Sometimes it's worthwhile to put the video game controller down and go out for an evening of culture. This past weekend my girlfriend Nicole and I put on our finest and attended a performance of the Orlando Philharmonic at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in beautiful Orlando where for one night only the concert hall was filled with the symphonic tones of Nintendo's classic The Legend of Zelda series as the Symphony of the Goddesses tour made its stop in central Florida. Packed to capacity with Zelda fans, the two-hour performance brought classic melodies to nostalgic life. I can't say enough nice things about the event, and should it come to your area, I highly recommend that you go. You'll want to be in the audience when the orchestra breaks out beloved favorites like this medley of dungeon tunes recorded recently in an Atlanta, GA performance (including the mighty palace theme from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link).
After performing a few miscellaneous favorites, the show delivered a four-movement performance that spotlighted Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker (conducted with a Wind Waker baton), Twilight Princess, and A Link to the Past along with three encores that centered around titles such as Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask. For those of us who have Zelda adventures embedded in our brains and running through our veins, this concert was about as close to Nintendo-centric musical perfection as things get.
The second best part of the event? StreetPassing! I slipped my Nintendo 3DS into my pocket in the hopes that a few other people at the show would have the same idea, and my little gamble paid off big time. I picked up over one hundred StreetPasses that bought in many puzzle pieces and Find Mii warriors as well as new content for games like Sonic Generations, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Super Street Fighter IV, and more. It eventually became a chore to run through StreetPass check-ins at the plaza gate during intermission in order to clear out the buffer and collect more tags. People just kept coming! We had seats at the front of the balcony and had a perfect view down below where a sea of familiar twin glowing lights in most every seat lit up during the break.
And speaking of people, the dress code was open to interpretation. We saw people dressed in grubby jeans and tattered t-shirts, some in business casual styles, and a few in full suits and lavish dresses. Of course, there were a few folks dressed in detailed Link and Princess Zelda costumes. One woman even broke out her mink stole for the occasion. A pink one, at that. It's not every day that you see someone wearing a pink mink for Link.
Once again, I implore you to go see this performance if you have the opportunity. It's truly something special. I'd love to see Nintendo back a series of annual concerts focusing on other franchises in its library, but I doubt that a concert based around, say, Metroid or Kirby (while fun!) would be as impressive as Symphony of the Goddesses. There's just something about that Legend of Zelda music that few other franchises can touch when it comes to majesty and impressiveness. Be sure to share it with someone you love.