SDCC 2012: Musical Moments

Being a music geek, I made sure to fill my Comic-Con week with great shows. I’ve already covered Friday’s Dethklok performance, but would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about seeing The Bouncing Souls on Wednesday and a Zelda symphony concert on Thursday.

The Bouncing Souls & The Menzingers

“East Coast! Fuck You!”

In lieu of preview night events, Xtine & I headed to the House of Blues on Wednesday night to catch The Bouncing Souls, who were touring in support of their latest album Comet. I was also excited for opening act The Menzingers, who’ve put out one of my favorite albums of the year, On the Impossible Past (album reviews coming in future posts).

Though not actually part of Comic-Con, the show was a great kickoff to our ‘con week. We only caught a few songs of The Menzingers’ set, but fortunately they included my 2 favorites, “The Obituaries” and “Gates”. The Souls played selections from throughout their catalog along with several fresh tracks from Comet, on a stage littered with old TV sets tying into the theme of lead single (and opening number) “Static”. Between fist-pumping to “True Believers” and singing along to “Hopeless Romantic”, the only thing missing was my favorite old-school track, “I Like Your Mom”. They closed out the encore with their latest single “Ship in a Bottle”, which merited its own banner.

Symphony of the Goddesses

After running around the ‘con all day Thursday, my siblings and I attended the San Diego Symphony’s performance of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses at the Embarcadero Marina Park behind the convention center. Interpreting Koji Kondo’s well-known musical scores from across the Zelda series, the concert consisted of 4 movements accompanied by video screens showing footage from the iconic games. Before the show started there was a costume contest (of course, this being comic con, there must be cosplay); the winner was the postman from Majora’s Mask.

Owners of the original NES cartridge should recognize this image from the instruction booklet.

The opening number set the tone by highlighting the major themes of the series, with the audience erupting in cheers at the familiar sight of Link obtaining a wooden sword from an old man along with a cautionary “It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.” The first movement took us through one of the most popular games ever, Ocarina of Time. Movement 2 covered The Wind Waker, with conductor Eimear Noone using a Wind Waker replica as her baton. Movement 3 was the darker-themed Twilight Princess, which I’ve owned for several years but haven’t yet got around to playing. The final movement was probably my favorite, taking the 16-bit era A Link to the Past and reinterpreting its chip-tune soundtrack with a full orchestra. The “dark world theme” was particularly powerful coming through all those instruments.

Of course, everything in Zelda comes in threes, so there were 3 encores. Each covered a specific piece from one of the games: There was “Ballad of the Wind Fish” from Link’s Awakening, “Gerudo Valley” from Ocarina of Time, and finally the theme from Majora’s Mask. It was a great event, and being on a lawn full of cheering Comic-Con attendees made it very communal, with a tangible sense of excitement among the fandom.

Next up: The conclusion of my Comic-Con coverage, with a Venture Bros. signing and some Spider-Man comics.

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