Posts Tagged ‘sydney’

I Went to Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses at the Sydney Opera House

Oh look, a post that isn’t ludicrously lengthy.

At the end of last month I put to bed a small regret of mine – Half a decade ago I was presented with the opportunity to attend the Sydney debut of Symphony of the Goddesses, a worldwide concert tour immediately following on from the special Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary concerts in Japan and the USA. For reasons I can no longer remember clearly (probably funds), I did not take this opportunity. Naturally I regretted my decision pretty soon after the performance dates arrived and several of my friends raved about how good the show was. I told myself the next time I had such a chance I would not let it pass. But for years, no such chance appeared.

So when, after years of sporadic worldwide tours with varying set lists, the announcement was made that Symphony of the Goddesses would be returning to Sydney harbour this year, no price would have been too high for me to snatch up a ticket. Two years after entering the opera house for the first time to attend the Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions showcase, I was back in the venue’s main concert hall to take in the fully-realised music of one of my absolute favourite media franchises. And what an evening it was.

There are three main reasons I’d go to see an orchestral performance of a videogame music selection – The atmosphere, the craft and the arrangement. Hardly groundbreaking reasons of course, and I’m sure the majority of the people in attendance on the night had similar motivations. Atmosphere is created mostly by said people, whose collective energy and passion tend to elevate an event that otherwise gets by on a uniquely strange blend of nerdiness and class. This department provided the largest point of difference between the Pokemon concert and the Zelda one for me. At the Pokemon event, there seemed to be more themed and/or casual dress in and around the hall, while during the concert the audience reacted loudly to each track and arrangement – especially the more widely recognised ones. While the Zelda show was hardly black tie – and cosplay was there if you looked for it – I definitely noticed more of a conservative attitude to dress code in general. What’s more, during the concert you could tell a crowd favourite by a groundswell of hushed whispers and gasps rather than whoops and shouts. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason for this (perhaps Zelda’s slightly older fanbase, or the fact the concert landed on the exact weekend of PAX Australia in Melbourne) but it certainly lent the atmosphere a more reverential tone and allowed quieter pieces – of which Zelda boasts several – to shine.

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I Went to Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions at the Sydney Opera House

Yep, another concert post! What a time to be alive.

I’ve lived in Australia for 17 years now, and been a tourist to these great shores before that. But last night marked the very first time I had the pleasure of entering the Sydney Opera House. My reason for doing so was not exactly standard for the venue, mind you, but it was certainly worth the wait. The long-hyped orchestral treatment of the music from the Pokémon series had finally arrived in our backyard, and the event did not disappoint.

It was a bit of a sore spot for me that I had never seen the famous Sydney Symphony Orchestra live in any capacity, not least of all because that meant I’d missed both 2011’s Distant Worlds concert (music from Final Fantasy) and 2013’s Symphony of the Goddesses (music from the Legend of Zelda series). But I was never going to miss this one, and there were very obviously hundreds of others who felt the same, because there was a real excited buzz in and around the iconic Darling Harbour venue. Continue reading

I Went to Bigbang’s MADE Tour 2015

The first of two concerts I’ll hopefully be writing about before the end of the year! This post got long…

Well what a treat that was.

In the world of K-Pop, there are few bigger acts than Big Bang (Is that the right way to write it? I’m never sure – Should it be Bigbang? Or BIGBANG, even? Let’s just go with the way that makes the most English sense). Debuting nine long years ago, the YG Entertainment flagship group has been consistently at the top of the K-Pop consciousness for a while, and has amassed quite a considerable reputation in the Western music world as well. Outside of PSY and perhaps Girls’ Generation, there isn’t a more widely recognised K-Pop name than Big Bang. Just about every solo release from the group’s five extremely busy members is met with pandemonium by fans, and when all five get together, well, that’s something else.

So it was a big enough deal when Big Bang announced earlier this year that they would be coming out with their first release(s) as a group since 2012. I never expected that in their subsequent world tour announcement, Australia would be included. Yes, the country ritually ignored by the big name Korean music labels, especially since the relatively disappointing – though still loud and passionate – attendance at 2011’s poorly-marketed K-Pop Festival. Yep, the arrival of Big Bang on our shores for the first time – for two rapidly sold-out shows no less (and a reactively added third) – is probably going to be pretty significant for Korean pop music fans down under going forward.

But never mind all that. Big Bang’s second Sydney show, which I was lucky enough to attend alongside five friends, was just a really good time.


Yep, it really happened.

I’ve been to one K-Pop concert before – B.A.P’s Live on Earth tour appearance in Sydney last year, and it was a lot of fun. But this was next level. Yeah, that’s mostly because Allphones Arena is a much bigger and more technically impressive venue than the Big Top, of course, not to mention Big Bang has more money to put into a spectacular show than B.A.P does. The boys from YG have also been around for far longer, and have built their name up over a sizeable body of work. G-Dragon, T.O.P, Daesung, Seungri and Taeyang are walking legends in their field, and they wouldn’t have had to do much to send the beyond-feverish crowd into raptures. Yet if you ask me, they matched their much younger colleagues in just about every way on stage, turning what was already a major event into one hell of a night.

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Get KE3N

It’s almost time for yet another annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, which still seems to bring the goods again and again even in today’s leak-heavy internet age. This year, instead of the customary five press conferences, we have eight to take our sleeping hours away. EIGHT. Like, eight of them. If you plan to watch them all, best of luck to you. What a treat, though!

Once again for those Sydneysiders and Melbournians (etc) who are keen to watch any of the conferences but can’t be bothered looking up and cross-referencing time zones to work out when they have to get up, I’ve written them up right here, so look no further.

All times are in AEST.

12noon JUNE 15TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: The recently released console versions of The Elder Scrolls Online, the long-awaited Doom reboot, plenty of information on the juggernaut that is Fallout 4.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Dishonored 2 would be very nice indeed.

2:30am JUNE 16TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Single player gameplay debuts for what could potentially be the best line-up of console exclusives this holiday season – Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Remastered Gears of War and Halo 5: Guardians. Not to mention the reveal of Rare’s next big game.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Specifics on Quantum Break‘s release plans, a significant slice of attention towards awesome indie titles like Cuphead and Inside.

6am JUNE 16TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, the first official gameplay showings from Mirrors Edge: CatalystStar Wars Battlefront and the new Criterion extreme sports game, the shape of the new Mass Effect, sports games aplenty.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: The other Star Wars game. The one Amy Hennig is working on.


8am JUNE 16TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: The normal serving of Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance footage, more info on The Division and Rainbow Six Siege, some as-yet unknown surprise that will inevitably get everyone talking about how cool it could be.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Same as last year – a new Rayman game, or the reappearance of Beyond Good & Evil 2.


11am JUNE 16TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Project Morpheus, the insane success of the PS4, Uncharted 4, Drawn to Death, Tearaway Unfolded, new Destiny stuff, lots and lots of juicy third party/indie partnerships.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Persona 5 please. Lots more indies on Vita, too. And seriously, where is Gravity Rush 2?


2am JUNE 17TH
(via “Digital Event”)

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Always the toughest to predict, but surely at least the new Star Fox game for Wii U, plenty of new amiibos, that leaked Hyrule Warriors 3DS port, the next main Pokemon game, Splatoon DLC plans, Mario Maker.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: It’s about time for a new Metroid game. Also, please please please let that Paper Mario rumour be true…

NOTE: Nintendo is doing their normal thing again and spreading their content out over the length of E3. These additional times might be useful for Nintendo fans:

12:40am June 15th: Dedicated Super Smash Bros for Wii U / 3DS “New Content Approaching” Live Stream

8am June 15th: Nintendo World Championships 25th anniversary edition

June 17th-19th (schedule TBC): “Treehouse Live @ E3” Presentations


3am JUNE 17TH

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: A solid chunk devoted to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the unveiling of the long-teased new Hitman game, my potential game of the year Just Cause 3, some Heavensward: Final Fantasy XIV mentions, that new online robot shooter Figure Heads.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: With the confirmed lack of Final Fantasy XV at E3 this year, surely there’s some big Kingdom Hearts 3 stuff to show?


10am JUNE 17TH
PC GAMING SHOW (Presented by AMD and PCGamer)

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Plenty of tech talk, Epic’s highly anticipated Fortnight, who knows what else? It’s the longest and most diverse conference on the schedule, so let’s hope it’s also one of the most exciting.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Overwatch, Overwatch and more Overwatch. Come on, Blizzard, let’s get the whole world hyped.

Dazzling Dazidia: A Beat Exploration

Listeners to the podcast I’m on, the Mega Ultra Blast Cast, will likely be familiar with Dazidia, the talented DJ who provides our music clips and occasionally remixes our trashy talk. So I’m quite familiar with the chilled vibes of his musical portfolio. Yet it wasn’t until recently that I downloaded a bunch of his songs and attempted to make a playlist out of them to act as writing/wind-down music. After perusing his Soundcloud profile, this is what I came up with:

(Some of these tracks are also on Daz’s new album/playlist release, Denuo. I’ve marked these particular songs with italics)

1. Jam Session

2. Ascension

3. Sail Away

4. Symphonie de la Vie

5. Cosmic Embrace

6. Moonstruck

7. Everflow (feat. DJ Duane Woods)

8. Substratosphere

9. Technical Difficulties (feat. Esky)

10. Grandeur of the Rainforest

11. Castles in the Sand

12. Peppermint Fairway

13. Unidentified Funky Object

14. Global Ripples Project (Bonus)

15. Aria of the Lounge (Persona Chill-Out Remix) (Bonus)

I tried a couple of line-ups and settled on this one for the way it flows nicely in the background of my writing sessions. Of course, no-one knows Dazidia’s music better than the man himself, so check out his new playlist/album Denuo by clicking here. All of the above tracks are available for free download from Dazidia’s Soundcloud profile, so you too can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a sonic Daz journey with minimal effort. I thoroughly recommend the experience!

YE3AH, It’s That Time Again

It’s time to rub your eyes in disbelief again, because another year has gone by and another Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming our way. Red Bulls at the ready, people. Less than one week left!

Just like last year, for those Sydneysiders and Melbournians (etc) who are keen to watch the conferences but can’t be bothered looking up and cross-referencing time zones to work out when they have to get up, I’ve written them up right here. Look no further!

All times are in AEST.

JUNE 10TH 2:30am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Some sort of Halo remake for this year, Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break and the rest of the exclusives gang, the improvement of the Games With Gold platform, the plan for a standalone Kinect sensor, more Call of Duty.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: The return of Rare to the Banjo Kazooie series, like I secretly hope for every year.


JUNE 10TH 5am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: A fresh crop of next-gen sports games, the new direction for the Battlefield series, The Sims 4, plenty of Star Wars games including the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront, some gameplay from the new version of Mirror’s Edge.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: A release date for Battlefront. Probably unlikely. This is the conference I always sleep through.


JUNE 10TH 8am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: The two new upcoming Assassin’s Creed games, various modes from Far Cry 4, The Crew‘s release plans, what’s next for the awesome UbiArt framework engine, the next inevitable Just Dance, new gameplay footage from The Division.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Dare I hope for a new Rayman game, or the fabled Beyond Good & Evil 2?


JUNE 10TH 11am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Destiny, the Playstation Now service, the state of the new Uncharted, dogged support of the Vita, more coverage of DriveClub and The Order: 1886, a slew of new indie game support, the current state of Final Fantasy XV and the two announced Kingdom Hearts games.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Samurai Gunn, Persona 5 and Gravity Rush 2.


JUNE 11TH 2am
(via “Digital Event”)

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: The new Super Smash Bros on both consoles, Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, the unnamed upcoming Wii U Zelda game, release info for Bayonetta 2 and Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo’s new figurine initiative, fresh details on previously announced concepts.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: A stereoscopic remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. Give me nothing but that and I’ll be happy.

NOTE: Nintendo will also by streaming live, game-specific shows called “Treehouse at E3” from the following times:

4:30am June 11th

2:15am June 12th

2:30am June 13th

Each will go for several hours, so I assume there will be some repeating going on.


Another year has passed and we are once again on the doorstep of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. One week left!

For those Sydneysiders and Melbournians (etc) who are keen to watch the conferences but can’t be bothered looking up and cross-referencing time zones to work out when they have to get up, I’ve written them up right here. Look no further!

All times are in AEST.

JUNE 7TH 3am –
KONAMI (pre-E3)
THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Metal Gear Solid V, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: The fact that David Hayter will actually be voicing Snake again and that Pro Evo no longer has exclusive rights to the J-League. Fat chance.

JUNE 11TH 2am – 4am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Plenty of games for Xbox One, some current-gen stuff and some casual stuff no-one cares about.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: Price, release date and launch game confirmations for Xbox One, clarifying information on preowned games and always-online functionality.


JUNE 11TH 6am – 7am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Battlefield 4, plenty of EA Sports titles and their lucrative new Star Wars game license.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: A new Star Wars: Battlefront game. Oh please please please let this happen.


JUNE 11TH 8am – 9am

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: When we’ll finally get to play South Park: The Stick of Truth. This year.


JUNE 11TH 11am – 1pm

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: What the PS4 console actually looks like, Killzone Shadowfall, Infamous Second Son and the gang.
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: The unveiling of Final Fantasy XV and a new Gravity Rush sequel on Vita.


JUNE 12TH 12 midnight –
(via Nintendo Direct Broadcast)

THEY WILL TALK ABOUT: Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Zelda Wind Waker HD, a new 3D Mario platformer, new Mario Kart, new Smash Bros
I HOPE THEY TALK ABOUT: The new Wii U Zelda title, a new Advance Wars for 3DS, Lloyd Irving playable in Smash Bros. All unlikely.