out and started seeking… well whatever it was we heard last night.

In the end, the Armory is beautiful and I really want to go back there to see more of it and avant garde is stupid.

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