North Carolina Symphony: Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions
Photo by Lisa Felkins
"I’m practically a walking Pokédex": The author, Mason Fields
Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh
Friday, May 29, 2015
If you noticed lots of people wearing Pokémon-related clothing in downtown Raleigh Friday night, you may have wondered why they were a week late for Animazement. But they weren’t there for Animazement; they were there for the North Carolina Symphony's Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions performance at Meymandi Concert Hall.
The state symphony played music from the first games, Pokémon Red
and Pokémon Green
, through to Pokémon X
leaving out Pokemon Black/White 2.
Chad Seiter, whose résumé includes
work for Lost
and the Medal of Honor
video game series, composed the music. Best known for orchestrating the concert tour for The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses
, his wife, Susie Benchasil Seiter, conducted.
Unlike most proper and serious symphony performances, the audience was very casual and relaxed. Some folks in the full house of little kids, tweens, teens, young adults and adults brought 3DS’s and DS’s to collect "street pass tags," which they use while playing games on their DS. When quizzed by the conductor, maybe 20 percent of the audience admitted they were at the symphony for the first time. Before the performance started and during the intermission, the classic “Who’s That Pokémon?”
video, which shows silhouettes you have to identify, rolled. Not to brag, but I got every single Pokémon correct.
The symphony's performance was amazing. It opened with the battle theme and carried us through time. The songs were played in chronological order of when the games were released and the order they appeared during those games. There were video clips of game play and cut scenes from the games. The videos added to the performance by helping you visualize the themes of the songs, giving you the context for the song within the game. The videos also showed just how far technology has come. There were some funny moments, and the audience laughed at all the right times. During the song “Ecruteak City,”
my mom even noticed an inspiring message from a Ecruteak citizen: “If you love something, anything is possible.” The performance closed with the audience singing along to the Pokémon TV show theme
If you or your kid is a Poké-fan or a symphony fan, see this show. I love Pokémon (I’m practically a walking Pokédex) and really enjoyed seeing and hearing the performance. My mom came for the symphony part and ended up enjoying the Pokémon component—vice versa for me.