James Johnston ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
Fans of The Legend of Zelda are going to be mad, but we have to say it: They did not play enough Zelda music at the Zelda concert. Confused? So were we, and a little heartbroken.
The Symphony of the Goddesses concert is produced by Jason Michael Paul Productions, known for their work on PLAY! A Video Game Symphony and Dear Friends- Music from FINAL FANTASY. Jason Michael Paul was also the energetic fellow who fumbled over awkward jokes in between pieces at the concert. As much as we appreciate his passion, we came strictly for the music.
The five suites based on A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess (and the main meet of the show) were huge undertakings, but we could not help feeling that pieces integral to the games were left out. The Twilight Princess suite neglected to play Midna’s Lament or the Theme of Ilia, which happen to be the themes of very important characters (as well as beautiful songs in general). Actually, Ilia’s theme was tacked on to the end of a piece from Ocarina of Time, causing more seasoned veterans of the franchise to question the playlist.
Along with the suites, a few select pieces were performed, including Gerudo’s Valley from Ocarina of Time, a dungeon medley spanning several games, the theme to The Legend of Zelda, and the Fairy Fountain theme. We loved hearing the orchestra’s take on most pieces, but the direction they took with Gerudo’s Valley was…off.
We understand that there are more than fifteen entries in the Zelda series, but as audience members, we felt a little shortchanged. Several games were omitted entirely, including the fabulously orchestrated Spirit Tracks, whose music was even teased in the orchestra sample CD included with Skyward Sword. If they already knew the song, why not play it? Why leave out The Minish Cap, the Oracle games, the Four Swords games, or Phantom Hourglass? We know they did not have killer soundtracks, but recognition of them would be nice. The most obscure piece played that evening was the theme of the Bottle Grotto from Link’s Awakening, which was a rare treat to hear fully orchestrated.
The audience also soured our moods. After each piece, jeering and clapping could be heard from the “cheap seats”, long after it was considered polite. At this point, we realized who this concert was being tailored to: People who played Ocarina of Time kinda sorta as a kid, and who wanted to hear the same songs again except for fifteen dollars. This left us heartbroken, because video game concerts could be so much more than this. The Video Game Orchestra show blew us away with obscure and gorgeous pieces, while the Symphony of the Goddesses played it safe with the hits.
If you are looking for the ultimate Zelda concert, you are better off depending on the fans. While the show was highly enjoyable, it was missing a great degree of passion that Zelda fans hold dear to their hearts. Dare we say our hearts were feeling a little empty after encore.