Following the success of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo have orchestrated a new symphonic concert for Pokémon fans. Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, which premiered in Washington, D.C. on August 15, 2014, is currently on tour at fifteen locations, with more to be announced in the future.
I had the chance to attend both Symphony of the Goddesses tours and my experience was wonderful, so when I heard about Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions coming to Montreal, I knew that I had to attend it too. My friends and I pre-ordered our tickets and waited eagerly.
When August 30 came around, we gathered at Place des Arts. Equipped with my faithful Pikachu backpack, Trainer Red’s cap, and a camera, I scoured the waiting room for cosplayers and others wearing Pokémon-inspired clothing. I was definitely not disappointed by the creativity and skills. Team Aqua and Team Rocket grunts were among popular choices, along with protagonists, Pokémon, and Professors hanging around (as seen in the top image).
As with the Symphony of the Goddesses, booths sold posters and t-shirts for the event. Some tour locations in the U.S. may sell Pikachu plushies, but there were none for sale here. After buying posters, we entered the auditorium and found our designated chairs. Ambient music from various main series Pokémon games played, while the big screen displayed silhouetted Pokémon images from the “Who’s that Pokémon?” game.
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived. The orchestra started working its magic, bringing us all back in time to a quest that started in 1996. For the first part, they played various music from the first four generations — from Red and Blue to Diamond and Platinum. My personal favorite was “Double Trouble,” Team Rocket’s hideout theme from Red, Blue and Yellow. The professional orchestration, along with the video support and perfectly timed visuals, once again sparked some great feelings of being the lone hero defeating Team Rocket under the casino.
After the intermission, the orchestra played music from the Pokémon Center, then performed generations five and six. Black and White’s “Farewell,” followed immediately by X and Y’s “An Eternal Prison,” had the greatest emotional effect on me for the entire concert; I have to admit that it brought a tear to my eye.
When the main concert concluded, we were spoiled with not one, but two encore. First was the anime’s original theme song titled “Gotta Catch ‘Em All,” which had the crowd singing along cheerfully. The second song was a splendid interpretation of “KISEKI,” the ending music from X and Y.
Once the show had — sadly — come to an end, we had the opportunity to meet the concert’s conductor, Susie Seiter, and one of the producers, Jeron Moore, to have them sign our posters.
If you are on the fence about getting tickets to the show, I hope that reading my experience will make you choose to attend, as I’m sure you will not regret it. Music is a very important part of video games, and the professional orchestration made the whole experience truly marvelous. The whole team who produced the concert and the multiple orchestras hired for each city have my heartfelt admiration and appreciation.
You can catch more details about Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions on the official Pokémon website.