Last night Geoffrey, his sister Carey, Geoff's former co-worker Boe and I went to see "Dear Friends - the music of Final Fantasy." The performance of Nobuo Uematsu's score to the long-lived role playing game (RPG) was great. The concert purposely chooses songs that would show off an orchestra to its best advantage - sweeping strings, crisp percussion, and a very talented high school chamber choir as well as score high recognition points from the audience. The house was almost completely packed, with the exception of some high end front row seats. And clearly, this was a major coup for the DSO - in the gift shop, a young women commented that they had driven from New Jersey to attend (and this was the Sunday night performance). I hope they left Michigan with a good impression of Detroit and Michigan in general. Our DSO certainly did the music justice. Arnie Roth, the conductor who is traveling with the Dear Friends tour, looked absolutely delighted with the performances. He had the entire orchestra stand up after a couple of the songs and applauded enthusiastically when he felt they had really nailed the music.
It was really cool to see so many different age groups crossing Woodward (and 8 mile, in many ways, not just geographical) to come to Orchestra Hall. Many people were dressed to the nines, others were more casual. Young adults were bringing their parents. There's always someone lamenting the death of classical music, but maybe this is the classical music of our time. And hopefully, there's a band geek or two out there who decide to continue to play, enjoy and share their music, knowing that orchestral music can be cool and can be applauded with all the enthusiasm of a rock concert. Kudos to the DSO for bringing the concert to Detroit.
For the official Square-Enix website of Uematsu, go here.
Kelley L. Carter of the Detroit Free Press puts a bit of context on the amazing response to the tour in the July 22, 2005 Detroit Freep. Unfortunately, despite being one of only a few cities to get the tour, local post-concert write-ups are nonexistent - bah!