The first ever Final Symphony concert was held over the weekend in Auckland. It featured tunes from FF VI, FF VII and FFX. The event was held at Aotea Centre.
This was the first time I had ever seen a live performance for an orchestra before and it did not disappoint. The atmosphere was not as formal as I thought it would be.
Before the event began, attendees were able to partake in the pre-show festivities. They were kind enough to let people try out a new demo preview for Final Fantasy XV and even the PlayStation VR headset. The special looking Final Fantasy XV PS4 Slim console looked pretty cool too.
In terms of the event itself, things got off to an explosive start. The concert began with a medley of music found in Final Fantasy VI. This first act lasted for well over 16 minutes or so. Even though I have not played that game before, I surprisingly knew the tunes that were played.
Following the opening act, a great piano concerto was played for many of the Final Fantasy X music. The standout for this medley was 'Zanarkand'. However, I have to admit I hummed a lot to the 'Hymn of the Fayth' track when it came on. This part of the concert lasted for a good 20 minutes.
After a 20 minute interval, we were treated to an epic 45 minute long session of Final Fantasy VII music. Most of the favourites tunes were featured here such as the 'Main Theme', 'Tifa's Theme', the 'Cosmo Canyon Theme' and more. Arguably, the best piece of the entire night was the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's rendition of 'One Winged Angel'.
The night was capped off by two encores much to the delight of the crowd. The biggest cheer of the night outside of applauding was when they performed the main 'Final Fantasy Theme'. I was surprised the musicians were still able to concentrate as people weren't able to contain their excitement.
The performance from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was also commendable. Everyone was on cue and the instruments sounded great. The crowd was also very respectful as there weren't many distractions during the entire concert outside of their excitement for the encore.
It's worth mentioning that Final Symphony is a tribute to the music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X and isn't a 1:1 replica of the songs featured in the game. My brother was slightly disappointed that the pieces were medleys rather than exact renditions of the songs.
Aside from that, most other people were satisfied with the performance from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. You have to have played the games in order to fully appreciate the music though. All in all, I enjoyed myself and hope more events like this come to Auckland in the near future.