Distant Worlds Berlin – Recap

I know I am really late with this post but I still wanted to share that I have been to the Distant Worlds concert in Berlin last Sunday (13/04/14) and give you a short recap. For those of you, who are unfamiliar with Distant Worlds: This is a concert series of music solely from the Final Fantasy games. The project has been launched in 2007 and the wonderful songs by Nobuo Uematsu have been brought to stage under the conduction of  Arnie Roth. So how did I like it? What happened and how was it special in comparison to other video game music concerts? Please read on to find out! 🙂


First of all, it was AWESOME! But how could you expect any less? Especially if you have heard the two album releases beforehand. I have also been to two other video game concerts before, so I thought I knew what was coming up before even going there.

FYI, the other two concerts I visited were Symphonic Fantasies 2012 in Cologne and Final Symphony in Wuppertal 2013. Both of them were different from Distant Worlds, because they didn’t perform whole songs, but played medleys and re-arranged versions of various pieces. Also, Symphonic Fantasies wasn’t exclusively Final Fantasy music but featured pieces from Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross, Secret of Mana and others.2014-04-13 19.54.11

So the first difference was obviously that in Distant Worlds there are no medleys (with a few exceptions, like the Chocobo variations). And I actually really, really like that. I think I just prefer to hear a song that I love in a relly well-done live version, than to hear tiny pieces of themes I sometimes barely recognize, because they are either altered so much or just way too short. So DW gets my first thumbs up for that alone. 😉

Another thing that was completely new to me, and which I actually didn’t know about before, was that they would use a projector and screen to show videomaterial from the games during the songs. I think they used this additional medium very well and it added alot to the experience. Since I haven’t playes all the Final Fantasies it was nice to see some footage I didn’t know, and for the FFs I already know and love it was simply epic to relive some scenes on the big screen with orchestra music.

For the song selection I consider myself quite lucky, because To Zanarkand, Hymn of the Faith and You’re not alone are some of my all-time favorites which they all played. In general, I thought there were maybe a little too many FFVIII pieces, but this is really just a first world problem, because I haven’t played it yet. In general the mix was really good and my personal highlight was not one-winged angel, because I consider it overused, but a new version of the opera from FFVI. It featured three vocalists and a narrator and was very well-arranged. Although I’ll have to admit that after Maria finished her part I had to think: “And now dance with Draco’s ghost, pick up the flowers, move up the stairs, and throw them off the balcony. But better be quick or you’ll fuck up the timing!” 😀

Also, I heard Nobuo Uematsu whistle the victory fanfare. 😛


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