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Distant Worlds Updates and New Chamber Performance

Distant Worlds
It's been a while since I did a Distant Worlds update - I suspect it's because I'm still a little bitter for not pulling the trigger and going myself last October! The concert series well known by Final Fantasy fans worldwide has some new information to share this month, though, and some of the news is sure to be particularly interesting to CoN readers.

There are three Distant Worlds concerts on the books for this year at the moment; for our South American readers, two dates in Chile are scheduled for May 31 and June 1 in Rancagua and Santiago respectively.

On August 24, a special performance will take place in Chicago, a favorite destination for the Distant Worlds crowd - not only will Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu be in attendance, they will also be performing solos during the set, and the setlist will focus on Final Fantasy VI in honor of its 20th anniversary. Dancing Mad, the Opera, and a never-heard arrangement of character themes are confirmed to be part of the new setlist.

The final date for 2014 at the moment returns to Toronto, with a performance at the Sony Centre. Roth and Uematsu will attend this show as well, though they won't perform and the setlist apparently will be more typical than the FF6-centric one in Chicago a few months earlier.

The new spinoff of Distant Worlds will debut this weekend, though, also in Chicagoland. It's called A New World, and it will be performed in smaller venues and conventions with a thirteen-member ensemble. In all the performances scheduled so far, both Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu will be in attendance and will perform as well, with Roth on violin and Uematsu on keyboard. The series starts this Friday at Anime Central in Rosemont, IL, with a 4pm show on the 16th and a 1pm matinee on the 17th. After that, the show moves to Omaha for two shows on this Sunday, the 18th of May, and a pair of Montreal shows in August. All arrangements will be new to suit the new ensemble, so even folks who have seen Distant Worlds will get to experience something new.

If you line up a visit to any of these shows, make sure to give us a report after!

Source: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, Final Fantasy: A New World


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AltheaValaraComment 1: 2014-05-17 00:36
AltheaValara Thanks for posting this! I hadn't heard about the Chicago concert yet. I told my mom and she wants to take all the grandkids. If we go it will be my sixth time. I'll be sure to post a review here.

Unfortunately I lack the money to attend Anime Central, otherwise I'd be going to that too.
ChickenFriedChocoboComment 2: 2014-05-28 04:40
ChickenFriedChocobo Thanks for this!

Augh! I wish I could make it to the one in Chicago. I've been to several FF concerts, but never one where the opera was performed...which is a sin on my part, really. Sadly, that's right about the time work'll be ramping up for the new semester.

Perhaps we'll get lucky and they'll record that one for CD release?
AltheaValaraComment 3: 2014-08-25 20:12
AltheaValara So the Distant Worlds Chicago concert was last night, and as promised, here is my review!

Mom really dragged her feet with getting tickets, so we were up in the nosebleed section. Must've gotten one of the last tickets sold, because we were second row from the back. Mom liked the seats, though, because they were right inside the door, meaning she didn't have to walk down stairs in order to get to her seat (she gets vertigo).

As usual, there were people dressed in costume. Amongst those I saw were a Lightning and someone dressed as a chocobo. I thought I saw a Locke, too, but am not sure. Mom saw "someone all in black and white with black and white stripped socks" and "a man wearing a black wig and a tail."

They were selling merchandise, but the lines were so long we didn't bother to stand in line. They had all three Distant Worlds CDs (the last is a DVD), plus they were selling a collection of music from FFIV - FFX for $40. I think this is a really great price for that collection, but I do wonder if it contains the full soundtracks or just a selection from each game. I saw someone who had bought it, and the case looked as big as my case for the FFVIII/FFX soundtracks, which are four discs each.

Now, on with the show!

First up was Hymn of the Fayth from Final Fantasy X. This was a new arrangement which I think might have been premiering in Chicago. It was lovely, but I was rather distracted because people were still getting into their seats and it was noisy in the gallery, grr.

They then immediately launched into One-Winged Angel, which was a surprise to me because they usually do it as the encore! In fact, Arnie Roth (the conductor) made a joke about this - he said we now had all concert to think about what the encore might be.

Next up was the crowd favorite Victory Fanfare, followed by Opening - Bombing Mission.

Then guest star Susan Calloway came out and sang Eyes on Me. which was a nice change from Love Grows which they usually do. She did a fine job, but honestly I prefer the original.

Next was Light Eternal from Lightning Returns, which was a new piece to me. The middle was familiar, though - it contains Blinded by Light. I'm not a huge fan of the FFXIII music, but I do like Blinded by Light so it was nice to hear.

Then it was To Zanarkand, the very first Final Fantasy song I ever heard and one of my favorites. Lovely.

Next up was You're Not Alone from Final Fantasy IX. I haven't played IX yet so I couldn't place the song just by title alone, but I recognized it once they began playing it.

Then Susan Calloway came back out and did Answers from Final Fantasy XIV. This is such an incredibly powerful song, and I enjoyed hearing it, though I did get annoyed when everyone started clapping at the pause at the end, before the song was done. They played the End of an Era video during it, which I highly recommend watching if you haven't seen it as it's rather epic.

The last song of the first half was the Chocobo Medley. Arnie Roth said this was the 25th anniversary version. It started out with the chocobo raising music from FFXI. Baby chocobos are the gosh-darnest cutest things you'll ever see. Then it launched into Mambo de Chocobo from FFV, complete with the chorus going "Hunh!". Finally there was another section with the chorus spelling out c-h-o-c-o-b-o. Personally, I thought this arrangement was just okay. I much prefer the 2010 version for the awesome drums in the middle when it launches into the tune from FFX. I really missed hearing those drums.

The first song after intermission was the Final Fantasy III DS opening. I remember seeing this at a previous concert for the first time and being really excited to play FFIII.

Then it was time to launch into the Final Fantasy VI extravaganza!

First up was a FFVI Character Medley featuring the themes of Terra, Kefka, Celes, and Locke. This was well done. My only complaint was that it wasn't longer so it could include more character themes! I've had Gogo's theme stuck in my head for days now, and it would have been nice to hear in concert.

Then it was Dark World, featuring Nobuo Uematsu on keyboard and Arnie Roth on violin. The first time I heard this at a previous concert, and I wasn't too impressed at the time. My opinion has drastically changed now that I've played FFVI. It was very nicely done.

Then it was the one I was most looking forward to - Dancing Mad. You haven't lived until you've heard it performed on a pipe organ, the way it was meant to be played.

Next up was Balance is Restored, a personal choice by Uematsu-san. They didn't do the full 20 minute version, just the main theme from the song.

Then it was Maria and Draco, complete with narrator and extended chorus. I'm so used to the version from the first Distant Worlds CD that I wasn't sure how I'd like the narrator, but I thought it was quite good. I do wish I could have understood what they were singing in the extended chorus, though.

The last song was the Main Theme of Final Fantasy, during which they rolled the credits. People clap at names in the credits, which annoys me because I want to hear the music!

For the encore, I was sure they'd do Clash on the Big Bridge which was the encore at the Japan concert, but they did even better - Battle Medley!] It features Clash on the Big Bridge from FFV, Seymour's battle theme from FFX, and Those who Fight from FFVII.

So, there we have it! Did they play what you wanted? If not, what would you have liked to hear?

Personally I can't wait for FFXV to come out so I can hear the song from the third trailer. As a FFXI player, I also would have loved to hear something from it, even if it's ronfaure yet again.

As we were walking out they handed us a card with some advertisements on it. One side was advertising free trials to FFXIV, while the other side was an ad for Theatrhythmn:Curtain Call which says "enter the password below each character to unlock their CollectaCard in the game!" Those passwords are:

Edgar: Machinery
Celes: Opera Floozy
Terra: Moogle lover
Locke: Treasure Hunter
ChickenFriedChocoboComment 4: 2014-08-26 18:04
ChickenFriedChocobo I was there, too! My seat was up in the right gallery...and I battled with the merchandise line, so I was able to overhear some of what led to that particular situation.

The merch line was mayhem for a couple of reasons:

1. The venue staff seemed not to have any crowd control mechanisms in place, so there was nothing to guide the growing line. The husband and I showed up about 2 hours early, and we were toward the front of the line, but it eventually snaked back onto itself, and by the time the venue staff started to care about it, they were convinced we were at the back of the line. The folks at the end laid claim to their status at the end, and the usher who'd come to tell us to get at the back of the line where we 'belonged' scuttled off and vanished. Sadly, this led to more chaos.

2. Apparently someone had gone to get change for the merch table but was overdue in returning, so they couldn't start selling when they wanted to. Eventually, they started taking credit/debit transactions and exact-change cash payments.

After my husband and I got what we came for (some CDs and t-shirts), we bugged out to a place with breathing room and then went up to our seats, so I don't know how it went after that. I hope people got what they wanted, though. They really needed something or someone there to guide the line.

Your review is awesome, by the way! If anyone's keen to read mine, it's over here on my blog.
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