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Distant Worlds Announces Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary Concert Series

Distant Worlds
Distant Worlds has just announced a new concert series for the 35th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. Entitled FINAL FANTASY 35th Anniversary Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY Coral, this series will feature a track list specially curated by Nobuo Uematsu. Little else is known at this stage, including what "Coral" represents, and so far no special guests have been announced. The dates for the series are as follows:
  • Tokyo, Japan: 06 Aug 2022
  • Tokyo, Japan: 07 Aug 2022
  • Hyogo, Japan: 13 Aug 2022
  • Hyogo, Japan: 14 Aug 2022
  • Chicago, IL: 10 Sep 2022
  • Pittsburgh, PA: 20 Sep 2022
  • Los Angeles, CA: 24 Sep 2022
  • London, UK: 01 Oct 2022
  • London, UK: 02 Oct 2022
  • Fort Worth, TX: 12 Nov 2022
  • Boston, MA: 19 Nov 2022
  • Bangkok, Thailand: 17 Dec 2022
  • Bangkok, Thailand: 18 Dec 2022
  • New York, NY: 07 Jan 2023
  • New York, NY: 08 Jan 2023
  • Nashville, TN: 25 Jan 2023
  • Barcelona, Spain: 03 Feb 2023
  • Paris, France: 25 Feb 2023
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 03 Mar 2023
  • Orlando, FL: 10 Mar 2023
  • Orlando, FL: 11 Mar 2023

Source: Distant Worlds Official Site


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Glenn Magus HarveyComment 1: 2022-03-27 20:37
Glenn Magus Harvey I should have gone to the concert that one time when it was in Boca Raton. Oh well...
AltheaValaraComment 2: 2022-09-11 06:04
AltheaValara The Chicago concerts were today, and I went to the 8pm showing with friends. As is my habit, here are my thoughts on the show. I brought pen and paper along so I could jot down the set list and refresh my memory of just what we all heard, because I am a nerd like that.

1) That arrangement of songs from Final Fantasies 1-3 that opens with the Prelude, includes the Chocobo theme, and ends with the Rebel Army theme from FFII. It's on one of the Distant Worlds CDs, and was a good opening piece. The Rebel Army theme is one of my favorites from the franchise as a whole. I can't quite explain why I like it so much, other than it makes me feel full of promise for the future.

2) "Eternal Wind" from Final Fantasy III. Another goody, which I enjoyed because it also shows up in FFXIV so yeah.

3) "The Red Wings" from Final Fantasy IV. This was a very powerful arrangement! I've heard it at, hmm, I think it was A New World and it was great then but having the full orchestra play it was fantastic.

4) Main Theme from Final Fantasy IV. When Arnie announced they were doing this I was like, "okay, I can't remember what the main theme of FFIV is because the DS version of the game's opening features the main theme of Final Fantasy as a whole and I tend to associate that with Cecil. I know there IS a separate main theme from FFIV but damned if I can hum it off the top of my head." Of course I recognized it as soon as it played. I'd say it was a good but not great arrangement (I expect my friend will disagree but it didn't stand out to me as being WOW, unlike other songs we heard.)

5) "Home Sweet Home"/"Music Box" from Final Fantasy V. I loves me some Home Sweet Home so I was happy to hear this, plus the addition of the Music Box was a nice touch. The full orchestra arrangement of the latter was quite good.

6) "A New World", Final Fantasy V. As I'm writing this, I can hear the version from the chamber orchestra in my head, because I've listened to that playlist a lot and it stands out as being the title of the concert series. It's hard to remember what it sounded like with the full orchestra. But it IS past midnight here, so maybe I will remember tomorrow....

7) "Phantom Forest"/"Phantom Train"/"The Veldt" from Final Fantasy VI. Iconic songs and good to hear again. I don't think I've heard them play "The Veldt" before. Everyone laughed when they showed Sabin suplexing the train during the middle piece.

8) "Kids Run Through the City", from Final Fantasy VI. Another song I couldn't begin to hum because I didn't know its name but that I recognized once played. This was sweet.

9) Battle Theme Arrangement featuring FF 1-6. This was interesting. I have to agree with one of my friends that I was glad they tried some new arrangements, because it was nice to hear something different than the same old thing. I'm not sure how well this arrangement worked, though. I should have been bouncing along to all the songs because I know them well, but they were almost unrecognizable, in my opinion. I am NOT a music critic but in some songs it was like they opted to emphasize different instruments than what I'm used to, so while I could tell they were the same themes, they didn't sound like those I love. I have a feeling this will be an arrangement that would grow on me the more I heard it. As it was, I thought it was just okay.

Intermission happened here, which was great because I desperately needed to stretch my legs. The seats were not very comfy, and I wasn't the only one who was feeling it. The intermission felt rather long, but that's not so bad. Near the end of it I pointed out that we now had the choir on stage. Since they had been going chronologically, I expected they might open the second half with either One-Winged Angel or Opening Bombing Mission. Nope! Instead, it was:

10) "Liberi Fatali" from Final Fantasy VIII. I'm so used to this one, because when I drive mom's car I almost always listen to the first Distant Worlds CD, of which this song is the second track. At first I couldn't get into it, but you have to admit the opening FMV of FFVIII is pretty epic, and by the end of it I was totally in.

11) "Ragnarok" from Final Fantasy XI. I love Naoshi Mizuta's work on FFXI, and once upon a time the <em>Rise of the Zilart" OST used to be my most listened to FF CD, so it was great to hear a song from FFXI that WASN'T "Ronafaure" (which I have heard in concert a few times). Sadly, Ragnarok isn't one of my more favorite pieces, but it was well performed and, like I said, it wasn't Ronafaure so that was good.

12) "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII. I am not a fan of this song, to the point that I used to skip it whenever it played on CDs. It has grown on me so I don't mind it now, but it will never be a favorite of mine. I knew they were going to play this one, and was kind of resigned to it. I understand they have to play the fan favorites because not everyone goes to every concert, but I wouldn't have minded a different one from FFVII... what, I don't know other than NOT GOLD SAUCER I can barely tolerate hearing that in FFXIV (great, now I've earwormed myself).

13) "Flash of Steel" from Final Fantasy XII. Another one I've heard in concert several times, but was welcome. I recently finished streaming this game so the song was fresh in my head, and watching the scenes brought back happy stream memories. Plus it's a great song and sounds powerful with a full orchestra.

14) "Torn From the Heavens" from Final Fantasy XIV. As much as I enjoyed this because I am a HUGE FFXIV player, I was sad we didn't get anything from Shadowbringers or Endwalker which I would have liked. But, that's not surprising because those expansions were leaning towards rock with guitars rather than orchestral arrangements. If I could have picked a song to hear, it probably would have been "Dynamis" from Endwalker. It's a breathtakingly beautiful song that moves me to tears.

15) "Apocalyptis Noctis" (or however it's spelled) from Final Fantasy XV. *waves to Yoko Shimomura in the audience* A repeat for me from the last concert, but... this song is EPIC. I once made a joke on Twitter that everything you do becomes epic when you have this song stuck in your brain. Folding clothes? EPIC. Putting soda in the fridge? EPIC. You get the idea, haha. Anyway, although this was another expected song, I really enjoyed this one because it really is that great.

16) "Not Alone" from Final Fantasy IX. Yeah, this was expected, too... I can't recall if they announced this one beforehand but really, what song from FFIX would they play? Other than "Vamo alla Flamenco" which they have also done in concert (though I have a feeling they don't do that one anymore ever since the guitar soloist at a previous Chicago concert missed his cue and they had to start the song over. Yikes. A shame, because it's really great when done with a fantastic guitarist, like the one I saw at my very first FF concert, "Dear Friends" in Detroit. I had missed the concert in Chicago and was afraid there'd never be another Final Fantasy concert ever so I went to Detroit to see it, haha. Little did I know that 15 years later I'd still be going to Final Fantasy concerts.)

17) "Blinded by Light" from Final Fantasy XIII. Another "well, what else would they play?" song. Good thing it's a good song that sounds great by a full orchestra.

18) "Suteki de na" sung by RIKKI, from Final Fantasy X. For those who might not know, RIKKI is the original recording artist of the song. I've heard this song in concert before, but it was the English translation sung by Susan Calloway, who is a competent singer but I don't like her phrasing on it. Hearing RIKKI was a real treat, and probably the highlight of the concert.

19) "Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY", played over the credit rolls which always gets people clapping at certain names on screen. It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy concert without hearing this, and I expected this to be the last before encore.

They did two encores, both of which were wildly cheered but were utterly predictable:

1) "Zanarkand" from Final Fantasy X. Okay, so.... this was the song that got me hooked into Final Fantasy. It was literally love at first sound, and I went home that night after hearing it and downloaded the sheet music and MP3. SO this song holds a special place in my heart. Alas, for a while I was tired of it. It's a great song, but when you hear it at every single concert... yeah, it gets old. Still, it wasn't bad to hear it tonight.

2) "One-Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII. SIGH. I am so over this song. It's been the encore at nearly every concert I've been to (and the one that wasn't had it as the opening song). I mean, it's well played in concert and the crowd sure loves it, but could we have something else, please?

All in all, a good concert, but as you can see I had some quibbles with it. I had two minor disappointments: one, that we didn't get more FFXIV music. It's got the most music of any game in the series, and so many good songs. Why did FFVII and FFX warrant two songs each, when they could have done more FFXIV instead? But, I am biased. Two: I was really hoping that since Chicago is conductor Arnie Roth's hometown, that we'd be surprised with a piece from FFXVI. I knew it was a REALLY LONG STRETCH, so I'm not majorly bummed this didn't happen, but yeah, what a shock and delight that would have been. Actually, that is one thing to look forward to for more concerts: they will HAVE to do a new song or two because of the new game.
St KhaelComment 3: 2022-09-25 23:04
St Khael Thank you, Althea! Looking forward to a good lineup! Definitely tired of One-Winged Angel myself so I get it. We'll be heading to the one in Fort Worth in cosplay so we'll be able to weigh in on that one. Susan Calloway who sang for XIV is coming to our show so I wish you could make ours to fill your gaming needs! If anyone else is attending the show we'll be easy to spot- come say hi!
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