Your legs aren't wobbly, the air is not thinning, you can breathe and you're not having a drug-induced trance where your vision is all blurry. No, friends! You're having what we like to call a Flashback!
This week, I'm flashing back to last year when I was still recovering from eating way too much at Thanksgiving, high off the purchase of a Wii U, and getting into that lovely spirit of the Holidays. Those were good days, made even more so by November 28th's The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Concert at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
As before, this post has been edited from the original which was posted some where previously on a personal blog of mine (that's not here). It was written and posted on January 08, 2013. (Wow! I was slacking!) Onwards...!
It's Dangerous to Go Without an Ocarina...
...so buy one at the kiosk, if you can get one!
I should have known this night was not going to go as smoothly as I had hoped. Having never been to the Theater at Madison Square Garden before, I had no idea where it was or what sort of evil was going on when I got to the main entrance at MSG.
Well, I was certainly at the right place...there are a bunch of Link cosplayers standing over there. Ooo, a Midna. A Skull kid?! OMG, he's the most amazing Skull Kid from the most amazing Zelda game (or game) evaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
But why...are there...tiny, little pre-teen girls flocking this area? ...with their parents. and their sometimes 8 year old selves...6 year old girls? Who the hell is playing MSG tonight? Justin Bie...oh god! Bielibers! My eyes!
That was Strike 1.
Strike 2 came when I could not secure purchase of an ocarina at the chaotic crowded kiosks (0f which there were 2 from what I could see). It happens. Supplies run out. But slap me in the face why don't you, being that I was finally up to the front and the very last ocarina was sold to a woman ahead of me who did not even want one? I looked at that dude working the counter and calmly said, "no more ocarinas, huh?", "Ummm...no. Sorry...that's all you wanted?", "...Yes."
I walked off without a sword, shield or an ocarina. I was playing a dangerous game!
And a partial Strike 3 (or Strike 2.5)?
Much like our trip to Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, the crowd seemed lively and genuinely excited. However, unlike our trip to Distant Worlds, this Symphony was vastly different and in my opinion, not in a necessarily positive way either.
The Highlights (pros)
1. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Legend of Zelda, the good people at Nintendo crafted this entire tour featuring the music of the fantastic Zelda series. The great Koji Kondo, helped create the tone and indeed, the world of Hyrule and beyond. The fact that the opportunity was afforded to be in attendance to hear musical genius realized by a full orchestra is a highlight enough.
2. Flip what the zip? Why if it isn't Stephen Totilo and Jason Schreier of Kotaku in the house sitting a mere one row ahead of me. I could hail them out, probably...
3. The music was played absolutely beautifully and was stunning to listen to. The orchestra sounded better than at Distant Worlds and the acoustics at the Theater at MSG were quite lovely.
4. The scenes accompanying the music from the various games in the Zelda series was well-thought out and put together (the upper hand here for Nintendo over Square's Distant World scenes). Nothing was recycled really and there was a lot of footage perfectly blending in with whatever was being performed during the concert.
5. Ending the Symphony with music from Majora's Mask? That's a damned plus right there even if it almost felt like an after thought. I'll take it!
6. *SPOILER ALERT BEGINS* Whhhhaaaaa...??!! Conducting the Orchestra with the Wind Waker baton during the Wind Waker suite? I see what you did there...
*SPOILER ALERT ENDS*
7. I would have rioted had "Lost Woods" not been played. They're lucky... nothing puts me in a better mood than that song.
Sadly, here come the reasons why I felt a tad disappointed with the experience in some respects.
The Lowlamps (cons)
1. This is not so much the music but more the Theater at Madison Square Garden. It's not that nice, which is sad. It sounded great but it was not that comfortable and sort of cramped. The seats I had to The Howard Gillman Theatre at BAM were actually really spacious and relaxed. Hey! These things count towards a concert experience!
2. I did not shout out to Totilo and Jason at Kotaku. I was playing *shy*. It also meant I did not get to tag them in Streetpass. One day! Maybe...
3. The Symphony itself while it sounded fantastic, as my sister rightly observed, it was not as fun. This was not really the fault of the music selection though maybe that could be part of it but it was very much due to the fact that the musicians did their job and that was to read sheet music. It was not played with feeling and there was no investment on their part into what was being performed. At the very least in Distant Worlds the musicians truly had a keen interest in what was going on and the interactions from the crowd. It made the FF concert that much more lively while this one suffered from a lack of personality it felt at times.
4. Musically, the song selections while not...horrendous, I personally felt there was a lot overlooked and some pieces could easily have been included to make it not as somber as it felt at times. I did not mind the inclusion of many of the Ganondorf battle music but what about the exploration? Some of it was there but not a lot...fantastic dungeon music, forest temples, and even some of the other minor bosses' music was overlooked. Any piece of boss music (save Ganondorf) from Wind Waker would have made the whole thing so much more entertaining.
Regardless, it was a fun night overall, and I think it's safe to say these crazy Video Game Symphonies won't be happening again any time soon. And awww, that kinda makes me sad...Ah well. Maybe in the next 25 years...
Hey guys, so while I may have been slightly disappointed by my experience, it's still worth the trip if you can go. You'll still have your moments of laughter, your fond memories of cucco harassment (come on! Don't you be all trying to tell me you didn't harass at least one cucco in all your years of playing Zelda!!!) and no matter what, these are beautiful pieces of music that will sound amazing live when performed by a full Orchestra! Live music...it's where it's at!
Looks like the Symphony is still on too: Locations and Dates right here.
So if you've been or are planning to go, please share your thoughts on it all!
TAY Classic is the place you should go explore too! Why? Your friends are waiting to talk about life, video games and whatever else is on your mind. Also, feel free to go there and confess to all about how many cuccos you cut. Go on! No one's here to judge you...