A Night at the Zelda Symphony - Craigaleg Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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A Night at the Zelda Symphony

The Legend of Zelda has accompanied my console generations since I first started playing video games. I still remember sitting in front of my own tiny television on the floor, playing my fifth run through the original game on the NES. When the opportunity arose to see The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, I could not pass it up. Tickets were purchased, days were counted down, and I finally made it to the performance where I had no idea what to expect.

Upon entering the building, many noticeable distinctions were made to reinforce the idea that this was no ordinary symphony. The most obvious of these was the dress code. While the majority were in blue jeans and a t shirt, there were also some in full on suits, a handful in khakis and a buttoned up shirt, and others in full cosplay as Princess Zelda or Link. Every other person had a 3DS at the ready, and glancing to one particular person's Streetpass screen, the amount of Mii's that were showcased suggested that half the crowd had one too. Pictures were being taken, a lone Ocarina player was playing the Song of Storms as we passed by, and huge line to the merch booth all fed that feeling of anticipation.

Business Suit Majora? Check. Business Suit Epona? Check.

As we piled into the sold out theatre to a stage adorned with the classic Hylian symbol,  the orchestra was already warming up with simple tunes like the Song of Storms or village themes. The crowd was particularly friendly, as complete strangers shared stories of their favorite Zelda moments. The lights fell and the conductor took the stage, and a smattering of applause welcomed the overture. The tone was set for the rest of the show, with visuals of the various Zelda games both past and present accompanied by the orchestra's performance of the infamous songs. An eruption of applause and cheers followed the opening montage, and welcomed the lead producer to the stage.

The producer, Jeron Moore, gave a brief overlay of where our musical journey was headed for the evening, and properly introduced our conductor Susie Sieter, who helped in making the soundtrack on the disc with Skyward Sword. He also delved into the meaning behind the concert's name, as the goddesses who shaped the very world Link is in and created the Triforce are the sole constant within each Zelda title. He went on to layout the show's four musical movements that we would witness. Each movement took you through a synopsis of a popular Zelda game while melding together the iconic music of that particular title. For our show, it began with the Ocarina of Time and would then move to Wind Waker. After a brief intermission, the symphony would close out with Twilight Princess, and Link to the Past.

The movements had the crowd enthralled, as cheers went up upon seeing favorite characters flash across the screen and laughter erupted at footage that showcased Link running from a swarm of chickens. Each movement's end gave way to applause and an overall energetic response. Despite listening to the 25th anniversary CD over and over again, it did not lessen the impact of hearing it performed live; even if a couple of the tracks were straight renditions from disc to stage.

Great listen, even better in person

As I passed through each movement that nostalgic feeling overwhelmed me. Here was this franchise that I spent countless hours with by crawling through dungeons, hacking away at bushes for rupees, and defeating Ganon again and again; and it was being showcased on a full stage surrounded by others who shared that same experience. It was not just the music that had me so enthralled, but the general atmosphere. There were people of all ages in this crowd, and every one of them brought together by a shared enthusiasm for a video game.

While it was an incredible show to see live, not everything was perfect. Occasionally the camera would pan over the symphony itself, but was shot in an odd manner. The camera was shaky, oftentimes it would end up cuing to the camera still getting into position, and most of the time it would highlight the person in the symphony doing absolutely nothing. Audible chuckles could be heard at these moments, but they quickly passed.

Sniff.Sniff...I'm not crying, my contacts are acting up

The show even followed with three encores; The Ballad of the Windfish from Link's Awakening, the rendition of Gerudo Valley from the soundtrack, and a new entry demanded by the fans for Majora's Mask. As the credits went up and the symphony bowed out, the crowd dispersed with smiles on their faces. I left the symphony with the expected urge to dive back into the all of the games I had just witnessed. It is hard not to recommend this show to a fan of the Legend of Zelda, because as someone who has grown up playing everything the franchise has to offer, it was nothing short of legendary.

It's not too late to check out the show, and tickets go fast so be sure to get to it. You can find the latest tour dates and information here.

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