On October 25th I was fortunate enough to attend the Symphony of the Goddesses concert at the Chicago Theater. Mases, my roommate Mike, and I made the trek to the theater through pouring rain. When we turned onto State Street we saw the light of the giant marquee that was illuminating the block. It read “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses”. It was quite overwhelming to see that written on such a beautiful marquee. I never thought I would see something quite like that.
To add to my list of things I would never see, huddled underneath the light of the banner was a large group of Zelda fans trying to escape the rain. We walked around the crowd trying to see who had come to the show. The crowd was a mix of well dressed people, fans wearing Zelda merchandise, and some very interesting and awesome cosplayers. I saw a very well done Groose, which was awesome because it was probably the first time I had seen Skyward Sword cosplay. There was even a great costume of Ganon from the Legend of Zelda cartoon. The fans were showing their true colors.
It was incredible to see the gorgeous theater taken over by Zelda fans. At coat check someone had checked a giant replica of the Rod of Seasons. In the lobby a young person was playing Zelda songs on their ocarina. Parents were walking around with their children dressed as Link, Zelda, and other characters. As we took our seats, music from Majora’s Mask was playing over the speakers before the show. It was a truly strange feeling.
The Show began with an overture with many familiar themes from the series. Afterwards we were introduced to our host for the night. He gave an introduction and the orchestra continued to play. We were given a song featuring themes from many dungeons in early 2D games, then Kakariko Village, and a compilation of songs that Link plays on the ocarina in Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time. Then the actual symphony began. The first two movements were based on Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. An intermission was given after the first two movements. When we returned from the intermission the orchestra performed the Fairy Fountain theme and continued on with the symphony. The next two movements were centered around Twilight Princess and A Link to the Past. Afterwards we were treated with three encores, “Ballad of the Wind Fish”, “Gerudo Valley”, and a medley of songs from Majora’s Mask.
During the concert, I found myself being quite moved by the songs. Hearing these melodies that I’ve treasured for years being played so beautifully by a real orchestra in person was extremely powerful. Roaring applause from the audience showed that everyone felt the same. Another strange yet incredible feeling that i felt was being in a room with hundreds of other Zelda fans. We were all on the same wavelength. The host was making jokes relating to Zelda (including timeline and water temple jokes), the conductor conducted a song with The Wind Waker, and everyone understood every single reference. I never could have imagined that happening to me.
The overall mood of the concert was total reverence for Zelda. Every concert attendee knew why everyone was there, and we understood each other. We knew who everyone was dressed as and got all of the little jokes that each other made in passing. This may have been the only time I will experience something like that. I left the theater with my poster, protecting it from the rain, extremely satisfied.