Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour (review)

Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour
For the first time, the music of the Kingdom Hearts games is making its way around the globe. And it is coming to life in a live concert series featuring a 70-piece orchestra and choir. Nerd Reactor had the pleasure of seeing the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour on its latest stop in Los Angeles.

A few things made this concert particularly special. Game director Tetsuya Nomura supervised the HD video cinematics for the entire show. Each theme and piece synchronized together to the music from start to finish. The footage featured all the games, even the mobile games which were cute. Tetsuya made an appearance in person during the show. And he had a surprise announcement for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3 to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Composer for the Kingdom Hearts series, Yoko Shimomura, also made several appearances throughout the night to speak about the show. The highlight was her last entrance to the stage where she sat at the piano to perform the finale with the orchestra. Having started her work with Kingdom Hearts 15 years ago, you could feel how much it meant for her to have her work celebrated as a live concert.

Because Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour is a live orchestra and symphony, only certain instruments were mic’d and amplified to level out the sound. Don’t expect your seat to rumble and shake from the bass and low end like it probably does while playing the game at home. The subtle nuances and dynamics from live musicians, however, will always be a better experience.

Some of the animations from the game had dialogue that was left out. And they only used the video animations for the show with all of the sounds performing live. For scenes that were quiet, this was a bit awkward. Even if the scenes were cut from different games and the dialogue didn’t make sense, it would be okay because we all understood it to be a montage. I wish they could find a way to mix in the original dialogue and possibly sound effects to add more drama to the show.

Lastly, the merchandise sold exclusively at the show was a huge hit. It included a keyblade conductors wand (used by the conductor during the finale), a program book, CD and concert series T-shirt. Pretty much the entire audience was waiting in line after the show which wrapped around each mezzanine and down the stairs.

You can still catch the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour stateside. The next concert will be in New York this month and their final show is in Osaka, Japan, in July.

New York – June 24, 2017 – United Palace Theatre (USA)
Osaka – July 8, 2017 – ORIX Theatre (Tokyo)
Buy Tickets: Sold-Out in Japan. Limited number of ticket for non-Japan resident available from late April at
Photo courtesy of Disney.
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