A Fantasy Come True More Friends: Music From Final Fantasy Surpasses Expectations

A Fantasy Come True –
More Friends: Music From Final Fantasy Surpasses Expectations

by

Louis Bedigian

 

Games get us excited.  They
make us think.  They make us anticipate.  They make us fly across the country
for tournaments and media events.  They make us wait in line for hours to buy
new consoles.  They make us do a lot of things…  One thing they rarely do is
impact our lives so greatly that we can say, "This is something I will never
forget," mean it, and 10 years from now, still remember it.

 

Think of your favorite
story.  It can be from a movie, a video game, anywhere.  Picture the
characters that you love, the villains that you hate.  Now, while staying
focused on the characters, think of the music.  Remember the song that played
as the story peaked.

 

Take all of that, multiply
it by one hundred and you might, if you focus really, really hard, be able to
envision what it is like to experience the live performance of Square Enix’s
concert series – Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy.

 

 




(c) 2005 John Shearer / WIREIMAGE.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

This was the second time
that the music of Final Fantasy was performed in front of a live audience in
North America (hence the name of this particular show – More Friends).

 

James Arnold Taylor (the
voice of Tidus from Final Fantasy X) hosted the show, reciting classic lines
from his beloved Final Fantasy character.  You could tell by the amount of
laughter that the audience was mostly comprised of game players.

 

Those who came solely to
appreciate the music and not as Final Fantasy players missed out on the best
part.  I cannot even begin to convey what it felt like to hear the opening
theme from Final Fantasy VII.  It was as though my soul was filled with
music.  Not just any music, but music from a world I once lived in.  A world I
explored.  A war that I fought to end.

 

I thought of nothing else
but that game and the experiences that I had with it.  I remembered the
characters, the battles, the fight to bring them to the place they longed to
reach: the Promised Lands.

 

To have that kind of
attachment to something fictional, and then, years after it’s over, to relive
that experience through live music – it is something that I will never be able
to forget.

 

Conducted by Grammy-winning
artist Arnie Roth and performed by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra,
More Friends:  Music from Final Fantasy
continued to stir emotions
with a live rendition of the main theme from Final Fantasy X (Zanarkand).  The
Black Mages (Nobuo Uematsu’s band) rocked the house when they performed rock
versions of classic tunes from Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII.

 


 

(c) 2005 John Shearer / WIREIMAGE.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Emiko Shiratori, one of
Square Enix’s many talented friends, impressed the audience by performing
Melodies of Life from Final Fantasy IX.  Rikki, the hugely talented vocalist
from Final Fantasy X, came on stage to perform her unforgettable hit, Seteki
Da Ne.

 

 




(c) 2005 John Shearer / WIREIMAGE.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Every performance was
memorable, but none were as emotional as the World Festival Symphony
Orchestra’s performance of Aeris’s theme.

 

For the grand finale, The
Black Mages teamed up with The CSUF University Singers for One Winged Angel. 
As I’m sure you can imagine, it was one of the greatest combinations of live
musical talent the world has ever seen.

 

 




(c) 2005 John Shearer / WIREIMAGE.  All Rights Reserved.
 

 

We couldn’t possibly thank
them enough for their performances, nor would we thank Nobuo Uematsu enough
for composing several hundred inspirational songs for the Final Fantasy
series.  Hopefully the smiles, cheers and the standing ovation they received
will serve as a reminder that there are people like you and me who appreciate
what they do.  What they did for me on the night of May 16th, 2005 – that is
something I will forever cherish.

 

Upcoming Shows:

 

June 24 & 25 – Atlanta,
Georgia

 

July 1 – Ft. Worth, Texas

 

July 9 – Minneapolis,
Minnesota

 

July 14 – San Diego,
California

 

July 23 & 24 – Detroit,
Michigan

 

Additional information can
be found at:

http://na.square-enix.com/uematsu