Several years ago, I attended the Distant Worlds concert and the Distant Worlds II concert. On February 2, 2016, Eddy and I attended the Piano Opera ~ Music from Final Fantasy concert in Seoul! Our ticket cost us 51,000 won each. I found out about this concert sometime in January, and I was tremendously excited for another Final Fantasy concert. Unfortunately, I missed out my chance to meet the great Uematsu Nobuo-sama AGAIN :( There was only one VIP ticket left when I found out about the concert. The seat placement sucked, I’d wanted to go with Eddy, and we didn’t want to be separated, so I gave up yet another opportunity to meet my favourite video game music composer. Despite that, though, Eddy and I had a great time at the concert. It turned out to be way better than I’d expected, and Nakayama Hiroyuki’s piano skills were bloody amazing!
This concert, as the name implied, was a “piano opera”, which to me is just a fancier term for a piano recital, haha. There was only one piano player. No other performers were on stage except for Nakayama-sama and the grand piano. While Nakayama-sama played, there was a screen showing the video game footage of the song he played — meaning if he’d played a song from Final Fantasy VIII, then scenes from that game appeared on the screen. They also showed up-close shot of his playing. It was brilliant being able to watch his hands fly up and down the keys!
Uemtasu-sama talked quite a bit at this concert, and it was great seeing him so bouncy and cheerful! He spoke to us in Japanese, and there was a Korean translator. At one point, Uematsu-sama told us to cheer and be as enthusiastic as we wanted while we listened to the concert. It was fun cheering whenever a song we adore was performed by Nakayama-sama. Oh, he spoke to us a bit, too, and came off quite humble, more reserved than Uematsu-sama, but he had a fun side to him as well. He told us that he was popular at school because he knew how to play Final Fantasy pieces to his classmates at school, haha!
All the songs that were arranged were only from Final Fantasy I – IX. I wished X was a part of the repertoire, but sadly that didn’t turn out to be the case. There weren’t any programme, and I’d stupidly forgotten to bring paper and pen to take notes, so the song list below are from what I could remember. Some songs I know were performed with a very vivid recollection, but there are three songs I am not certain on, so I’ve put asterisks by them.
- Final Fantasy – Prelude ~ Opening
- Final Fantasy I-III – Town Medley
- Final Fantasy IV – Theme of Love (played when they did a little talking interlude)
- Final Fantasy V – Clash on the Big Bridge
- Final Fantasy VI – Dancing Mad
- Final Fantasy VI – Kefka
- Final Fantasy VII – Opening ~ Bombing Mission
- Final Fantasy VII – Cosmo Canyon
- Final Fantasy VII – Those Who Fight Further **
- Final Fantasy VII – Words Drowned by Fireworks **
- Final Fantasy VIII – Ami
- Final Fantasy VIII – Force Your Way
- Final Fantasy VIII – The Man with the Machine Gun **
- Final Fantasy IX – Melodies of Life
- Final Fantasy IX – You’re Not Alone
It was a great playlist. I loved every single song, but my absolute favourite was “Dancing Mad”. Holy, whoah. That was the finale piece, and what a finale! That piece deserved a standing ovation. I didn’t think it’d sound great on a solo piano, but it worked out beautifully! Another song that really made an impression on me was the very last song they performed as an encore. “Clash on the Big Bridge” played, and I cheered for that piece :D I absolutely love that song because that song and I go way back! That song actually gave me hell in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, so it drove me crazy at several points, but it also grew on me!
All in all, it was a fabulous experience. This was Eddy’s first real classical music concert, and he loved it! I’m glad I talked him into coming with me! But what an experience. This is a concert I won’t be forgetting any time soon. I hope I can attend another Final Fantasy concert again in the future!