The crowd that filled up the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix, Arizona Friday was quite an eclectic bunch. Though, what else could be expected for a crowd almost too big for the Orpheum’s lobby, waiting to see a Zelda symphony?
The attendees were almost as excellent as the symphony itself. Visitors could be spotted in everything from ball gowns to battle armor while crowded into the Orpheum’s lobby.
The four movement symphony opened with the famous Zelda overture, and I’ll admit, I got goose bumps. That 8-bit jingle we’ve all heard so many times from Game Boys and Nintendo consoles was turned into a genuinely beautiful piece of music.
The four movements created for the symphony included pieces from “The Legend of Zelda,” “Ganon,” “Princess Zelda,” “Twilight Princess” and “Skyward Sword.” Accompanying the movements were scenes from actual game play. This included intense moments like the final battle between Link and the evil Ganondorf, as well as Link chasing the infamous chickens. The game play definitely induced memories of frustration due to seemingly impossible bosses and the distinct feeling of joy when that last boss finally goes down.
The audience was highly responsive and laughed, gasped and sighed along with the moods of the music. The concert followed the story of Link through the many games, adventures and stories that have made the Zelda game series one of the most beloved in video game history.
Susie Seiter, orchestrator of many of the pieces, stood in for Eímear Noone as conductor. Seiter was excellent, giggling along with the audience as Chad Seiter spoke about the game series, memories of the early Zelda games and all the work that went into creating the symphony.
As well as highlighting video from the games, the backlighting changed, creating a pitch-perfect mood for all the different movements. The four movements from the four games were spot on in capturing the feeling of the games.
The best part of the evening came at the end of the show. During a rousing and long-lasting standing ovation, Chad Seiter came back on stage to close out the show. Susie Seiter, indicating the various sections of the symphony as the applause continued and continued, eventually led to an encore.
Then another encore.
And then another.
Each song got a hearty and well-deserved standing ovation. The encores covered a little more diversity of the game music, touching on tunes that hadn’t been in the original symphony including “Ballad of the Wind Fish,” “Gerudo Valley” and “Suite from Majora’s Mask.” The diversity of the songs and the flawlessness of the composition were very impressive.
A roaring round of applause lasting for well over two minutes cheered the symphony out.
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour continues on to Atlanta, Georgia on May 12, making stops across the country into late September. Tour dates and ticket prices can be found at www.zelda-symphony.com.
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