No, I didn’t see Faye Wong in KL last Sunday.

One year (well, just about) after booking my tix online, the day to finally watch the Distant Worlds show at the Royal Albert Hall came this past Saturday. This was a must-see show, come hell or high water (although with recent events I actually wished I could be back in Malaysia with my family for a pre-Raya Haji Perak Royal shindig in Kuala Kangsar, but that’s another story). I’ve been playing Final Fantasy for almost a decade now, thanks to the ex’s err… ex. That is also another story but don’t hold your breath lah.

The last time I was at the Albert Hall was in 2005 and that wasn’t the Siti Nurhaliza concert. I told my cab driver that the crowd that evening will be a mixed bag of FF fans as opposed to a refined audience dressed in black ties and black dresses. A mixed bag it was – there were those carrying bits of FF paraphernalia (saw a girl bringing her Moogle doll) up to those in full character costumes. Some were better than others, like this gorgeous looking Lightning who came with her un-Squall-like boyfriend in a, well, Squall Leonheart costume. Oh, there was a very nice looking Rinoa, too. Other characters that I managed to spot were Irvine Kinnears and a bad-looking Aerith with her cactuar-carrying mates. All in good fun.

Orchestral performances of music from the Final Fantasy had been going on for a while. I have a double CD of the first ever concert performance in 2002 which had the original singers doing the theme songs (all bar FFVIII). These performances later ventured outside Japan with shows mainly in the ‘States and recently, Asia. So, when I first heard that they were heading to London, I didn’t need to be told twice to get a ticket.

After snagging a bag of items from the merchandise stall, I had to rush to my seat in the arena section of the Albert Hall as the performance was about to start. I didn’t bring a camera as I felt it was kinda pointless. I did take one shot with the iPhone and that was it – besides, better to sit and savour the experience. I didn’t want to look at the set list which was printed in the programme book too. The performance was by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and was conducted by Arnie Roth. Nobuo Uematsu was also in attendance and if you had some extra moolah to spare you could buy a VIP tix to qualify for the meet-and-greet sesh before the show.

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