As heard on the Geek I/O show episode 54, executive producer Jason Michael Paul, of JMP Productions, announced that the North American premiere of the video game symphony RePlay: Symphony of Heroes, was coming on April 19, 2014 to Saint Petersburg, Florida’s very own Mahaffey Theater. Myself and Rachel had the pleasure of being invited to come down and watch this absolutely spectacular performance.
Before the performance, we were treated to a backstage tour and to listen to a part of the symphony’s final rehearsal. We were also treated to another meeting, face to face, with Jason before the event.
After talking with Jason a bit about what he was doing here in town, and he let us know that he enjoyed the Yankees v. Rays baseball game the night before, as well as some of the local cuisine. He let me know that he was not a fan of stuff that was a chain and that he preferred to support the local eateries instead.
We then got to just lounge in the beautiful St. Pete springtime, overlooking Tampa Bay at the Mahaffey Center, waiting for the event to start, and it was a very simple process getting the tickets and moving into the event, thanks to the amazing staff at the Mahaffey.
Now, the event.
We get into the theatre, assigned seats, once again the Mahaffey can really handle itself with a crowd. The theatre is beautiful, and there is a buzz in the air, there are geeks like us everywhere, happy, talking, there are even a few random people in costume!
The lights dim and the guest conductor comes up, a brief narration come across with the soft underscore of music from the orchestra, and then the music from Elder Scrolls: Oblivion strikes up!, The crowd goes completely silent, only gasps heard, and the announcer, Nigel Carrington (Dear Esther, The Dark Knight) comes up, explaining the story. You are the hero, and you will discover yourself through the stories of other heroes, Master Chief, Link, Chelle, Chrono, and many, many more. Before each of the chapter’s music, Nigel comes up once again (to the backdrop of Dear Esther music) to explain what your hero’s next step in the journey is.
Most of the chapter’s music is accompanied by scenes from the games they are from, with the exception of a few, which brings me to my real only dig on the event, the two games we personally were looking forward to seeing, Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy VIII were completely lacking cinematics. I am sure that was because of a licensing issue, and nothing more (this was one question that both Rachel and myself were not able to ask).
The music is beautiful. The cinematics are breathtaking. The event flows effortlessly and is by far one of the most beautiful and breathtaking events that I personally have had the pleasure of attending in a very long time.
Now some credits, thank you all again for this event and opportunity.