Monday, October 24, 2011

Legend of Zelda 25 Anniversary Symphony Concert Los Angeles

Nintendo fans decked out in their finest game t-shirts. Men and women dressed in tuxedos, dress shirts and quite sexy numbers. Young and old fans, families, friends, old acquaintances all of them in one place, all came together to celebrate their love of The Legend of Zelda through music. Luckily, they had tickets for the Legend of Zelda Symphony Concert at the Pantages Theater for October 20th 2011.

The Pantages looked remarkable with different Links from multiple games in a banners and posters all over the theater. Gamers and fans all stopped to look at it's majesty and take snapshots with their phones. Even before entering the theater I could hear the humming of Zelda themes on people lips. I could hear chimes from phones indicating I found treasure. I heard DS's beats from different Zelda games. People talking about their favorite moments

Then I stood at the Pantages, a line, a crowd, a whole lot of fans taking pictures, getting tickets, reminiscent, with Link's image all strewn about. Then I gave my ticket to be scanned and was entranced by the epic qualities of the Pantages. Nintendo was wise in choosing this theater to hold the concert. It was like steeping into a castle from the game. Architecture inside was a perfect for the style of the series. If I could move pass the crowded lobby I could see the long lines for special edition t-shirts and playable kiosks for the new game Skyward Sword. Other Zelda games were playable, but everyone wanted a chance to play the new game before it hits this November. Then the light blinked, indicating the concert would start soon.

As hundreds of people rushed to fin their seats, you noticed the crowd was clad not only in funny gamer t's and opera attire, but swords and shields, Long green hats and masks. As the lights dimmed applause took it's place, the Pantages filled with energy and joy. As the Hyrule themed played and grabbed everyone you could hear murmurs of joys as the night only began.

The hall for the concert was also like stepping into a level from one of the games, it's architecture grand and old, like you had entered a knights banquet from killing a dragon. Conductor Eimar Noone whose accent and noticeable femininity were a surprise. She sounded like a nursery school teacher, swelling with joy, reading a book at story time. She explained The Hyrule theme would be first.

We entered Hyrule and the concert with such awe and fandom. While the orchestra magnificently played we were transported to Hyrule on the big screen on back showing footage from different Zelda games. A thunderous applause broke out after the first song. This was only the start, but the crowd wanted more.

More it got with Princess Zelda's Theme that made the ladies in the audience swoon. The Wind Waker Symphony made you want to play the game starting off as they game did and taking you through the whole first adventure. Cartoon graphics in the background and all. The Boss Battle Medly made you want to draw a sword and fight along Link seeing all the creative monsters throughout the series. Ganondorf's theme drew voices of shock from the crowd. His mere name mentioned met with gasps.

Each time a song played and game play or imagery that entranced you went up on the big screen behind the band. You would get lost in the melodies. The effect of being with a large crowd live. The effect of hearing a live orchestra. The effect of having the game you played the hero in, that you lived, those same songs. There isn't anything like it.

That is not to say there were not moments I found funny. Who opens a DS to play a Zelda game while the concert is going? Some jerk whose asked to immediately shut it. Who decides to not allow drinks into the concert hall, but allows plastic covered shirts that are opened and opened again in? Who allows posters to make fop noses during the start of the show?

Who cares when we had fun at intermission where stories of gaming events long forgotten, battles from Zelda were exaggerated and those who cosplayed were stopped every few seconds for a picture to be taken.

Closing your eyes for a mere moment in the process of a blink and opening them just to the sound of The Legend of Zelda Main theme is something to very much enjoy. As footage from the NES to SNES to current consoles filled your eyes. Your ears heard the old familiar tune. That tune came alive before you through a big orchestra band in Hollywood.
As the applause came thundering with standing ovation, who showed up, but the creator of the main tune himself Konji Kondo. Applause rang out as we all quited down to hear him play the piano. Just him at the piano enjoying the crowd that enjoyed his work. Then he ran away like a shy you man, who just had his first performance. The crowd standing up for his adulation.

The more cheering for more and of course came and Encore in the form of video and the main theme to the  next Zelda game Skyward Sword. Epic fights, Miyazaki flights of fancy with birds and a new story were presented to us with a floaty fun melody.

Eiji Aonuma producer announced this final encore he had been with us the entire show. He saved his English for the end, thanking us for coming.

Orchestra Nova you played a beautiful concert. Nintendo thanks for all the fun.

Nintendo Fan Jonathan Bilski