Note: If you have never had a conversation with me in real life then you will miss the obvious taste of satire in this post and may get offended. Lol. Have no fear, whatever you interpret as distasteful language is most likely 100% misunderstood. /end note
The evening of June 24, 2017 was an experience that I will NEVER forget due to a combination of positive and negative chain of events. I, and every other Kingdom Hearts fan, waited over a year for this experience and the Kingdom Hearts orchestra was finally upon us.
I arrived at the United Palace Theater about 45 minutes before the start time and I was politely greeted by a mass of individuals clothed in jeans, shorts, sun dresses, flip flops, large backpacks…and anything you could think of that was too casual for this type of event. There was an immediate cringe and slight panic as I began to think I arrived at the incorrect venue for the orchestra.
“Here for Kingdom Heart?” An usher smiled brightly at me.
“Yes,” I nodded hesitantly.
I was not at the wrong venue.
“Oh no, oh no…” was on repeat in my mind as I passed through security. Upon entering the venue, I was impressed by the antique lure of the theater, but nearly wanted to turn away as I smacked in the face with con funk.
“This must be a mistake,” I found myself muttering as I took in the sight. Cosplayers, tons of individuals decked out in Kingdom Hearts merchandise, and a mere 2% actually clothed in the appropriate attire for an orchestra. I was baffled. 98% of these people (and when I say people, I really want to say peasants) arrived to an orchestra like it was a convention.
THIS WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING.
Seriously, it got worse..
8pm rolls around, introductions are given, Yoko comes out to greet us and it all begins. The orchestra was 0.2 seconds into Hikari (or was it Passion? Who knows I could barely hear) and the crowd goes nuts, simply because the title of the piece appeared on the large screen in the gorgeous Kingdom Hearts font.
BUT NO PEOPLE, NO!! THIS IS NOT THAT KIND OF EVENT.
Alright, I am lowkey livid, but the peasants, I mean people, finally pull it together and we are good to go. Or so I thought… We are all back at listening to the orchestra while watching the wonderful cinematic Tetsuya arranged for us, Sora makes his first appearance on the screen and the crowd erupt into a cheering and clapping fest.
There I was in my seat, SHOOK, blinking several times in disbelief that these individuals just interrupted the orchestra’s piece (mind you we were there to LISTEN to the orchestra) simply because a character appeared on the screen. This continued for the duration of the concert. RIP.
Despite this disgust I portrayed earlier, I did enjoy the orchestra. From what I heard, they were magnificent – the choir too! Everything was so spot on I was beginning to think it was a recording, but here and there you would here that little flair of the orchestra saying, “this is us weebs, we can play music from Kingdom Hearts.” I was also very fond of watching the third violinist. She was a ball of energy! Very dramatic in her movements, and you could see how closely she was watching the composer, on top of that she was beaming at the conclusion of every piece! I was beginning to think she was a fan herself, or just loved playing her violin. AND YOU KNOW WHAT!!!?? YOKO SHIMOMURA PLAYED THE PIANO FOR US. Lort!!! Although these peasants had zero class towards the art, Yoko still came to bless us. I could have shed a tear.
But greatness continued! As one of the 150 VIP ticket holders, I was given the opportunity to meet Yoko after the show. I was honestly sweating bullets waiting my turn. I was so excited I neglected to wipe my camera lens and even chose a sharpie that was a bit too light… but alas, I met Yoko, she was extremely kind and accepted the card my friends and I wrote to her – overall it ended well!