FF Distant World concert in Singapore on 23rd May 2009 was AMAZING <3 I was holding back the excitement and tried to keep the expectation low because I thought PLAY! was kinda messed up two years ago when I was there :\
Before anything long and rambly about the music that night... let me get this out of my system...
Yes! We got to see the man himself! The crowds went crazy when the conductor Arnie Roth announced his presence in the hall &hearts &hearts &hearts I really really didn't expect that @.@; And he looks like such a jovial old man XD If I'm to nominate anyone for the cast of Lu-Tze from Discworld, I really want to cast Uematsu as said character XDD
But Distant World amazed me with the amount of fun and passion they injected to the pieces. Not all the pieces played that night was great imo, but the ones that was awesome, was really really fantastic! <3
FINAL FANTASY VIII : Liberi Fatali ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY X : To Zanarkand ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY VIII : Don't be Afraid
FINAL FANTASY VII : Aerith's Theme ( &hearts &hearts &hearts !!! )
FINAL FANTASY I-III : Medley 2002
FINAL FANTASY V : Dear Friends
FINAL FANTASY IX : Valo' alla Flamenco ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY XI : Ronfaure
FINAL FANTASY series : Main Theme
FINAL FANTASY VII : Opening - Bombing Mission ( &hearts !!! )
FINAL FANTASY VIII : Fisherman's Horizon ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY XI : Memoro de la Stono
FINAL FANTASY IV : Theme of Love ( &hearts &hearts &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY series : Swing de Chocobo ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY VIII : Love Grows
FINAL FANTASY VI : Opera "Maria and Draco" ( &hearts )
FINAL FANTASY VI : Terra's theme
FINAL FANTASY VII : One Winged Angel
And I'm not even going to put the little hearts sign next to the encore pieces. They are LOVEEEEEE &hearts &hearts &hearts Terra's theme omfg. And apparently I was all giddy when they finally performed One Winged Angel according to darkkof ( So yeah I know, I know this One Winged Angel was played to death and brought back from the Lifestream since eons ago. But I still love it a lot okaaaay? )
Liberi Fatali was a good piece to start the night, but I think THE very definitive start of fangirl moment for me that night was from To Zanarkand. It was simply beautiful. If it wasn't a semi formal concert event I would had gone all kyaaaaaaa from the moment the piano started. So nostalgic and somehow somehow T.T And it was really amazing to hear it live. Oh Tidus ;A; ( Doesn't help I fangirl Morita Masakazu a lot and I hear him saying the lines 「最後かも知れないけど．．．」in my head the moment the music start )
Don't be Afraid was next and I was kinda okayyyy with it since it wasn't one of my favourite battle theme. But the footage that was shown on the screen made me smiled because it made me realised how LONG it was ago when I played the game ( gah I was a high schooler then @.@ ) A lot of people in the audiences snickered and giggled when the horribly pixelated in game graphics was shown. To be honest, the FMV bothered me more because they are so plastic compared to the pixelated in game graphics XD;;
And next! Aerith's Theme T.T I was so happy to see it listed on the set-list because I really really loved this piece so damned much ( as with probably 90% of the entire FFVII ost being the crazy FFVII fangirl I am ) The video footage included her first meeting with Cloud, their talk at the playground ( before heading to Don Corneo's Mansion ) and of course, her prayer scene. I was horribly worried that they will even include the infamous sword through the chest scene because that will be just sad and in bad taste XD;;; onion_sama and aimo claimed to hear me sniffled during this, but it's most definitely due to my flu that night, err uhmm.. yeah.
I was generally okay with the next two pieces because I'm not familiar with the music from FFI-III and FFV ( Sorry Butz, I'll play FFV one fine day, I promise! ) but I loved loved LOVED Vamo' alla Flamenco performance! It was so much fun and carnival-ish and made me realised how much I missed the FFIX crew T.T I wished they played more music from FFIX though, the soundtrack was beautiful <3
I didn't know much about FFXI so the pieces played that night went over my head. And the main theme that was played before the intermission was ... kind of disappointing. It somehow doesn't feel as... dramatic? Or magical enough. Uhhhh... *get bricked*
Extreme fangirl moment came again right after the intermission. All because of FFVII Opening + Bombing Mission &heart &heart &heart Hearing the first note sounded before it slides into the tense Bombing Mission track brought back SO many memories about the game that made me the RPG geek I am today T.T Square Enix is milking FFVII franchise dry, but I think I'll probably be suckered up anyway just because I really do love this game &hearts
And Fisherman's Horizon from FFVIII was a really lovely piece. I saw it listed for the previous concerts and I do hoped to hear this live because I remembered really liking this one from when I was playing the game. It's such a soothing and idyllic piece and basically the orchestra version makes nearly EVERYTHING +10 better XDD
I didn't think the vocal for Memoro de la Stono : Distant Worlds was all that good because she sounded forced. But then again, I have near zilch knowledge of FFXI world and musics *coughs*
FF IV's Theme of Love is definitely one of the night's most awaited piece. We were busy poking fun of jiddo during the intermission about this already, him being the FFIV fanboy he is XD And the footage used this time around was from the DS remake intro and I get all teary eyed over just how beautiful this is ;A; ( and if you were not moved by this, you probably have no soul, sorry :( )
Swing de Chocobo was also an awesome performance because it's SO. MUCH. FUN. I noticed people were tapping their feet or humming along to the much beloved theme during the performance XD ( And the ridiculous chocobo related videos they played XDD ) Love Grows was next, but it took me a while to warm up to it because I didn't like the piece that much. But still, it was good to hear this live.
Opera "Maria and Draco" was a huge surprise for me because as I'd mentioned, I didn't liked the vocalist from Memoro de la Stono earlier. But she was FREAKING AMAZING here!!! &hearts &hearts &hearts Kudos to all the vocalists here because I got goosebumps listening to Maria and Draco here XD
The encore are the best things ever! I didn't check the setlist online prior to the concert because I liked to be surprised. And guess who went "KYAAAAAAA!!!" the moment Arnie Roth announced that they're playing Terra's Theme for the encore? XDD
Being called back for the second encore by the crowd, Arnie invited Uematsu to the stage to talk to the audience. Uematsu looks SO tiny and weirdly adorable in that bandanna he's wearing XDD Uematsu just grinned and went on to sing the infamous lines "Estuans interius, ira vehementi" from One Winged Angel where everyone cheered and laughed wildly. He then proceeded to walk to the back of the orchestra and stood next to the chorus to perform the awaited but not unexpected One Winged Angel XDD At this point I wasn't even looking at the orchestra or the video footage anymore, because seeing Uematsu bobbing to the music waiting for his cue and singing had to be the cutest thing that happened that night XDDD
Someone told me I totally went full fangirl mode when they announced this piece but I don't remember it at all so I'm convinced it was just a figment of THEIR imagination. *coughs*
jiddo, his friend ( whose name I did not get but somehow got into an argument about Tifa later that night ), darkkof, whiterabbit, zukinoq and me went of right after the concert ended missing out the Q&A session because we wanted to get in line for Uematsu's autograph session.
We got into the initial 150 participants who were in line because they refused to let anymore people line up and were ecstatic that we were finally able to see Uematsu up close! Alas, the line was cut off about 20 minutes after the signing and we didn't made the cut in the end T.T I'm miffed about that but I guess I was too happy that night to dwell in it for too long :| I mean, I think the guy behind the person who got the last signature HAD to be even more pissed and screwed over right? :\ Oh well.
According to those who stayed back for the Q&A session, Distant World is in negotiation with the Malaysia's Philharmonic Orchestra about bringing the concert over &hearts &hearts &hearts PLEASE let this happen! I'll gladly pay and go for this again if it's in Malaysia &hearts &hearts &hearts