The hugely successful Symphony of the Goddesses orchestral tour is entering the final stretch of its 2017 run, so regular attendee Arjun Joshi went along to check out the amended version with Breath of the Wild content.
As you may know by now, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (SotG) events utilise extremely talented orchestras, touring the globe and entertaining fans by the thousands. It’s a great show – I’ve been twice in London before attending a third time just yesterday (Tuesday 21st) – and I’ve even reviewed it by comparing it to another orchestrated event, Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions.
However, eager fans will know that the SotG team announced earlier this year that the 2017 tour includes pieces from the franchise’s latest instalment, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Naturally, this excited many. It surely is – on paper at least – a reason to attend again, or go for the first time if you haven’t already. Having been and experienced this for myself, I’ll address the key question - is it worth a revisit with the new Breath of the Wild pieces? Naturally, while I’ll refrain from going into direct spoiler territory, there may be some potential indirect ones, so you’ve been warned.
As soon as I booked my tickets to the show back in March, I wondered to myself what the team could possibly include from Breath of the Wild, and which songs and pieces they would “sacrifice” for said game during its two-hour show. The former question was due to – in my opinion – BotW containing an arguably lacklustre conventional soundtrack due to it being more concerned with subtle environmental sounds, along with elegant and short bursts of instrumental chimes to compliment its free-roam, open-world setting. In fact, I touch on this subject in further detail in this soapbox piece.
With all of the above said, I’d like to start by saying, quite simply, yes – whether you’ve been already or it’s your first time, I would recommend seeing SotG with its new Breath of the Wild content. For those who’ve attended previously, the show does feel slightly different right off the bat. It’s nothing huge, but the rearrangement of certain assortments to compensate for BotW’s inclusion freshens up the show. In all honesty, actually, due to the year-plus gap of the SotG team performing in the same city, even the recognisable and memorable parts are just as enjoyable as witnessing them for the first time and feel new again – at least for me due to not remembering absolutely everything I’ve seen before, despite it being my third time in attendance! But if you’re someone who still requires more change, there's also a couple of new pieces from other Zelda games – which was a nice surprise.
As for the Breath of the Wild content my earlier inklings came to be, in my opinion. I’ll avoid major spoilers here, but while overall enjoyable I just don’t feel that some of the songs chosen were the best additions to the show – especially when you consider the fact that some existing pieces had to be axed to make room for them. And that’s both the faults of the SotG team and the game itself, at least in my opinion. As stated earlier, the soapbox piece I’ve linked to above explains why in greater detail. I won’t mention which BotW songs made the cut and which parts of the ensemble were removed, however, so if you're someone who's been already and planning to go again you can see for yourself whether you like the changes or not.
Regardless, I do feel the show was definitely worth attending. Firstly, I think it’s still worth going again even if nothing did change – but that’s just me being a Zelda music enthusiast. But with the inclusion of this year’s stellar entry to Miyamoto’s almighty franchise, and thus resulting in the rest of the assortment being shaken up as well as a few new additions, I recommend it to both returning and newcomer audience members alike.
As always, there are goosebumps all throughout. And if it's any consolation at all, the SotG merch has all been updated to include Breath of the Wild imagery in its t-shirts and posters. If you've not been before and would like a slightly more in-depth look into Symphony of the Goddesses, have a click of my comparison review via the first link in this article.
Let us know if you've been to see the tour this year, or if you're planning to go along to one of the upcoming concerts.
BotW music was so well done. Often understated and used in the perfect moments. It would be fun to see a live performance.
Going on friday, can't wait!
Went to a SotG performance pre-BOTW. It was wonderful.
BotW definitely has some pieces that would benefit from being played by a live symphony, like the Hyrule Castle theme or the wonderful pieces of music that play when you confront and infiltrate some of the divine beasts (Vah Ruta's theme in particular: one of the best pieces of music I've ever heard in the entire series) even if the majority of the OST wouldn't. And what about the main theme, or that lovely music that accompanied the game's trailer at the Switch presentation? Or even the music that plays when you confront Ganon.
If the pieces included in SotG didn't fit well, it's definitely not the game's fault, considering how many worthy tracks could have been chosen.
@JHDK I disagree, you hardly heard anything unless you were on a horse, and the music you heard the most often (shrines) was incredibly bland.
1. What, Symphony of the Goddess is still touring?! Didn't they say there will be no more concerts (for now) after 2016? I still haven't been to one and I desperately want to...
2. I don't think a live orchestra can ever lose its appeal when experienced repeatedly, so I don't get why one would even question that. It's not like movies where the appeal/enjoyment diminishes quickly after the first time...
3. Lol what?! 'Inkling' is an actual English word? I always thought it was invented by the Splatoon team.
I saw the Symphony in Detroit earlier this month, and I loved it. (I just wish that they played more music; Skyward Sword didn’t receive any love!)
My wife and I saw this show in Boston five years ago on our honeymoon, but I’d love to see it again. Amazing experience.
@LegendOfPokemon Interesting - Skyward Sword got a lot of love in the showing I went to yesterday! Made the game seem so much more epic than I had remembered it to be
I saw Symphony of the goddesses last year. It was awesome. A big recommandation to every fan.
@Smitherenez - My wife and I will be in Düsseldorf on Friday as well to see the show. Tot ziens.
I attended the London show last night. I really enjoyed it. I love the Breath of the Wild soundtrack but thought all the pieces were very well done.
I was very disappointed when I saw Symphony of the Godesses, the music would've been great... if I could've heard it. The hall was not meant for a symphonic concert like that without amplification and therefore I could barely hear anything.
Also, I'm sad to say that the BotW music has been far from memorable, almost nothing stuck to my mind. Trying to think of a melody now, I really can't.
@LegendOfPokemon Not even ballad of the goddess:(?
Two songs were added in the tour here and they were both fantastic.
BotW had music?
Lol at everyone saying BotW doesn't have good/memorable music. Have any of you played the game more than once? Or listened to its soundtrack? I'm pretty sure you haven't. Most of the game is based on the world's exploration (which doesn't really have music) but the best tracks are found in certain events (?) such as Hyrule Castle, Sidon's theme, Dark Beast Ganon's fight, etc. It's impossible to remember a song just hearing it once.
I was at the London show on Tuesday 21st November. Absolutely amazing. Without spoiling too much the encore Breath of the Wild piece was outstanding. Definitely recommend the show for when it comes around again.
@NickOfTime90 Unfortunately, no. (But, I do have Ballad of Goddess on the special 25th anniversary CD that came with Skyward Sword! 😃)
I did buy tickets, but a crisis hit at work and I just didn't feel right about pulling away...so I missed it. Maybe next time, but was a major bummer.
My thoughts exactly.
I went to the Perth show back in August, it was my first time, but I must say the Breath of the Wild segments were disappointing, not worth going just to see them. I did enjoy the rest of the symphony though, especially the Skyward Sword segment which was an absolute masterpiece. Just thinking of it now, they couldn't have picked a worse song to conclude the ceremony. Such an epic night just to conclude it with a song from breath of the Wild that isn't even good
I haven't been able to make it to a SotG performance this year, unfortunately. Maybe it's for the best since I still haven't played BotW yet.
Please come back to Australia! I’d love to see this!! 😭
I saw it during the original run at MSG in New York and again earlier this month in North Carolina. I was very pleased with the expanded music but found that the video didn't always fit the music, like playing the Hero's Song (the opening to Wind Waker about the destruction of Hyrule) while the screen showed the Goddesses creating Hyrule in Ocarina of Time.
There was also a lot of Zelda's Lullaby.
I attended the London performance last night. Although thoroughly enjoyable, I thought the last song was not a good choice of finale and somewhat of an anti-climax. Not playing the main Legend of Zelda theme whilst the credits rolled on screen was a missed opportunity.
However, I much preferred the respect the London audience showed by remaining silent when the orchestra was performing, as opposed to the attention-seeking whooping and hollering at the New York performance in 2012.
@Indielink Definitely some audio-video synching issues last night. At one point we were listening to Zelda’s Lullaby whilst Link battled Ganondorf!
@Julien @Indielink Yep, the technical difficulty just before the Ocarina of Time piece set the orchestra off from the video. Was great to hear the crowd support them in their difficult time of potential awkwardness and panic, though!
I am going to the one in Barcelona on next Saturday, I live in Finland but I am having a vacation there at around the same time so I moved it to a few weeks earlier so I can get to this thing, too
@LegendOfPokemon Yeah me too, that CD is the best!
So the Breath of the Wild section will be long stretches of silence punctuated by a couple of piano keys here and there?
The event I attended in Glasgow was bitterly disappointing to me. Poor sound due to low volume and a much smaller orchestra, a poor set of songs, and a general shabbiness left me feeling overcharged and cheated. We definitely got short changed, and it cost us the same as the bigger sets. Was very unhappy.
I think it's high time they started to sell that new CD they promised last year. It seems unfair to me to hold fans to ransom in this way, for this long.
The way BotW handled its music was masterful. I went back an revisited older 3D Zeldas afterwards and found them amateur in comparison.
Sure it was subtle and somewhat sparse at times but I don't think it was a negative at all. The game was downright magical in every aspect.
@Fortuna95 I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did!
They had some cool surprises, but I felt some songs were strangely missing. The souvenirs were really expensive as well.
@Mr_Zurkon, you are kind of right with your prediction about the BotW music
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