Concert Review: Kingdom Hearts World Tour


Friday night I attended the London premiere of the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour. It was everything I hoped it would be. I spent the majority of the concert with goosebumps all over me and a lump in my throat. The music was flawless. It was a fangirl's dream come true. The original Kingdom Hearts soundtrack is the first game score I ever bought, and I've finally heard it live. It was wonderful.

I even had the opportunity to meet Yoko Shimomura herself and tell her how beautiful her music is, and how it's the music that inspired me to finally become a violinist in 2012. Such an honour. I keep grinning every time I think about it!

Hearing music you love live is an unmissable experience. One of my favourite aspects of the orchestration was how the pieces moved through the orchestra, especially during the character medley. It felt like different instruments represented the central characters, and the various sections became our main characters and told their stories. The concert felt like a conversation between us and the world of Kingdom Hearts. The music holds up so well on its own. I felt the music like never before. It's one experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Like Distant Worlds and Symphony of the Goddesses, the concert featured video footage from the games. There was also film created specifically for Dearly Beloved which I really liked. I felt such a wave of nostalgia seeing footage from the games.

We opened, of course, with Hikari, accompanied by the opening video from Dream Drop Distance which looked amazing on the big screen. It pulled me right in. Oh, and hearing Destati booming out in such a powerful way was astounding. The power of that piece of music! Wow.

The whole concert captured the emotions of the story, all the highs and lows you go through when you journey with the characters in each game. I often forgot to watch the screen because I was so enraptured by the orchestra. Thank you to the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the choir for such a sumptuous performance. It uplifted me, and I haven't come back down yet.

I know I could've heard recordings of the concert’s arrangements prior to going, but I am so glad I didn't. I had such a treat, not knowing what was going to come next. And I really don't want to spoil too much for any of you who will be attending in the future by describing every single piece featured. Some unexpected favourites cropped up, and I'm glad I didn't know they would be in there. Suffice to say we were treated to a fantastic choice of music from across the entire franchise, and the arrangements blending world themes, character themes, and boss themes all worked spectacularly. They captured everything from the joy and whimsy, to the heart-crushing sorrow, and the pulse thumping excitement. And thankfully I can listen to the whole concert to my heart's content because it was available to buy on CD at the venue! I had mine signed by Yoko Shimomura. SQUEE!!!!


The concert made me feel like I was experiencing Kingdom Hearts for the first time again. I love how an orchestra can do that. Every concert I've been to - film and videogame - makes me feel that way. I can't thank the musicians enough for putting their all into this. And, of course, to Yoko Shimomura and everyone else involved in composing, arranging and orchestrating this music. I had a magnificent evening. One I shall treasure forever. I had such a huge smile on my face during the whole concert. I’m smiling now just thinking about it. And that's what I love about Kingdom Hearts; it makes me so happy. This concert could not have been any better. Thank you to everyone who made it happen!

Comments

  1. Hi. I was wondering how long the meet-and-greet with Yoko Shimomura lasted and what it entailed. I only ask because I'm trying to decide if I should spring for the VIP ticket while it's still available. I imagine it involves waiting in line for a long time just for a minute or two with Ms. Shimomura but I wanted to see if that's really the case. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Yeah, I definitely had to wait longer in line than I spent with her, but I'd do it again. It was an honour to tell her how wonderful her music is and how it has inspired me over the years. I probably spent two minutes with her, and I had a photo taken and my CD signed. I'm glad I treated myself to the VIP ticket! Hope that helps. Enjoy the concert when you go. It's amaaaaazing!

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    2. Thank you very much for responding to my comment. This will help me decide which ticket to purchase.

      Whether or not I get to meet Yoko Shimomura, I undoubtedly look forward to the concert. I can't wait!

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