With the January 2019 launch of KINGDOM HEARTS III for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, SQUARE ENIX and La Fée Sauvage teamed up again after their successful 2017 KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World Tour- concert series to bring KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres- to the stage. I attended the June 8th, 2019 concert at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California and I was in love with what I saw, with a few minor caveats that still make this a concert worth attending.
The KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres- concert is split into two parts: The first part plays original (as in, not-Disney related) compositions from all of the prior KINGDOM HEARTS games and the second half of the concert plays exclusively music from KINGDOM HEARTS III. In the first half, as each piece plays, cutscenes telling the story of that game play to ‘catch the view up’ on what has already happened in those KINGDOM HEARTS games. In the second half, the music matches up with the storyline from that particular world in KINGDOM HEARTS III.
Interestingly, this concert was almost entirely medley compositions. From what I can tell, the performances by the orchestra/chorus with Elio di Tanna on the piano (who performed again the next night in the FINAL FANTASY VII: A Symphonic Reunion concert that I also reviewed) did not shortchange any of the musical pieces themselves, and they did a stunning job in inserting all of the emotions and heart into the musical scores that KINGDOM HEARTS is known for, but it was still a surprising choice of how to present a concert. For example, KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories was represented by a medley of “Scent of Silence” and “Castle Oblivion” as the game’s storyline was told from beginning to end. This ended making the sixth piece performed, “Pretty Pretty Abilities” from coded, stand out awkwardly a bit as it was a standalone piece with no other music from coded being played. Furthermore, as evidenced by the person I went with who had only played the original KINGDOM HEARTS game, the cutscenes didn’t explain the storylines well enough for someone who wasn’t versed in the series already to grasp fully what was occurring.
|The setlist for KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres- (Approx. 2 and 1/2 hours):
1) Dearly Beloved from KINGDOM HEARTS III
11) Face My Fears -KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestral Version-
KINGDOM HEARTS III ReMIX Trailer
20) Don’t Think Twice -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version
My favorite performance of the entire concert was the encore performance, Don’t Think Twice- KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version. Yoko Shimomura took the piano for that performance, just as she did for the “Fantasia alla Marcia” encore in 2017’s KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World Tour-. I liked it so much that I really think that it is a serious omission from the official KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres- CD. It is an excellent instrumental version of the KINGDOM HEARTS III song sung by Hikaru Utada, and it was a perfect way to close out the show. There is a definite thrill to seeing the composer for the KINGDOM HEARTS series playing her own music with the orchestra, and you could tell that she was genuinely enjoying herself there.
Aside from that, the choice of blending the different worlds from KINGDOM HEARTS III into joint medleys, with the exception of San Fransokyo and The Caribbean that were performed as standalone works, worked out a lot better than I expected. The transitions between worlds inspired by, for example, Tangled and Monsters, Inc. was nearly seamless and made it seem like those two worlds actually do fit in together in a way that I didn’t see before the show. The standout moment of the night for, and the audience (aside from the encore), was easily when the entire orchestra stopped playing midway through the Toy Story piece to snap their fingers in time with the music. It was unexpected and extremely well received by the audience.
Overall, I loved this concert, and I was thrilled that I went to it. This is an excellent way to spend an evening in the company of other KINGDOM HEARTS fans and I am excited to see what SQUARE ENIX and La Fée Sauvage do next. If you can get tickets to KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres-, you absolutely should, for this is a show that should not be missed.
You can check out future worldwide KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World of Tres- concert dates, and find links to buy tickets, here.
What is your favorite KINGDOM HEARTS game? Are you planning on attending one of the upcoming show dates?
Let us know in the comments below!