Media Credit: Laura Rachfolski
On a humid Thursday evening, attendees wiped sweat from their faces as they filled the seats at the Mann Center. There were a quite a lot of different people that attended, what they all had in common was that they were all gamers or have at least played a few. There was some cosplay, but nothing flashy. The Mann Center had partially outdoor seating, so some people sat outside while some sat inside. Not too far away from the stage were people lining up to purchase official PLAY! merchandise, I got in the line to see what they had hoping to purchase a concert program for to get autographed later. They did posters, various Play! T-shirts, as well as programs (reasonably priced at "only" $20 this time, water was $3), and live recording CDs from the More Friends - Music from Final Fantasy concert. As the concert began, the weather began to change as by intermission there were lightning crackle and light rain drizzled. As the orchestra played the music the audience was silent, all that could be heard were the sounds of the instruments, thunder and drizzling rain. Graphical and cinematic visuals accompanied the music helped set a mood for the concert. The highlights of the concert were the original opening "Fanfare", "Aerith's Theme" and "Swing de Chocobo" from Final Fantasy VII composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross Suite by Yasunori Mitsuda, the Legend of Zelda Suite by Koji Kondo and lastly the World of Warcraft Suite Jason Hayes. These titles offered refreshing compositions of the classic games offering a unique experience with each piece played. No piece seemed redundant each had it's unique feel to it. The concert ended after about two hours, as a special thanks for coming to the concert, special codes were given to attendees for downloading the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion soundtrack online.
In addition to the above titles, there was a special world exclusive premier of the music from the upcoming PC game Prey. According to the head conductor, Arnie Roth, the final score was only received a weeks prior to the premier at the Mann Center. Additionally, since there was time at the end there was a special presentation of the music by composer Uematsu, from the new Mistwalker game, Blue Dragon. The performance was excellent, but there were certain pieces, such as "Eyes On Me" from Final Fantasy VIII or music from Castlevania, that I wish could have been played. Most notably the lack of an actual by legendary composers Uematsu, Kondo or Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (composer for Shenmue). Either of which couldn't be due to the busy schedule of the composers and the time constraints for planning the concert. Perhaps if the concert ever comes back in the future, it'll have more to offer.