Obviously this isn’t going to be your standard review as Symphony of the Goddesses is just that, a musical symphony. The symphony played last night here in Montreal, and it was actually the second time it played here. It was an outstanding evening dedicated to the phenomenal music of The Legend of Zelda series. The venue took place in Montreal’s major performing arts centre, Place des Arts. Typically Place des Arts is the home to ballets, operas and other classy venues like that. It was a little jarring to see over a thousand gamers screaming and cheering in such a place, but at the same time it made me think of just how far videogames have infused themselves in our culture. The evening was split into several sets, an intermission, and a few encores. There was a host who explained what each piece of music was about, and also talked a bit about the games that inspired the music. Before we jump into the selected works, you should be aware that prices for the event ranged from around $30 to $125. You can’t put a price on awesomeness, can you?
As the lights dimmed and the music began to play, the very first song was the main overture and theme to the Symphony of the Goddesses, which is essentially a compilation made of of many of the best Zelda themes out there. It was a brilliant way to get the show started. After that the host came out and introduced himself, and said that we would be looking at some of the very best games in the series, and also that this would be something like a second quest, being that this was the second time the show rolled into town.
The first movement was dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of Link’s Awakening. It was simply incredible. The crowd went crazy, girls were taking their tops off, it was all out madness. Ok, maybe that’s not what happened, but the music was utterly fantastic. I love how they played all the most popular themes from the Balled of the Wind Fish to The Storm. Never before have I heard these songs played by an actual orchestra before, and it gave me chills. This was to be the beginning of a magical evening.
The second movement was Spirit Tracks, and featured some of the most somber music of the evening. Not knowing much about the game, I just sat back and enjoyed the show. The big screen depicted all the best scenes from the game from the opening all the way through to the final boss encounter. All the movements were setup as such, and even though I’ve yet to put in any serious time with the game, the touching music has really inspired to remedy that.
The next movement was Ocarina of Time, and some of the best themes were included. We had Saria’s Song, Ocarina of Time, Lost Woods, and many more. What I really enjoyed was how the host introduced the set. He said “don’t worry we’re not going to cover the Water Temple, otherwise we’ll be here all night.” The evening was filled with little inside jokes like that, and it made it all the more special.
The next movement was a special one, because it highlighted an upcoming game in the series, The Wind Waker HD. The video shown was all based on the GameCube original, but man did the game age well. Not sure an HD remake is even necessary when you see how awesome the game original one still looks. Pieces included Outset Island, Tower of the Gods, and more. I found it a little odd Dragon Roost was omitted, but the rest of the songs were fantastic. Hearing an actual choir perform the Tower of the Gods was far more powerful than I could have ever imaged.
After seeing the final battle with Ganon surrounded by the waterfalls, it was time for the intermission. Normally I would have gotten up and walked around for a bit, but I was so impressed that I just sat there waiting for the next half to begin.
When the lights dimmed for the second time the first tune played was Gerudo Valley, and it was accompanied by thunderous applause. If you don’t know this track from Ocarina of Time you should be ashamed for yourself! It’s a breathtaking piece of music.
The host then returned and revealed the next set, which would include my favorite game of all time, but first up was Twilight Princess. Intro was played, as was Waking of Zelda, and Boss Ganondorf. There were other pieces mixed in for good measure too. I think the video was just as powerful as the music it accompanied. The video highlighted all the key scenes from the game, and I forgot how sad the end of that game was with Midna having to leave.
The next movement was A Link to the Past, and this was the highlight for me personally. Not only because of seeing a 16-bit game blown up on a ridiculously large screen, but also because some of the most memorable music from the series was played. Zelda’s Theme, Hyrule Castle, and Dark World to name a few. It was something else. Having never heard this game’s soundtrack quite like this before, I actually closed my eyes at one point and just took it all in. It was outstanding.
That was supposed to be the end, but as usual there was an encore. The encore was Dragon Roost, which made the crowd go a little crazy, and brought a smile to my face. I knew they omitted it from the previous selection for a reason. Boy it was special to hear and see that famous scene from The Wind Waker. Sarina accompanied me on this magical journey, and even though she’s not a fan of videogames in general, even she got chills from this piece. It was so well done.
The second encore was a movement on Majora’s Mask, and it got more applause than I thought it would. Theme of Giant was outstanding, as were some of the other selected works. It’s funny but this was the only N64 game shown, as OoT footage was from the 3DS remake. I’ve got to say that the game hasn’t aged too well, and really looked rough up on the big screen, especially the giants at the end. Either way, the music was spectacular.
The third and final encore was Hymn of the Goddess from Skyward Sword, and it was the perfect way to cap off the evening. The crowd gave a standing ovation, and honestly I think this was the rowdiest crowd to ever sit in the Place des Arts theater. Gamers know how to bring the house down that’s for sure.
Overall it was a brilliant evening, and I can’t recommend it enough to fans of the series. People from all walks of life joined together to celebrate the one thing they all had in common, their love for The Legend of Zelda. No matter what happens in the gaming industry, one thing’s for sure, these games have touched the lives of millions of people all around the world, and the music has touched our very soul. If you’re looking for an evening you’ll never forget, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is for you.
Final Score: 10/10