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LATE REVIEW: Red Hot Chili Peppers @ The O2 Arena

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I am back once again to give you a review of a gig I went to on Monday and it will be on the Red Hot Chili Peppers at The O2 Arena in London. Now I know that this review should have been out on Tuesday and the latest but I’ve been so busy with work, drawing and playing Final Fantasy XV and Pokemon Sun that finding the time to write this review was next to impossible. But regardless I just had to share my thoughts on the awesome night I had.

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So for those not aware, the Chili Peppers are one of my all-time favourite bands and I saw them the first time back in 2011 when they were playing at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. It was a significant occasion for me because not only was I totally loving the I’m With You album, but they were also my first band I’d seen live. It was a beautiful session and it pretty much kicked off my love for live music. So fast forward 5 years, we have their latest album; The Getaway (which I really like by the way) and a new tour, so you knew I had to get on that, and the 3 months after I bought the tickets flew by pretty quick.

Before I get into the awesomeness of the RHCP, I’d be incredibly rude to not mention the supporting act; BABYMETAL who left quite the impression on me after their performance ended. Now this band I’d heard of through friends but I never really knew much about them besides the fact that they were a Japanese girl band who did metal music and I heard some of their music briefly while in Tokyo Toys in London last year, but they were still an oddity to me. However, seeing them live was one of the most different and unique experiences I’d ever have with a live music performance. Seeing all the musicians rocking out so heavy and loudly while these three again ladies ran around, danced and performed all these actions at the same time was mental. I’ve not seen a band so theatrical and charismatic like this ever, it felt like I was watching a butch of excited kids singing and moving around with such a cray level of energy, but they were so bloody cute, beautiful and charming. I was surprised by not only how much I liked the ladies, but also how much I got into the music considering that I’m not super into metal music. Overall they were great and I definitely will be looking into their music in the future.

But let’s move on to the RHCP, when they came on stage it was like the room set ablaze, the energy was completely on another level. And from there the band went on play a collection of notable and newer songs, but in between we got really cool jamming sessions between Flea, Josh and Chad and I adore those so much, they were varied, upbeat and kept the momentum going. I also have to comment on the presentation too, there was this awesome set of cylinder-shaped lights that lit up in various colours and moved up and down via cables and formed waves, big rectangles and other crazy shapes which was so cool. And then there was the screen behind the band that showed them playing with interesting colour filters or had these crazy abstract videos with “2D or cut out animation which was so strange and badass.

As for the set list it was really good, the band played 5 songs from their latest album, a few from By the Way, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Californication, and one each from I’m With You, Mother’s Milk and Stadium Arcadium. When the band came on-stage and then started with “Can’t Stop” as the first song I lost my mind. That is my all-time favourite Chili Peppers song and to hear it first got everyone moving. Then from there was a lovely selection of songs and most of them I really enjoyed, though some definitely got me more giddy than others. Getting to hear “Dark Necessities” life for the first time was a lot of fun and hearing the sound of “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” live again brought back memories of good times back in 2011, while “Go Robot” really got people moving and I loved hearing it live as it was still really groovy. My favourite choices included: 1) “Sick Love” I think it was both luck and fate that this song ended up being played, but my god I loved them for playing it as it was my favourite inital song off of The Getaway.¬† 2) “Right On Time” is such a swift and beastly song and the fact that tit got played made me SO happy. ) 3) “Higher Ground” felt like the icing on a fantastic cake, its one of my favourite covers of any song in existence and hearing it live set my soul on fire! ūüėÄ But the biggest happy moment I felt must have been from hearing “Under The Bridge“, for a while I thought to myself that there hadn’t been any songs from that BSSM so the band had to be saving it and sure enough they were, that is the song that sing together with friends or fans and it was absolutely stellar. I think the biggest responses the band got were from “Otherside“, “Dani California“, “Californication“, “By The Way” and “Under The Bridge” and “Give It Away“, those songs got everyone freaking out and singing along in unison. If I had any nitpicks I would say that sometimes I wish Josh’s guitar volume levels would have been turned up on a few of the songs, also I wished that Anthony would have reached just a little higher with his vocals on a few songs and finally I wish that I could have heard “Encore” and “Dreams of a Samurai” from the new album, but these are just minor nitpicks at best.

In the conclusion the Red Hot Chili Peppers at The O2 Arena was such a delightful time. As someone who had seen them before, I felt like time hadn’t passed and I was getting more great music and more of the awesome charisma, charm and badassery from the band members. The set list was good, the atmosphere was wonderful and the visual presentation was kick ass. Besides some nitpicks I had with some of the song arrangements, they pale in comparison to all of the great material that I experienced. If you’ve seen RHCP live let me know what you thought in the comments below, and if you haven’t seen them live you should, it is worth it for sure! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2016 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Alien Ant Farm @ KOKO

Howdy ladies¬†and gentlemen of the internet and welcome to another live gig review. Now Alien Ant Farm are one of those bands that some people know for their cover “Smooth Criminal” and that’s it, but there’s so much more to them than that, and after the Anthology album of 2001 they still continued to release good stuff (Always and Forever may be an exception to that rule), and¬†for me they are one of my favourite bands that no one today really knows about. So when I heard they’d be playing live in London I jumped at the opportunity to see them live.

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Firstly I have to talk about the venue, this was my first time at KOKO and I have to say that it’s a nice venue with a great sense of style, an intimate kind of setting on the ground floor near the stage and I got some Brixton Academy vibes but just on a smaller scale. I also have to talk about the supporting acts; The Dirty Youth and InMe. While The Dirty Youth don’t have a sound I’m usually down to jam to, some of their songs was really addictive especially that Hurricane one, and InMe, damn, those guys were a revelation to me, their sound was SO good and I think they got a better reception than AAF did when they eventually came on.

But let’s finally talk about AAF, man it was good to hear their sound live especially since I’ve been listening to their music since 2001 and have wondered what a live session would be live, and while some of the songs were slightly different in their pacing and composition, overall they were just like I remembered them. And lead singer Dryden Mitchell was a lot of fun, he was funny, strange and a little foul with his use of profanity and spitting, but he delivered where it counted; in his vocals for the songs, .and while he did get as aggressive or as high-pitched for certain songs, overall he was great and so was the rest of the band. As for the songs themselves I did no expect the band to play the entirety of Anthology and it was great for them to start out with “Courage” and “Movies” as they were my favourites, and the sounds of “Sticks and Stones“, “Whisper“, “Attitude” and “Calico” were also welcome too. However it was when I heard “Summer” and “Stranded” when I really freaked out, “Summer” is one of my favourite jams, but “Stranded“, my god! That is my all-time favourite song and with the discography I didn’t think it’d get played, but it did and I was in heaven. And when they played “Glow” and “These Days” off of Truant I was having such a good time. But the crowd really went mad for “Wish” and “Smooth Criminal“, with the latter really creating a mad frenzy and starting the filthiest of mosh pits.

Now I will admit that my experience was hampered by a few things:

  1. Firstly there was a very annoying brick of a man who wouldn’t move out of my way and really squashed me into the left side of the floor and ever so often he’d look at me awkwardly and I’m just thinking”Yeah I’m having fun, you got a problem with that? Then move over!”
  2. Also the sound in general was a little messy, with the bass from the drums and bass guitar being too overpowering when it came to the vocals of the singers and guitars.
  3. And finally with AAF having 5 albums (4 fully formed ones anyway), I was surprised that the gig ended so soon without more songs being played off of Truant and Up in the Attic, heck I even listened to the new album Always and Forever because I assumed they’d play at least a few songs from that one, but nope, it was over fairly soon.

In conclusion Alien Ant Farm at KOKO was a good time for sure, that being said I was hoping for more songs from their other albums and which the sound and bass coming from the instruments was balanced better. However, to hear some of my favourite jams live was an experience I won’t forget any time soon.

So did you get to see Alien Ant Farm last night or any time during their previous or current live shows? And if so what did you think? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you all on the next blog post yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Pok√©mon: Symphonic Evolutions Review

Howdy people of the internet, today I am here to give you my review of Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, the orchestrated concert based on music in the Pokémon video game series. Last night, along with my sister, I went to London and witnessed this amazing musical sound and I just have to talk about it.

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As soon as I got into Hammersmith Apollo, I noticed hundreds of people around all buzzing about the show, some in cosplay and others in general Nintendo-based attire, and use I sat down, I turned opened my 3DS and checked my StreetPass and after that it just didn’t end. I was constantly getting StreetPass hits and I loved it haha. Also during the waiting period there was a huge screen below the seating area of the orchestra which had the whole “Who’s That Pok√©mon?” thing going on with various Pok√©mon throughout all six generations showing up in silhouette and then being revealed, I did alright, but some of them I could guess for the life of me.

20151220_190831Sorry about the picture quality, but this was the view from my seat before the concert took place.

Oh but when the concert started, man, the mood in the room was elevated and the feeling amongst all the fans was electric. And once everything started, the feeling overwhelming happiness never left my heart.

This was the setlist:

  1. Overture
  2. Pallet Town (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  3. Prepare for Trouble (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  4. Born to be a Champion (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  5. Ecruteak City (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  6. Songs of the Towers (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  7. … (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  8. Ancients of Hoenn (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  9. Falling Ashes (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  10. End of the Road (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  11. Dreams and Adventures (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)
  12. Routes of Sinnoh (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)
  13. The Lake Guardians (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)

Intermission

  1. Pokémon Center
  2. The Day I Became King (from Black and White)
  3. N-Counter (from Black and White)
  4. Farewell (from Black and White)
  5. An Eternal Prison (from X and Y)
  6. Welcome to Kalos (from X and Y)
  7. Professor Sycamore (from X and Y)
  8. Friends, Fights & Finales (from X and Y)

Encore

  1. Gotta Catch ’em All (Pok√©mon Theme)
  2. KISEKI

What made the concert so great was musical was a combination of nostalgia, interesting musical arrangements and the sense of unity amongst the crowd.

So let me start with the nostalgia factor. For me, I’m not a hardcore Pok√©mon fan these days, however, back in the 90’s to early 00’s this franchise meant so much to me and even these days I still show love to Pok√©mon when appropriate. But seriously, hearing the “Overture” and seeing the title screens of all the Pok√©mon games from beginning to end was special and I could feel the emotion right in the center of my soul being lit up. After that hearing a lot of the music from Generation 1, 2 and 3 was kind of magical, like there was that feeling of being a kid/young teenager stepping into these games again for the first time when entering new places, going into battles or going to the Pok√©mon League.

As for the music, oh dear god. The music was gorgeous. Just like Symphony of the Goddesses, this concert really opened my eyes to how creative and surprising orchestrated versions of video game music can be when handled well. I mean to be honest there’s at least two or three well-known versions of the main Pok√©mon theme thanks to the 90’s anime show, and Super Smash Bros. Melee, but when the “Overture” came along, I was like “Damn, this is even more incredible than I imagined.” It was like if the main theme of Pok√©mon descended from heaven. Yeah it was that good and it set the tone so well. But what was cool about the concert was that not every arrangement was so powerful, intense or large in scale, some were quiet, intimate and had certain genre differences especially when it came to some of my favourites like “Ecruteak City“, “Songs of the Towers” (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal) and “Professor Sycamore“.

There were some beautiful moments in “Falling Ashes” (based on the music from Route 113 which was one of my favourite pieces from Ruby & Sapphire), while “Born to be a Champion” was delightful and “…” featured some of my favourite pieces from Gold, Silver, and Crystal especially the battle with Red which was AMAZING! But my favourite arrangement by far was “Prepare for Trouble” which was the music from the Silph Co building in Red, Blue, and Yellow, that’s always been one of my favourite songs in the series and to hear this dark, super dramatic, overwhleming beast of a song come and just rock my eardrums was fabulous. It sounded like something out of a film, maybe a thriller or a sci-fi adventure, either way, you could feel the impact of the song and it was just intense and badass. I WAS IN LOVE!

And then finally there was the sense of community. This crowd was very vocal, whether they were reacting to some of the funny dialogue on-screen from the NPC’s or just reacting to conductor Susie Seiter or the MC (who’s name I can’t reemember at the moment), everyone had moments to scream and shout in happiness. Oh but my favourite moment was when we all got to sing the main theme from the Pok√©mon anime, any fan knows the song, we’ve all sang it and to sing it there was frigging awesome!

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In conclusion¬†Pok√©mon: Symphonic Evolutions was a fantastic experience, it was nostalgic, powerful and interactive. Like when I went to the last two Zelda concerts, these concerts have presented very different and impressive orchestrated versions of classic video game music, and while I wasn’t completely familiar with all of the music, it was gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.

So if you’re a Pok√©mon fan have you experienced this concert before and if so how was your experience? Leave them below in the comments section and I’ll catch ya on the next review yo.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Media, Music, Reviews, Video Games

 

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ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION @ O2 Academy Islington – My Review

Howdy ladies¬†and gentlemen of the internet and welcome to another live gig review and today I will be talking about the great session I had when I saw ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION at O2 Academy Islington last light. Now I’ve technically been listening to this band since 2008, but really got into their music back in the summer and when I heard they’d be coming to the UK for their Wonder Future Tour I knew I had to go.

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So how was the show? Well read on and find out!

Trying to translate my thoughts into words on seeing AKG live is kind of hard, but if I were to use one word it would be “awesome”.

I was initially a bit hesitant because this was my first rock gig alone and I wasn’t sure if I’d still have as much fun without a friend but luckily once the music started, those fears were dismissed and replaced by happiness. I got talking to this one guy who was really into Japanese music and had gone to Tokyo a few times, we had some really fun conversations before the show started. As soon as the band stepped on-stage the atmosphere was fairly casual, but there was a buzz in the air, but once the music started everyone went mad.

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AKG brought their a-game as they were every bit as good as I’d hoped for with intensity and passion going into every song. Besides playing what was simply in the playlist, this band were term self-aware and knew exactly what the fans wanted and how to get the crowd in the mood with certain songs. The band was also very playful and fun to watch, not only did they look like they were having the time of their lives playing their music, they had good interaction with the crowd especially when it came to lead singer Masafumi GotŇć, he was so charming and humble, whenever he said anything the crowd would go mad with screams of happiness or laugh when he’d say or not say something in between songs. But the best moment came when he said “I’m not Harry Potter.” That was just the best and so unexpected. Oh and I gotta give a special shout out to guitarist Kensuke Kita, that guy was awesome always smiling and providing such passion for his movements and guitar playing.

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I’m not a super hardcore AKG fan and I’m still discovering their music and have only been listening to them religiously since around August and even then I’d only the band’s first Houkai Amplifier, Sol-fa, Fanclub, World World World and Wonder Future (which I’d only heard for the first time yesterday). So like when I went to see Anberlin and Alexisonfire, I wasn’t up to date on the entire discography, but for the most part I think I did okay for someone who’s only been listening for a few months. Sure I should have brushed up on my music a bit more, but there was no way I was gonna miss AKG live. Even when there were songs playing that I didn’t recognise I was still having a great time.

As for the set list it was a combination of new and old, and honestly I can’t tell you every song that was played because 1) I have a terrible memory and 2) I was having a little too much fun to notice certain songs. It started out just as I thought it would with “Easter” which was great, then we got “Little Lennon”, but straight after that “After Dark” came on and I along with several other members of the crowd lost our minds. That song is my all-time favourite (as some of you may know from this post) and to have it literally as the third song was the best thing ever! I also enjoyed the sound of “senseless”, but was even happier when I heard “Caterpillar” as it is one of my favourite songs from the new album. “Siren” was a special moment as it really got everyone in a good groove and I LOVED it because it’s in my top 3 songs from Sol-fa. “Re:Re” and “Night Diving” followed before “Rewrite” came on and everyone, and I mean EVERYONE totally lost minds and freaked out. I enjoyed it for sure, but I think I’m the only one in the world who isn’t totally in love with that song. I had way more fun with “Haruka Kanata” because I’ve known and enjoyed it longer and having the main set finish on “Wonder Future” was great. And then the band left, and the crowd chanted and clapped for more (me included), and after around 10 minutes the band returned and played three more songs which was great. While I would have liked to have heard “Compass“, “Sunny Day“, “Mayonaka to Mahiru no Yume” or “Kaigan DŇćri“, overall the set list was wonderful.

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In conclusion ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION at O2 Academy Islington was kick ass. The energy from the band and the crowd really helped elevate the show to a super high level, and I just had blast finally getting to see this band live after how many years of hoping.

So did you get to see ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION last night or any time during their previous or current live shows? And if so what did you think? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you all on the next blog post yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Let’s Talk About That Snow, Again.

Howdy ladies and gents, if you’re a resident of the UK right now then you wold have noticed the heavy amount of snow that has dropped in the last few days. And since I have a blog and an opinion, it is time to talk about that snow once again.

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That snow, oh that snow, it’s returned. Boo.

If you read this blog you know how I feel about that white stuff, but for those who aren’t aware here’s the short version: I despise it. Besides looking pretty, its cold, messy and disrupts all forms of travel.

So yesterday I was in London when I got a Snapchat message off of a friend and it showed what looked to be Sheffield covered in snow and I basically laughed at his misfortune. There was no snow in London at all, I think it may have rained, but otherwise it was pretty sunny, plus cold and wind added. It wasn’t until I came home around 5.30 that I saw snow had reached the Bedfordshire area and then I saw on the news that everyone in the north pretty much got the worst of things. If snow ruins people’s idea of a good time it only goes to show how terrible that form of weather really is. I consider snow to be good for children only, it is just an excuse to get out of school, nothing else. Once snow becomes part of your adult life, it fails to be fun and interesting, it just become troublesome and ugly. I look at snow like a disease from the from the sky that we must endure periodically at certain points in the year and I don’t think I’ll ever be down with it, because I’m all about that sun and warm weather yo.

In conclusion I hope this snow doesn’t become too bothersome as I have travelling to do and fun to be had so if the snow chooses to be a problem again, believe me when I tell you I will be back to rant about it lol.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Life

 

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Jack White @ The O2 Arena – My Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I return to the realm of the internet to give you a review of a gig I went to on Wednesday and it will be on Jack White at The O2 Arena in London. After missing White in London back in July, I had to see White before the year was out, so I’ve waited around 4 months for this, was it worth the wait? Read on and find out.

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So how would I describe the gig in one word? I would use “badass!”

It was a great show full of energy, interactions and memories. The music was loud, aggressive and kick ass and at times it felt like a force of power hitting your eardrums. That’s largely thanks to the tenacity and charisma of Jack White and his band who kept things entertaining throughout. Unlike most gigs I’ve gone to, there were not many gaps between songs, most of the performances blended together which was odd but also very cool and kept things going smoothly so you never had many moments to calm down. White is a great performer, the man is as charismatic and crazy as the songs he’s crafted, he strutted, jumped and skipped across the stage, at points he looked like he was possessed by a demon from the way he swung his guitar and himself around the stage, but it was still awesome. My favourite moment from him was when he was drank something from a bottle (possibly beer) and threw it to the ground and then kept playing, such a beast, the poor stage staff had to run around him to clean up the broken glass and liquid. You could tell that the man really loves what he does and is all about the music, from the way he talked to the crowd and encouraged them to sing along to certain songs.

And then there’s the songs themselves, oh my god! It was awesome. Even though I’m not as familiar with Jack White’s work with The White Stripes, I still knew the majority of the setlist and overall it was gorgeous. I thought this gig would be primarily dedicated to the
Lazaretto album, and there was certainly a good few songs that appeared like “Would You Fight for My Love?“, “Just One Drink” and ”
That Black Bat Licorice” being some of the songs that were played. The highlights were definitely “High Ball Stepper” which was lovely, the captivating “Three Women“, “Lazaretto” was AWESOME and “Temporary Ground” (one of my favourite songs from the album) was beautifully done live.

The Blunderbuss album got a lot of love too which was delightful for me because I LOVE a lot of that material. Hearing “Hypocritical Kiss” live was the best surprise ever, it is my favourite song from Blunderbuss and while the composition was different, it was a great sound. “Love Interruption” was another great performance that made me smile a lot and it was a great dedication to Isaiah “Ikey” Owens. “Weep Themselves to Sleep” was SO good, I loved hearing that live, while “Freedom at 21“, another one of my favourite songs was wonderful. And finally “Missing Pieces” was a great finisher. There was even material from The Raconteurs, firstly with “Top Yourself” which I liked a lot, but the best part of the show was the inclusion of “Steady, As She Goes“, that has been on of my favourite songs since 2006 and to hear it live was just a unbelievably happy experience. And the final song was the classic “Seven Nation Army“. In the end the song had to happen, I was wondering when it would turn up and just at the end it appeared. While I didn’t know any of the other White Stripes songs, this one got everybody singing and clapping and it was impressive.

In the end¬†Jack White’s live performance at The O2 Arena was incredible. Seeing White strut his stuff and play some of these songs live reminds me of why live gigs are worth going to. If I can fault the gig at all it would be due to certain points when White didn’t sing all of the lyrics to certain songs or his voice wasn’t loud enough on the microphone. But these are nitpicks, I mean with a show this fun and intense its hard to focus on minor negatives. If you ever get the chance to see Jack White live, do it, you won’t regret it.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome this review, today I will be talking about the amazing time I had at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday night when I went to see Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy.

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Now to try and describe this event would be difficult. To even put it into words is near impossible purely because it is one you have to¬†experience. Now I have to admit that I’m not one of the most hardcore¬†Final Fantasy¬†fans, I’ve only played a handful of the games and I’ve never even finished one. That being said, I have been playing these games since around 1997/98, I have played a fair few of the games and researched the hell of this series to the point where I consider myself personally invested, and the music has played a big hand in that.

Before starting I should mention that¬†I’m probably not going to remember the names of all the songs or which order they came in specifically, that being said I will try my hardest to recall last night’s event without falling into a sea of happiness and forgetting to finish this review haha. Okay. let’s begin.

The Venue

All I can say is wow, I’ve been to a few venues since I started watching live music in 2011, but not many of them are as breathtaking as the Royal Albert Hall. This is a place I’ve heard so much about and seen on TV, but it’s not until you go there yourself that you get an idea of how majestic the place really is. It’s huge, very circular and has many levels, just trying to get to our balcony seats was a task in itself because it was on the other side of the entrance we came through and was up three flights of stairs. But it was worth all the effort because we had a gorgeous view of the orchestra, the screen for the projected imagery and seeing the hundreds¬†of people below, around and above us. I was mad. The scale of the place once you sit down is one you just have to pause and take in, plus it helped that everything was incredibly beautiful inside with vivid colours and spotlights illuminating the area, it was lovely.

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The Atmosphere

As for the vibe in the main hall itself it was pretty nice, from the points when the orchestra came on stage to composer Arnie Roth making¬†announcements between songs to the points when the Nobuo Uematsu came up on stage as well, the crowd went mad with the sound of applause. These were the fans shouting, clapping and giving standing ovations, you could tell that these were avid fans just happy to see their childhood recreated in a classical and epic manner. At one point when¬†Nobuo Uematsu came on stage to play, before he started there this one guy in the crowd who shouted “I LOVE YOU!” At which point everybody laughed and applauded, again, this is the power of video game fandom and they are unashamed of their love for anything, as pointed out yesterday by that one guy haha.

The Music & Visuals

Let’s talk about the main aspect of this concert, the music itself. As I said before I’m not a hardcore fan, I’ve only played FF3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 10-2, 12 and 13, and in addition to that I know a fair amount about 6 and 14. But as you can tell I’m not well-versed in this world of gaming as I am with say Sonic, Zelda or Mario. I think I can say that hampered my experience a little bit when it came to certain songs, because¬†I hadn’t played them, I couldn’t know of their significance. But at the same time, the music was so incredibly awesome that I didn’t feel that bad about it because I was thoroughly engaged throughout.

When it comes to the songs played there was everything from main themes to battle songs and the music covered had a great selection from all of the games, but they was definitely special love going out to FF6 and 9.

The concert opened to the dark and harrowing sounds of “Hymn of the Fayth” from Final Fantasy 10, it was a brilliant way to start and eased us nicely into the next song which was the classic, “One-Winged Angel” from Final Fantasy 7. I knew this would be in the concert but to have it as the second song, I was not prepared. I’ve loved this song forever, especially The Black Mages version and this rendition was pretty much exactly the same minus the rock guitars. It was some epic material.

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And along side the music there was a big screen that had scenes and gameplay from the various Final Fantasy games in correspondence to the musical pieces that were playing at the time. It was a great way of illustrating the music and further engaging the audience in the world of this game series. For the most part it was great, there was a good selection of imagery on-screen and it was done in a way where it matched the music’s power at the same time. My only minor nitpicks were that there were clips that was edited a little too quickly and some moments had repeated footage that would recycle during the same song or during another segment. Again these are minor nitpicks, but something I noticed in the midst of the awesomeness.

From that point onwards I couldn’t tell what came next in what specific order but I think I’ll just go through the games in numerical¬†order, starting with Final Fantasy 5. With FF5 they played “Dear Friends” which was gorgeous and there was also I think a three-part melody with two other songs, the first part was “Battle on the Big Bridge” which is one of my absolute FAVOURITES, it was loud, intense and just bursting with badassery, I just wish we could have gotten the song in its entirety. And there’s Final Fantasy 6, damn there was a lot of love for this game. There was the character melody that featured¬†Terra, Kefka, Celes and Locke which was nice and offered some lovely sounds, but things really got interesting when it came to “Balance Is Restored“, that was one of the most impressive and uplifting pieces in the entire concert. But I think it was “Dancing Mad”¬†was the special one, it was the longest performance with incredibly sinister introduction and utilized the whole orchestra so well including the choir and even an organ too. It found ways to switch between being aggressive and calm while still being¬†imposing, and then there’s the second half of the song where things just completely changed up in terms of pace and style and the sound was incredibly bombastic and insanely stylish, just to calm down and finish on a dramatic note, it was awesome.

Then there’s Final Fantasy 7 which had the “Main Theme” which was beautifully crafted and ¬†of course the classic “Those Who Fight (Let The Battles Begin)” as part of the three-part melody I mentioned before which was lovely. As for Final Fantasy 8, I’m pretty sure there was a song used from that game because I’m sure the imagery on the¬†screen was from that game but I cannot confirm that for sure at this point. Final Fantasy 9 was the next big one, there was at least three big songs for that game. “Rose of May” was a nice one, while “Festival of the Hunt” ¬†was a massive highlight as it was so wonderfully layered with different instruments in the really loud segments, but the best one by far was “Vamo’ Alla Flamenco“, that was one of the most beautiful pieces as it was so classical but also Spanish-influenced as well. Truly magical. As for Final Fantasy 10 we were treated to “Seymour Battle Theme” which was so nicely done in an orchestrated form and “To Zanarkand” literally made me want to shed tears a little bit, it was that beautiful. The¬†Final Fantasy 11¬†song had a very nice melody to it, however I am not sure what song it was, while the Final Fantasy 13 series got a bit of Lightning Returns with “Light Eternal“, but what they did was take the final chuck of the original song which predominately featured “Blinded By Light“. It was a beautiful and well-done performance that made me smile.¬†And Final Fantasy 14 got one of the best performances in the form of “Answers” performed by singer Susan Calloway, her voice worked so well with the music in this epic performance which was so heartbreakingly awesome.

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The final three songs were wonderful as there was only going be one but then there was more. The¬†Final FantasyMain Theme” and “Victory Fanfare” which was just the most delightful thing ever. And ending on “Swing de Chocobo” was pretty much the best thing ever, the icing on the¬†cake for sure. Just when I thought the show was over we got a second encore and it was the one song I had hoped for, a Chocobo-related jam and it was so jazzy and funky, loved it!

Conclusion

So to conclude¬†Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy was simply incredible, beyond incredible, it was spectacular. The orchestrated compositions of these classic and recent songs of the Final Fantasy series is nothing short of beautiful and with the projected visuals from all of the games it made you feel incredibly warm and nostalgic. Everything was fabulous and I got what I wanted out of the event and more even though I wasn’t familiar with all of the material that was played, if you’re a fan of this video game series then you awe it to yourself to check this concert out.

Thanks for reading this review and now I open the floor to you, the readers, have any of you been to see¬†Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy before and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review. Until next time, peace out! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Anberlin @ The Electric Ballroom – My Review

Howdy ladies¬†and gentlemen of the internet and welcome to another live gig review and today I will be talking about the crazy I had last night when I saw Anberlin at the Electric Ballroom in London. Now I’ve fairly new to Anberlin and only started listening to them back in 2012, but ever since hearing the songs “Godspeed“, “Adelaide” and “Uncanny“, I became a fan and fell in love with the Cities album. So when I heard they’d be coming to the UK for their final farewell tour I just had to see them.

So how was the show? Well read on and find out!

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So before Anberlin went on there were two support bands in the form of Fort Hope and Natives. Now I’ve not been to too many live shows but normally support bands aren’t much to talk about, that being said, the performances I saw last night were pretty damn awesome. Firstly Fort Hope just had a really awesome sound that was really in line with some of the music that my friends listen to and after two or three songs I knew I wanted to go back home and hear more. Also Natives were another great band an interesting and kick ass collection of songs that got the crowd moving and seeing along which was great.

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Fort Hope and Natives are bands I’m definitely gonna start listening to and possibly see again live after last night.

Then Anberlin came on and the crows went nuts! The atmosphere was already pretty good thanks to the support bands, but when Anberlin stepped up everyone went mad. You good tell that the people in the room were avid fans who really wanted to see this band play. The entire show was just an experience that was almost¬†indescribable. It was hot, sweaty and there was a lot of jumping and shouting. Being in the crowd along with all the excited fans was insane, I was about 4-5 rows from the front, but constantly kept moving around because of the constant rocking and pushing of people and the mosh pits happening behind me. Just trying to stay on your feet was impossible when the crowd was always moving. There were also crowd surfers and several points where my view was obscured by a taller person or I was hit in the face by other people’s elbows. But the worst person was this fat guy beside me, he was there for the majority of the show and just get pushing his massive belly against me. :S But you know at events like these stuff like that is bound to happen. And I’m not complaining, I endured Alexisonfire’s final show back in 2012 so I was prepared for the chaos that went down in this crowd haha.

Now let’s talk about the band and the song’s that were played. Anberlin were amazing, they played with such energy and ferocity, but what really stuck out to me was vocalist Stephen Christian’s performance. He was totally on-point with his vocals and while his microphone was a bit quiet at first, he got loud enough later on. His singing was so full of passion and he pretty much hit all the high notes very well and you could see his love for the fans as he constantly smiled whenever we shouted the band’s name or cheered for ages. Not many musicians look that humbled and tell their fans how much they care, but Stephen made it very clear and I loved it! The best thing about the band¬†was¬†the fact their music sounded so good live, just as awesome if not more so than the album versions. As for the songs, since I am a newer fan of the band I’m not aware of their full discography, I’m mainly well-versed in the Cities and New Surrender albums, so most of the songs went over my head, but that did not make them any less fun to listen to, I just wish I had known them beforehand. Though when “The Unwinding Cable Car” came on I was just in my element, I sang my heart out and so did the rest of the crowd. Other special moments came with “The Resistance“, ¬†“Godspeed“, “Feel Good Drag“,¬†“Dismantle. Repair.”¬†and¬†“Adelaide” which was a person favourite because that was my obsession for so long. And when the gig ended on¬†“(*Fin)” ¬†it was a perfect send off.

In conclusion Anberlin’s live show at the Electric Ballroom was pretty damn awesome. The band was on fire and the atmosphere in the room was just insane full of the most hardcore fans I have ever seen. The music and vocals was incredible and this was definitely one of the gigs I will never forget anytime soon.

So were you one of the lucky people to see Anberlin last night or during the other last two UK shows? And if so what did you think? Be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see you all on the next blog post yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2014 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m gonna give you my thoughts on the London Film & Comic Con took place on the weekend just past. So yeah I’ve been travelling to and from London over the last three days going to convention and it has been one hell of an experience. There’s been a lot of stuff going down recently and now I have to try and recall everything that I saw. Here goes nothing. ūüėõ

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Now for those not in the know, this convention was all about films, TV, comics and video games. But it was primarily about the special guests who attended, most people who were going were there to meet the celebrities who were there for talks, photo sessions and doing autographs too. Otherwise you could buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that you could also play video games new and old, see the writers and artists in the comic book area or took pictures of the many cosplyers hanging around. So Now I shall talk about my experience day by day.

Friday

On day one I meet up with my friends, we queued for just around an hours around the back of the building before we got inside and I scoped the area to see where everything was. There was a lot of stalls with merchandise, many areas for actors doing autograph signings and loads of people in cosplay walking all over the place. So Friday was just a short session, the convention started at 6.30pm and only lasted for a few hours and was pretty much a taster of things to come over the next two days. It was primarily a day two get your stuff signed or do your photo sessions with celebs or just buy your tickets for events you couldn’t get online beforehand. There was a lot of lines and it was pretty crazy how far they stretched even though it was Friday, not one of the main weekend days. But then at the same time considering who was attending and how big the event has become over the years I am not surprised about people and their commitment to coming so early and in their massive numbers.

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But the highlight of my day was when I met and got a picture with the legend that is Stan Lee, yes THE Stan Lee. I waited in line to have my picture with him for around I think an hour and a half, but then I finally got to take the picture with him and I can say it was one of the most surreal moments ever.

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This was pretty much the highlight of the day and my life. I unfortunately didn’t get to talk to him because we were being hurried along by the staff, but in all honesty I could say anything because I was awe-struck. My heart couldn’t stop racing after I got my picture with Stan. To meet him has been one of my life goals since I was around 7 or 8 years old, but never did I think I would ever get to live my dream so early in my life.

Saturday

Enter day two of my time at the LFCC and since I had couldn’t my photo with Stan Lee the day before and didn’t have any money for autographs, photo sessions or to buy any merchandise, it was my day to relax, take pictures and explore. I entered the main building and there really wasn’t much for me to do so I was kind of bored, but then I remembered that there were some talks going on, I then went to one of the stage areas, but I got told that the stage area I was looking for was in another building. So then I went next door to the other building and found a whole other section of the convention that I didn’t even know was there. Here in Earl’s Court 1 was the comic book area, the ‘Super Stage’ and the video game section too, the stuff I had heard about online, but was poorly advertised at the convention itself. Had I not asked about this second stage area from the staff, I don’t think I would have found this place at all.

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Anyway I had the best time ever in this second building. I got to watch two talks, the first was a fun and insightful talk on the Power Rangers series which featured David Yost (Mighty Morphin’ Blue Ranger), Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy) and Cerina Vincent (Lost Galaxy Yellow Ranger). Then there was the talk on Sherlock which featured Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue talking about the creative process behind the show, its popularity and success and how they should ‘Watch Season 4’ for all their answers relating to the future of the show and characters. And after that there was the cosplay masquerade where there were a lot of fancy cosplayers showing off their costumes, but the most surprising part was when one cosplay couple came as Finn and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time and the guy actually proposed to his girlfriend in front of everyone and she totally said yes! It was the most surprising and wonderful thing I had ever seen. ūüôā I also got to talk to some great comic book artists and illustrators who were really cool, gave me some awesome advice and had just had a general chin-wag with.

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Outside of that I was just playing video games all day! I had a go at all the retro arcade machines I could get a hold of which included Pac-Man, Tron, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Defender, Frogger, Mario Bros. and some Sega driving game. I think it is fair to say that I pretty much sucked at a lot of those games as I lost a lot, that being said I wasn’t bad at Dig Dug, Tron and Defender. Another gripe I do have with those machines is that the arcade sticks or buttons were definitely old as some were stiff and unresponsive which made precision a tough thing to pull off. I tried out Super Mario Kart which was a lot harder and slippery than I remember and play Star Wars Episode V: Return of the Jedi on Super Nintendo and it was frigging hard as hell. But where I found my jam was with Super Smash Bros. Melee. Man that was such a good time, I got to play a little more competitively and while I did get my ass handed to my twice by this really good guy, I pretty much murdered people in my other two matches which felt great. I was doing so well that people who came over were commenting on how good I was and the other players formed a temporary alliance to take me out, but they still failed! I was so beast! XD

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Sunday

So on the final day I came down a little later in the day and just hanged around in the comic book and video game sections again because there was nothing for me in the other place, that and it was super packed and sweaty lol. Again I got some really cool advice from artists and illustrators and then went back to the gaming section for some fun. I played some Tron and Dig Dug again, also tried this super hard Star Wars game on NES and it was pretty much impossible. Once again I was totally in the thick of it when it came to Smash Bros and besides one match when I went up against some really hardcore guy who played as Mario, I pretty much murdered everyone as Captain Falcon all over again. Spectators loved me and the other players once again hated me and wanted me dead, but I still killed them. I felt so badass. ūüėÄ

I pretty much left around 5pm as I had another event to attend to later on but I ended the day with a great level of satisfaction knowing that my time had been well spent at this convention. ūüôā

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In conclusion London Film & Comic Con was one of the best three-day weekends I’ve experienced in a while. While it was a tad unorganized and over-crowded at times, I can’t deny that I had a kick ass time. I met some wonderful artists, played loads of video games, saw a good few famous people and met Stan Lee, I’d say it was a pretty awesome convention and I’m definitely interested in returning and trying out a few others across the UK in the future.

So what do you think of London Film & Comic Con? If you went what did you think and if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Review

Okay so this is my first concert review, I could have done two before when I went to see Red Hot Chili Peppers or Alexisonfire, but I never got around to it, so today I’ll be trying to describe my experience of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert. Even though it all happened last night, I still haven’t recovered and I really just wanted to relive it again. Anyways let’s try and talk about what happened and the concert itself haha.

So I arrived outside Hammersmith Apollo and there I saw hundreds of Zelda nerds in full effect. Some where is cosplay, others where in hats and almost all of them had a Nintendo 3DS. It was insane to see so many fans in one place, it was like walking into a mini EXPO just for Zelda fans. I felt great but at the same time incredibly intimidated because I was on me own.

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That was the view from outside before I went in, the hype was unbelievable.

Then I got inside and after chilling for a bit the doors opened, I headed up the stairs into the main hall, and holy crap it was huge! I sat down and just took in how many people were there and how much Street Pass was invading my 3DS every second, it was mental. After everyone took their seat (which was¬†surprisingly nearly a full house) the lights went down, the orchestra and choir came out and then¬†conductor¬†E√≠mear Noone¬†came out, bowed and then the magic began…

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This was the view from inside before the concert took place.

The event is described as such:

“The acclaimed concert experience, which has already captured the hearts of thousands of Zelda fans and music enthusiasts in North America, will make its highly anticipated European debut at the Hammersmith Apollo on May 23. Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, fans will journey back to Hyrule and enjoy the music and magic from Nintendo‚Äôs¬†beloved¬†The Legend of Zelda franchise like never before.”

It first started with the Overture and OH MY GOD it was beyond epic! The Overture was basically a collection of songs from several of the main games in the series like A Link To The Past, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword just to name a few. It was thunderous, loud, intense and I felt it rattle my soul!

From there we went into Act 1 which was the interludes which were:

  • Dungeons of Hyrule
  • Kakariko Village ~ Hope and Calm
  • Songs of the Hero

My favourite of the three was definitely the Dungeons of Hyrule which were a collection of dungeons themes from the 2D Zelda games, the recreations of Zelda II and A Link To The Past were SO good! It was unreal and powerful!

Then there was THE SYMPHONY itself which consisted of:

  • Prelude ~ The Creation of Hyrule
  • Movement I ~ Ocarina of Time
  • Movement II ~ The Wind Waker

The Creation of Hyrule was very harrowing and built up over time, then there was Ocarina of Time which was so good, it had a full collection of songs over the course of the game. But my absolute favourite out these three had to be The Wind Waker. It was truly magical and emotional for me as it was the first Zelda game I proper got into when I was a teenager, it featured so many of the great songs from different points in the game and I was having a serious nostalgia trip. I was tearing up so badly, but I held the tears back because I didn’t want to look too soppy haha.

Then there was an intermission and after that we entered Act 2! This part featured some of the darker pieces and really got to some of the best parts of the game’s music. In Act 2 there was:

  • Intermezzo ~ Great Fairy’s Fountain
  • Movement III ~ Twilight Princess
  • Movement IV ~ A Link To The Past

The Great Fairy’s Mountain had a beautiful arrangement which was slow at first and then built up and became this powerful piece of music. Then there was Twilight Princess, good god that was some hot stuff! That game has some of my favourite songs in the whole series and hearing them in such a thunderous and cool manner was a great time. And lastly there was A Link To The Past, a game that I’ve had brief encounters with but one I can really appreciate from a musical perspective. The arrangements made for that part was truly moving.

And then finally there was the¬†Finale which was just a great send off for the entire show and really put things in perspective. The crowd went mental and gave a standing ovation, to which we got another song from Link’s Awakening. After another standing ovation we were treated to Gerudo Valley, one of my all-time favourite Zelda songs (and one I prayed would actually make it into the show). And then after the third standing ovation we got a real crowd-pleaser finish in the form of Majora’s Mask, that was some incredibly dark, creepy and dramatic material. And finally the concert came to an end and my god I felt like I’d been taken to the moon and back. The concert had truly left me in a state of awe when it eventually ended.

Having the conductor, the orchestra and choir together was a beautiful combination, then add to that that there was visuals taken from the actual games on-screen and it was like living through nostalgia through the power of music.

In conclusion The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses¬†is a love letter of a concert to fans of the series and was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Honestly the concert was a beautiful, powerful and emotional experience that moved me beyond words. Listening to these orchestrated recreations of the classic music within The Legend of Zelda universe was so nostalgic and magical. In the end it was the best thing ever and if the concert is in your area I highly recommend it, it’s some incredible stuff!

Rating: 10/10 (Of course!)

So are there any Zelda fans out there that’s experienced this concert before and if so how was your experience? Leave them below in the comments section and I’ll catch ya on the next review yo.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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