The long-awaited Tales of Orchestra Concert 2018 event has finished last Saturday, October 6, 2018.
It was held at Pacifico Yokohama at Minatomirai, starring the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Bonnie Pink (for their rendition of "Ring A Bell" from Tales of Vesperia) and Yukana (for their rendition of "A Song ~Song by Tear~" from Tales of the Abyss).
I managed to attend the event by snagging a ticket off a fellow fan from Twitter. Didn't come in too early because I wasn't too interested in the merchandise and only decided at the very last minute that I'll be proxying for the event.
The area around the event is beautiful, as is most of Minatomirai. As the place name implies, this is the bay area, and faces the sea. And gets lots of wind. Fans were trading goods outside the venue before the concert and were pretty relaxed for the most part.
I made the mistake of going to the nearby convenience store for refreshments, as it was packed with both fans and people going to some sort of symposium, I believe. Note to self and anyone who wants to go to this type of event: Secure your food far away from the venue when you can.
They started to let people inside the venue at around 1pm, though I observed people lining up to get in as early as 12nn. It was perhaps to get a second shot at the merchandise, which was running out of a certain character...
Emil was a very popular boy that day, suffice to say. (Spoilers: His acrylic stand ran out a few minutes later.)
Here's a look at the merchandise they were selling:
It's all art that's drawn specially for the event by ufotable. Good stuff if you like the characters featured.
As is the usual with Tales events, they had large cardboard cutouts of the characters in the lobby. The orchestra event is no exception.
The event started a little later after 2pm. The song list is as follows:
Vesperia got a lot of love this year. Besides suspect songs from the games of the characters featured in this year's orchestra art (Symphonia, Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Hearts), they also included songs from Phantasia, Destiny 2, Abyss, Tempest, Graces, Radiant Mythology 2, Xillia, Xillia 2, Zestiria. During the encore, they also played the following songs:
- flying (from Tales of Eternia)
- The Birds Chirp, I Sing (from Tales of Legendia)
- Yume de Aru Youni (from Tales of Destiny)
Of the above, only the Legendia song was new. The rest have already been played in previous Orchestra events.
They managed to get a lot of songs in this year by virtue of doing many medleys instead of full song renditions. I personally like this decision of theirs--one of my problems with the previous concert events was that it felt like it dragged on, especially when they played a song I was not familiar with. This event felt like it moved faster, despite the fact that the whole thing took about 2 hours and 15 minutes, give or take.
The host for the event also interviewed Yukana and Bonnie Pink once they finished up with their songs. Motoi Sakuraba was present for interviewing as well. This was Yukana's first time singing the Grand Fonic Hymn live since it was recorded.
As a small aside, the colored circles in the pamphlet aren't just for easy determination of which song belongs to which series. For the first time, they implemented a concert light system, where you could use the light you bought from the venue (or any other event) and change colors depending on the song for a more involved audience experience. As this was an orchestra event, it didn't feel as exciting as a regular band's concert event, but it was nice seeing the venue light up and change color whenever certain songs came up.
Nonetheless, I highly recommend going to the event--especially if you're a big fan of many games in the series. Nothing ever beats seeing and hearing the orchestra live, even if they usually produce a CD months later. There simply is something
P.S. A shameless self-plug on my end, but I do have the following leftover items from the event up for grabs. The sales post and purchase procedure can be found here, as well as a link to more Tales merchandise for sale.
Image Credit (all): DimensionSlip