The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Plays The Legend of Zelda Music The Meyerson Symphony Center Tuesday, January 10
Better Than: Playing the games in 1998. Also, the childish "in your face, in your face!" chant I'm going to throw at my mom later for all those years she limited me to "one hour" of Nintendo.
About 1.5 million years ago, when the humanoid species Homo Habilis was learning to scrape rotting meat off carrion, they had no freaking idea that a music hall would be packed to the brim with evolved humans watching a video game symphony.
Which is exactly what happened last night, in the year 2012 Anno Domini. If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, conductor Eimear Noone (who's preggers, by the way) and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed a four-movement symphony showcasing the triumphant music from 25 years of the Legend of Zelda franchise. This performance kicked off a nationwide tour.
And, let me tell you. It. Was. Freaking. Triumphant. Oh my, how rarely do events happen with more epic. If an F5 tornado ripped through the ceiling of the Meyerson, not one person would have noticed because it would have been part of the epicness.
Walking into the Meyerson, three strapping gentlemen were seen playing spritely ocarinas. Men and women were dressed in the forest-colored Link costumes. When the lights went down, and the massive screen that sat in front of the organ showed an animated fortress flecked with elvish pollen, everyone cheered. This was not going to be your average night of Bach concertos.
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Conductor Noone kicked off the four-parter with a rocketing surge of sounds, including the main titles. She then turned and asked the audience if there were any Zelda fans. The place was dead silent. Kidding! The place erupted with cheers.
She then launched us into sounds from the castle of Hyrule from Zelda: Ocarina of Time. A flying dragon, a sacred forest, and an asshole villain named Ganondorf, aka the Great King of Evil, all flashed on the screen. You know what I'm talking about. You know.
Key moment: When Link received the famed Ocarina from the wood nymph, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra thundered everyone's faces apart with rolling drums and explosive choir action.
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Movement two and three focused on the light harps and xylophone (and pirate ships) of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. The orchestra went from being bathed in green light to yellow. At one point, emo Link showed up with an earring. The sounds were dreamy and oceanic.
Key Moment: I'm pretty sure the DSO signaled Link was boning Zelda with a flourish of bassoon. I might be wrong.
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The final movement (and two encores) focused on Zelda's early stuff. Think 1998's Link to the Past. Video from this game also resulted in cheers, as well as the memory of me hurling my Nintendo controller across the room at my brother's face. It was dark, with plenty of timpani, tuba and the string section was absolutely blowing minds.
Conductor Noone came back from two encores (totally didn't know orchestras did that) and played the theme from "Gerudo Valley." I admit at first I thought, "Whatever, dude!" But then I was silenced by the DSO's incredible nuance and rhythmic xylophone.
Key moment: The cinematic, damn near Tolkien-ness of the explosive final titles and the contrasting, subtle "Fairy Fountain Theme." Straight outta Lord of the Rings, I tell you.
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By the way: If the DSO had played along to the gaming I did as a kid, Legend of Zelda would have been MUCH more fun.
Random observation: When a person dressed as Link showed up mid-way through the intro, awkwardly trying to find their seat, the guy behind me whispered, "Link! Use your map!"
More photos of fans on page two.