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Final Fantasy Concert Series Coming to the States 194

On February 19th in Chicago, Illinois, a concert series titled "Dear Friends" will kick off a U.S. tour. The music? Music from the Final Fantasy series performed by orchestra. From the press release: "The first FINAL FANTASY concert in the U.S. brought fans from far and wide together in Los Angeles to share in an unforgettable musical experience," said Ichiro Otobe, president and COO of Square Enix, Inc. "We are pleased to announce that, due to the overwhelmingly positive response, a North American tour will soon bring the emotionally moving and powerful scores to fans across the country." This is personally very exciting for me. See you there!
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Final Fantasy Concert Series Coming to the States

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by kmmatthews ( 779425 ) * <> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:36AM (#11091565) Homepage Journal
    The article doens't mention how much tickets are; it also doens't directly link to the show on (though it does link to the theatre): Tickets are "Floor = 45.00 to 125.00," "Balcony = 33.00 to 65.00," and "VIP = 125" (includes meet & greet with the guy). The show on ?brand=&artistid=950969&majorcatid=10002&minorcati d=203 []...

    Incidentally, if you read the article, you would know that FINAL FANTASY must be capitalized every single time that you say FINAL FANTASY. sheesh

    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vengeance ( 46019 )
      Do you know why they don't 'deep-link' directly to Ticketmaster?
      Neither do I. Ticketmasters lawsuit about it was thrown out, and the judge in charge of the case made this statement:

      "Hyperlinking does not itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act," Hupp said in his ruling. "There is no deception in what is happening. This is analogous to using a library's card index to get reference to particular items, albeit faster and more efficiently."
      • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Informative)

        They still say deep linking isn't allowed.

        from their terms of use [] (illegally deep linked of course):
        Permitted Use

        You agree that you are only authorized to visit, view and to retain a copy of pages of this Site for your own personal use, and that you shall not duplicate, download, publish, modify or otherwise distribute the material on this Site for any purpose other than to review event and promotional information, for personal use, or to purchase tickets or merchandise for your personal use, unless ot
        • They can always say that they prohibit it, but losing the case in court means that they could not actually take action against someone for deep linking. Someone can say just about anything; I can say that anyone who looks at me in public owes me $100, but that doesn't mean I can legally collect. I suspect the reason Ticketmaster doesn't like deep linking is to prevent other ticket brokers from collecting ad revenue or whatever when they direct people to the Ticketmaster site. But that is the nature of the i
    • Hmm. I smell another "Spirits Within" debacle coming. I imagine Square just giving up on selling anything but games in North America pretty soon.
      • My wife sang in the LOTR series when it opened in Baltimore. The show was very near sold out (it may have been sold out at the end) and it was only a tuesday and wednesday apperance. There was a large mix of usual choral arts and symphony patrons and also LOTR fans. I don't know how big the fanbase of FF is, but I imagine that they'll get a lot of regualr symphony patrons as well as fans and should do well.
    • Incidentally, if you read the article, you would know that FINAL FANTASY must be capitalized every single time that you say FINAL FANTASY. sheesh

      Well, I'm a SLASHDOT READER and we don't read articles, so:

      final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy final fantasy

    • As cool as this show would be, especially since I live near Chicago, I will not go if Ticketmaster is the only way to get tickets. When it comes to companies with abusive business practices, which so many Slashdotters hate, I can't think of a worse example. Let's start with the complete monopoly they have over ticket distribution. How Pearl Jam lost their lawsuit is beyond me; Ticketmaster must be contributing generously to the correct campaigns. Then there are the fees. There is a service charge per ticket
    • "VIP = 125" (includes meet & greet with the guy).

      I'd have to go check my reciept, but i'm pretty sure i paid at least that much for the one in LA (for second row seats) and i didn't get any "meet & greet" =P

  • What? No con association? How bout getting in free if you dress up like your fav charachter?
  • I could have sworn there was already one concert with that name already in the last year or two-- Yeah, here we go, an announcement from quite awhile ago.. right here [].
    • Okay, I misread the original article. This is a re-running of it across multiple places because of the popularity of the original. Don't mind me, too early in the morning and not an ounce of caffeine.
  • by YetAnotherName ( 168064 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:40AM (#11091587) Homepage
    The compositions in many of the FF games are really top-notch; there are a few off-beat tunes (think the Chochobo scenes) but for the most part it isn't your dime-a-minute loop-based stuff but moving, uplifting, really cinematic kind of music. Performance by a full orchestra? Oh yeah, I'll even buy that.
  • At last! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mistersooreams ( 811324 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:43AM (#11091604) Homepage
    I think it's great to see video game music finally getting the (fairly) widespread critical acclaim it has so long deserved. RPGs have had awesome music for year (Secret of Mana springs to my mind), but now it seems people are really starting to appreciate the music for its own sake.

    Maybe the consoles of the future will offer as much scope for awesome sound as they currently do for the visuals.
    • It's funny you should mention Secret of Mana, I also think it has some of the best RPG music around, even better than some of the FF games.

      On another note, as music gets more and more orchestrated (meaning "real music", not SNES midi stuff), it's much harder to remember/get stuck in your head. I still remember almost all the music From FFII(US, the one with Cecil) and games like Mega Man 2, games I played like 12 years ago, but I can't for the life of me remember music from FFIX or X off-hand.

      Hearing t
      • Two words: Chrono Trigger.
        I consider it one of the best game OSTs i've ever heard, even tho it's only 16-bit midi.
        Some tracks there are really moving and emotional. It's amazing what talented people can do with 16-bit!
    • I was going to make a comment about Spike TV's Video Game Awards from last night, and if they had awards for best music/soundtrack, but the web site is a flash hell.
    • now it seems people are really starting to appreciate the music for its own sake.

      Well, it remains to be seen if these concerts will attract general attention. I would guess not, that the audience will be almost entirely Final Fantasy fanboys, interested in the music because they played the game.

  • I am left wondering if they will name their next concert tour final final fantasy, or final fatasy concert two; and then I ask myself why I am thinking about such a thing in the first place.
    • Interesting...I wonder if they'll act out some parts too.
    • Obviously, their two next concert tours will be held only in Japan, and will be called Final Fantasy Concert II and III. They will then hold another tour in the US, but pretend the Japanese tours never happened and refer to it as "Final Fantasy Concert II." The music will also be less technically demanding for the US dates than for the shows in Japan, which will be called Final Fantasy Concert IV.

      Confusing, yes, but not nearly as confusing as it will be when the fourth concert series to play in the US i

      • In Final Fantasy Concert Tactics, you'll have a rag-tag bunch of musicians. You must assign to each musician an instrument, then arrange them on the stage, and attempt to complete the concert.

        The later Final Fantasy Concert Tactics Advance, however, will a) be held in smaller venues, b) be somewhat poorly lit, and c) be complicated by the conductor giving you pointless and arbitrary challenges for each song, such as 'no woodwinds' or 'stringed instruments cannot use their first string.'

  • by AndyBassTbn ( 789174 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:44AM (#11091612) Homepage
    As a computer geek - especially one who has played damn near every Finaly Fantasy game - I'm thrilled as it is by the opportunity to hear these great soundtracks in a medium other than MIDI. I don't care how far the technology develops, nothing beats a live orchestra in a real concert hall, period.

    As a trained classical musician living and [trying to] freelance in Chicago, I'm thrilled even more (and would get a nice early Christmas by being called to play said gig... ahh, one can only dream...)

    Too bad the article says nothing of who actually arraanged these works for orchestra... (To the Slashdot crowd who may not know what I mean - I ask who actually transcribed the full orchestral score and individual parts from the MIDI original.) Was it Nobuo Uematsu himself? Being a great composer (and in his genre, he certainly is, IMHO) is one thing, while being a great arranger/orchestrator is an entirely different matter. His stock would go waaaaay up in my book if he did both....
  • First concert in LA (Score:4, Informative)

    by echocharlie ( 715022 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:47AM (#11091632) Homepage
    Here's a link to more information about the first concert in LA earlier this year [].
  • by koreaman ( 835838 ) <> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:48AM (#11091641)
    Nobuo Uematsu is one of the best composers of the present time. This is not about a bunch of video game fanboys with too much time and money on their hands, this is about a bunch of music afficionados going to a concert.

    What is stupid or gay about a bunch of music afficionados going to a concert? If you think of the music as separate from the game, that's whay it becomes. And yes, Nobuo Uematsu's music is good enough to stand on its own and not as part of Final Fantasy.

    Before I stopped downloading music (for ethical reasons) I used to download and listen to Final Fantasy music all the time, while I wasn't playing the game. And I don't even like Final Fantasy that much.

    So, before you think that this will just be a bunch of people who live in their parents' basement dressed up like Cloud, think again. It really is good music.
    • I like Final Fantasy music and Nobuo Uematsu as much as anyone, but it is program music, like film soundtracks - fun, but "one of the best composers of the present time?" I'm afraid that suggests you know a lot about videogames, and not so much about contemporary composition.

      Terry Riley, John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Arvo Part, John Zorn, John Taverner, Giya Kancheli, Luciano Berio, Koji Asano, Gavin Bryers, Elliot Carter, Yoshio Ojima, Don Van Vliet, Gyorgy Ligeti, Henryky Gorecki - any one of these and o
      • I would add Eric Whitacre to that list personally. Some brilliant choral and wind ensemble compositions.
    • Uematsu is definitely not one of the greatest composer of the current time. I enjoy his music, but it falls far short of actual "serious" (western art music tradition, classical, contemporary classical, modern, whatever you want to call it) music.

      Listen to a symphony movement (except maybe from Phillip Glass) and compare it to the FF game music. The two are completely different in their approaches. The symphony movement is designed to build from a beginning statement of themes, developing them until it rea
  • I hope this tour is as much of a success as the original concert. If so some of us would love to see a concert of the FF music over here in England!
  • by leathered ( 780018 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:52AM (#11091663)
    I'd keep expecting to be jumped by monsters at random intervals during the performance.
  • to kill off John Williams before he writes another stirring brass fanfare. Let's do a test. Fire up "Return to Zork." Listen carefully to the music during the opening scene, flying through the mountains. Now, grab your Harry Potter DVD, close your eyes, and listen to the main theme. Notice any similarities? Let's get him before he starts taking FF music.
  • In other news Metallica is about to do a world tour playing music from PacMan
  • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:01AM (#11091718) Journal
    I have ZERO chance of convincing any type of girl that I typically go out with to come along. Calling girl: "Hey you want to see an orchestra concert?"..."Sure that would be fun, what is it?"...."Final Fantas..."++ATH0 "Hello?"
  • This reminds me of the concerts that Boston Pops with John Williams used to do with his movie scores. They would show a scene from Jaws without the music and then the orchestra would perform. It really showed how important a good score can be - even if it is just background music.
  • Orchestral FF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jabolio ( 840541 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:02AM (#11091729) Homepage
    I've been listening to FF music for about 7 years now. I actually have a copy of "Kefka's Domain" (the OST for FF3, as it's the American version) that I used to listen to on a regular basis. Aside from the game OSTs available for purchase, there already exist a fair amount of Final Fantasy music that was recorded by orchestra. There are several "Piano Collection" compilations (where pieces are performed solo on Piano), as well as some strange remix collections, but my personal favorite (and I still listen to it regularly) is a collection called "Grand Finale", which consists of orchestral renderings of Final Fantasy VI (III)'s tracks. They are all great, although some people have questioned the use of certain instruments here and there (bagpipes on Relm's track?). If you're real hard core, try to find the Dream Oath Opera (from FFVI)... A 20-minute or so version of it exists out there somewhere, complete with Japanese vocals. Simply amazing.
    • I haven't heard Grand Finale, though one of my favourite FF CDs is "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec", the corresponding orchestral CD for FFVIII. The original game soundtrack was fairly orchestral-sounding, so most of the arrangements sound very natural, though there are a couple of fairly odd ones (the synth-pop battle theme "The Man with the Machine Gun" is arranged into something that sounds almost like big band music).

      It would be one of the best CDs ever if it weren't for the awful "Eyes on Me".

    • Do you have the 20 minute copy? would be willing to donate for your troubles :)
  • If you guys like final fantasy music or any other kinda of music from video games, [] has alot arrangements of different video games tunes. Don't let the name fool you, it's not filled with those lame techno remixes, it's done by tons of different people with too much time on their hands. Some kinda suck, but some of the remixes are done very well. It's worth a look, imo.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:14AM (#11091792)
    do de do- do da de- de de do
  • Mixed feelings... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Corf ( 145778 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:16AM (#11091805) Journal
    On the one hand, it's great that orchestral music is getting acclaim within the geek crowd, even if it is based on video games. I never caught the FF bug, but so many of my friends did, and in college the music was good background while I did other things in the apartment (generally not at all related to the degree I got in music performance).

    On the other hand, RPG music on the whole tends to be overly thematic and soundtrackesque. Very emotional stuff - it doesn't make you think, it makes you sweat. Maybe that's a good release for geeks who think all day, but it compares to 200-years-dead-white-guy classical music in much the same way John Williams does... slightly dumbed down from the original to appeal to the masses.

    On the gripping hand, it doesn't matter. People listen to whatever floats their boat, period. Personally I'd much rather attend this then shell out three times as much for kazillionth-row seating at a Britney Spears concert!
    • Maybe I'm narrow minded or just musically uneducated, but how the hell does any music without lyrics make you think?
      • If you're seriously interested, find a copy of one or more of the Bach Cello Suites. Listen, keeping in mind that it's just one guy doing all that. Check out this essay [] for clarification of the issues involved in a successful performance of said works. If there are words you don't understand in context, look them up. You'll learn a lot about why Bach was a musical genius and why his works are still valid and unsurpassed nearly two hundred years later.
  • by kir ( 583 )
    No really... is it?
    • No it isn't. Why should it be? I'd be the first to admit that there is a lot of shitty game music around, but there are some real gems as well. People listen to film music; why not game music as well?

      Then again, people listen to Britney and anything the RIAA pumps out... I don't think I'll ever understand that.

  • by Dracolytch ( 714699 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:21AM (#11091830) Homepage
    Ever wonder why you don't get laid? This is it... Right here.

  • Can't wait. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sm.arson ( 559130 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:23AM (#11091850) Homepage
    Within about 45 seconds of seeing this slashdot story I was already typing in my credit card info for 2 VIP tickets. I'm glad to see they're starting out in my home town (Chicago).

    Normally, I balk at the high prices at the local blockbuster, so I hope my girlfriend understands why I had to pay damn near $300 for VIP tickets. I'm always trying to share my passion for videogames with her, so I guess a nice dinner and a night at the opera will do the trick.

    Good use of a christmas bonus.
  • I enjoyed it immensely. I can still conjure up some of the theme music in my head. I'll be dragging my wife out to this if it comes near me...
    • Same here. My girlfriend actually got imported CDs of the FFVII music. I'm just hoping that the tour gets a little closer to PA so I have a better chance of going. Anyone have a list of the other locations they'll be performing at?
  • It is interesting that video games are starting to get credit for their music, from more traditional sources. For the longest time they always put Video game music with the same level as garage bands. But pieces like the Super Mario theme song will stay in a persons head for the rest of their life and remind them of the childhood and it is still a catchy little tune. Many times when I hum a piece from from a video game people tend to have a better connection with that then if I did from a song of the tim
  • When I played Final Fantasy 1, I knew the franchise would explode into tons of sequels. I've never met anyone who can predict what video game will be fun like me. In a lot of ways it sucks being able to see 10 years down the pipe. Most people just wait and are suprised by what video game comes out. I can already visualize the next big video game, but I need to wait until someone makes it. And mostly people make games almost on target, only to fail on some detail that would otherwise have made their gam
  • Black Mages (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dannycim ( 442761 )
    I'll go if they come near the East Coast. I'd be even more enthusiastic about a Black Mages tour. FF + Heavy rock? Live performance with Nobuo Uematsu at the kyeboards? Yeah!!!

    Still, as long as they play X, S, T, L1+T, L1+S, X, S, T, L1+X, O, X, S, X, I'll be happy to go.

    (I'll send a stack of Ghysal Greens to the first nerd who recognizes that. :)
  • Since he's obviously stupid with money, maybe Zachurm can get them to perform on his island [].
  • The opening performance for the new Disney-branded, Frank Gehry-designed Los Angeles Concert Hall played a full orchestral concert of "The Music of Final Fantasy." How is this new concert tour "bringing it to the US?"

    FINAL FANTASY Debuts First Orchestral Concert in North America Celebrating Video Game Music
    LOS ANGELES, Calif., February 18, 2004 - Square Enix U.S.A., Inc. ("Square Enix U.S.A."), the publisher of Square Enix(TM) interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that

  • I was just reading about the wild popularity of not only music from the Final Fantasy series, but music from many of the best game series in Japan, in Chris Kohler's excellent book Power Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life []. And now to hear that it is coming to my sweet home Chicago! Sweeeeet!
  • really wanting to go and knowing that the real name of this show should be Birth Control World Tour, might be so geeky that my normally geek-loving wife would cringe.
  • You can find soundtracks extracted from SNES games at These are the raw spc files extracted from the roms, they sound exactly like the SNES music digitizer output. []

    Players are here (get the winamp pluging): []

    Be sure to check out Final Fantasy III (6 Japan) and Chrono Trigger.
  • I know a few folks from local orchestras who are looking for interesting new things to do, to try to expand their audience beyond the normal concert-going crowd (i.e. old people who only listen to music that's been around for 250+ years).

    To do it right, though, would require two things that I frankly don't know where to get them.

    One: Permission, and royalties if applicable. For those who don't know, generally orchestral performances and plays, at least where the composer or author is still alive, generall
  • Uhm, ok... so they played Los Angeles... now they're going to play Chicago...

    So playing a second show in another city makes it a "series"? That seems like rather Clintonian hair-splitting. Or are they really planning a TOUR of the U.S.? If so, it sure as hell hasn't been mentioned here or in the article...
  • by K8Fan ( 37875 )

    I paid $150 for two tickets to "The Music of the Lord of the Rings", and it was a major disappointment. The orchestra was under-rehearsed, with several noticable flubbed notes and a lifeless performance. But mainly the evening was disappointing because it was in a crappy venue, the Auditorium Theater. It looks great, but there was no shell behind the orchestra, and the sound was weak. A 120 piece orchestra should have the ability to get loud at moments, and the crappy venue robbed me of that experience. The

    • Poor bastard. I saw at the National Arts Centre (in Ottawa), performed by NAC Orchestra with extra ringers brought in (the NACO is only ~65 musicians).

      The NACO is a top-rated chamber orchestra.

      The NAC's Southam Hall was recently renovated to give it excellent acoustics.

      I was happy. But then I only paid $100CDN for two tickets.
  • I had an mp3 somewhere of the Pops playing a final fantasy piece. If it was actually them that was pretty cool
  • This is probably gonna garner some flames, so Commence Primary Ignition....

    Square-Enix is a good game company. They've put out some good things over the years. Heck, I was one of the (few) people who liked the Final Fantasy movie. I thought it was great! But SE's success didn't start with the movie, or even with FF7. It started with FF. That's right, just plain Final Fantasy.

    I've played the version of FF that's been released for the GBA, and I tell you, this is RPGs as I remember them. You can clea

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.