It’s been about a week since we went to the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour in California, and here are some of my thoughts on the concert highlights and the experience as a whole.
-The E3 trailer for Kingdom Hearts III played after the intermission, and it was incredible seeing it on the big screen.
-In the World Medley, Little Mermaid played for around 4 seconds before transitioning into Nightmare Before Christmas, which was an intentional and funny jab.
-The conductor, while not interacting with the audience as to be expected, did have a Kingdom Key Conductor’s Baton for the encore performance.
-Yoko Shimomura was present at the concert and spoke on a couple of different occasions. Finally, she played the piano at the encore performance of the credits song for the series.
-Yoko Shimomura introduced Tetsuya Nomura to the stage shortly after the concert ended and the crowd went wild (so did I). He spoke for a little bit and said he had exciting news for the fans next month. It’s amazing that the both of them were present at the concert. Having Shimomura and Nomura speak at the concert also made up for the fact that this conductor too did not speak to the audience.
-Fate of the Unknown and Vector to the Heavens were my favorite performances of the night.
-Most of the song selections were good, although there were a couple of odd ones (like Twinkle Twinkle Holidays or Daybreak Town). I would have liked to see more selections from Kingdom Hearts I and II, like Hollow Bastion and Destiny Islands. There were a lot of side game song selections, and I think one or two of them could have been excluded from the lineup. Because of this, the first half of the concert was stronger than the second, with faster and stronger song selections overall.
-Despite some of the selections being only so-so at times, the live performances were incredible, true to the originals but also bringing something new to the table.
-There were one or two songs where the video cut out while the song continued to be played, and I thought that was a little strange considering how past video game concerts have taken full advantage of the video screens. This made it seem as though the concert was spread short on content from the games-which seems strange to me too considering how many games there are-but I suppose it can’t be helped. It was just a little weird when it did happen, but not too distracting.
Ultimately, this concert ranks in the middle of my concert experiences, above the Symphony of the Goddesses but below the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds. I’m really sad I was unable to take any pictures since my phone’s screen is damaged and I wasn’t able to get a new one before coming. The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour is a great first start for the franchise’s entry into concert world. I share Yoko’s sentiment when she said that this was a dream come true for her—I think it was for so many fans as well.