This was outside the NJPAC. Yes, it is amazing
Recently, I had the privilege of attending The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses show out in Newark, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. I had seen the show previously at Madison Square Garden, but had never been to the NJPAC, and was eager to see the performance at a different venue. So I headed out to the city to take the PATH train to Newark with my Zelda buddy bestest friend in the world, and got to the NJPAC with time to spare. Unlike my trip to Madison Square Garden, this time I would not forget my 3DS, and I met QUITE A FEW people that joined my Mii Plaza before, during, and after the show.
Fans in line for merchandise. This line would eventually grow and NEVER END
After I was done stuffing my Plaza to the brim with lots of new and interesting folks, it was time to get to my seat and prepare for some lovely melodies to hit my ear holes. The performance took place in the NJPAC’s Prudential Hall, which looks like this:
Though I am a New Yorker through and through, the Prudential Hall was a lot more magical and gorgeous than Madison Square Garden. I was seated at the Second Tier Box and had a wonderful view of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Before the show got underway, Producer and Lead Creative for The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, Jeron Moore, came out to judge a costume contest with help from the audience. Though there were some sexy Lady Links, Great Fairies, and even a young boy with a great Link costume, the audience favorite was clearly Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask, who looked absolutely incredible. After Skull Kid won some swag and posed for a few pictures, it was time for music.
Jeron Moore (who seems like such a genuine fan of Zelda and fun guy) came out to introduce the show’s conductor, Susie Benchasil Seiter, alongside her husband, Chad Seiter. After some corny banter between the two men (which I happen to approve of wholeheartedly), the show began. First up was the Overture, which had music from the original The Legend of Zelda all the way to Skyward Sword (a sample platter, if you will, full of DELICIOUS MELODIES). Hearing music from Zelda performed live is something that needs to be heard to be believed, and I was certainly moved and feeling nostalgic bopping my head to my favorite themes. Before getting to the actual symphony, three short interludes were performed: the Dungeons of Hyrule (music from various Zelda dungeons, with my favorites The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past being properly represented), Kakariko Village (calm and soothing, as always), and Songs of the Hero (the Song of Healing gave me goosebumps, and when the lead violinist hit the intro to the Song of Storms, I was taken aback by its beauty). After that, the symphony proper was set to begin.
The Symphony of the Goddesses is a thing of beauty: it started with the Prelude – The Creation of Hyrule, which was a piece from Ocarina of Time that helped explain how the land was created by the goddesses Din, Farore, and Nayru. Next the four movements began, which represented themes from four of the biggest games in the Zelda franchise. Each movement was like a journey through each title, from beginning to end. Movement I was Ocarina of Time, which is my second favorite Zelda game, so hearing its various tunes like Hyrule Field and Ganondorf’s Theme gave me a smile like you wouldn’t believe. Movement II was Wind Waker, complete with Chad coming out to give his wife Link’s baton to conduct with, much to the audience’s delight. Wind Waker is a game I have yet to play, but its seafaring tunes made me hungry for adventure on the high seas. Before Movement III, Intermission was held, so the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra could get a well-deserved rest.
That's me on the far left next to the Director of Programming, Evan White, along with our Twitter contest winners!
The above picture was prepared and shot during the 20 minute Intermission, which was quite a feat to accomplish (after returning to my seat, I realized the contest winners were next to me THE ENTIRE TIME). Movement III contained music from Twilight Princess, which I am not a big fan of (GASP) but the performance of it was beautiful, nonetheless. Movement IV was A Link to the Past, my favorite title in the franchise and my favorite performance of the night (BIAS). A Finale followed immediately after, and Susie took her bow and left the stage…..
….only to come back for 3 Encores! Yep, Susie came back to perform The Ballad of the Wind Fish from the underrated Link’s Awakening, the Gerudo Valley Theme, and another movement covering Majora’s Mask, leaving and coming back after each due to an overwhelming amount of applause. After all was said and done, Susie took her final bow with her orchestra, and we all stood up to give our gratitude for a phenomenal show.
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is an experience unlike any other: every piece is performed with footage of the title it is representing, so you feel like you are going through a journey with each and every one. Every song heard makes one feel like a kid again, like the day they first started playing Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past. That is a magic that is not easy to replicate, but it is something the Symphony of the Goddesses does exceptionally well. I loved the venue at the NJPAC more than the Garden, and want to thank Chiara Morrison, Evan White, Christine Saunders, and Joshua Balber of the PR department there for having me, as well as That VideoGame Blog for extending the invitation to me in the first place: I had an absolutely wonderful time. I can’t wait to see the Second Quest performances one day!
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