Distant Worlds

This weekend I returned to the Royal Albert Hall to watch a Distant Worlds concert.

This musical performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra showcases a number of beautiful pieces of music from the game series Final Fantasy.

Although I’ve attended Distant Worlds before, this was the best view I’d had for a performance at the RAH. I’d unwittingly booked a seat in a Loggia box, which afforded me a truly spectacular view.

The hall certainly resonates with a sense of lavish colour.

The interior design, however, is nothing compared to the hall’s astounding acoustics. Hearing a live orchestra play anything would be something to behold, but hearing pieces of music that are so beloved to me felt very special.

The most dramatic piece for me personally was a song called Answers from my favourite title in the series, Final Fantasy XIV. This is always powerful to hear as it accompanies a huge battle for the fate of civilisation that the good guys lose. Basically image the final battle from Lord of the Rings, but if the good guys lost and the whole world suffered.

Another favourite of mine is Apocalypsis Noctis from Final Fantasy XV.

But the real treat was – as promised by Square Enix – the strong focus on the long cherished Final Fantasy VII. They dedicated the entire second half of the performance to this game, and the crowd absolutely loved it.

It included several new arrangements from the legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu, which had never been heard by the public before. This included a surprisingly deft arrangement of Cosmo Canyon – an otherwise fairly average background theme tune for one of the locations in the game.

The big crowd pleaser, however, was the main FF7 theme being played to brand new unseen footage from the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Another dramatic highlight was One Winged Angel, a song more commonly known as “the Sephiroth song.”

This was especially as the conductor – much loved Arnie Roth – conducted the entire crowd to sing “Sephiroth!” along with the choir. It was brilliant and utterly hilarious!

Everyone was loving the experience so much, they ended up doing two encores. It was 9.50pm by the time they finally wrapped things up (and it started at 7.30pm). To me, however, it genuinely felt short. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Overall, I’m elated that I finally got to attend a Distant Worlds concert again. The last time I tried, things didn’t go very well. Luckily, this evening has more than made up for it.

Thanks for reading, folks!


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