The site downtime problem should hopefully be fixed now, or at least fixed-ish, which brings my short impromptu hiatus to a close. Let the daily updates resume! (Or, at least, daily-ish.)
While the site was wobbing in and out of consciousness a few people flagged me down to ask if I had raised holy hell with my webhost. The answer is no, and the reason for that is because my webhost is one of the most generous cats I have ever met. Maybe now’s a good time to come clean: I don’t actually pay for the hosting of scibbe.com. It’s provided to me by my good pal Holbert, who also hosts rpgmaker.net and several cheese-related erotica websites. Actually, he first offered me webspace years ago as a place to stick a backup of Kinetic Cipher, which I then started using to stash images and music files and things, and then eventually in February 2009 installed WordPress onto.
It’s fair to say that, if not for Holbert, this site wouldn’t exist. That would have been strange timing, wouldn’t it? Shelling out for webhosting and a domain name less than a week after getting laid off from my job?
Over the years Holbert has refused to charge me for the meager amount of bandwidth I use up, so in return I don’t feel it necessary to bite his head off when the site hiccups the way it’s been doing the past couple weeks. He’s a good dude and it’s thanks to him I’ve never had to wrestle with ImageShack or any such nonsense, and thanks to him that I have this outlet I can vomit my stream of consciousness into.
Thanks for being awesome, Holbert!
So what have I been doing with myself, if not feverishly updating this website and F5-ing the comments page in a crazed search for validation? Well, I checked with a few Georgia law enforcement agencies and, despite my chronic endorsement of delicious ice cold Pepsi there was in fact not a warrant for my arrest within the city of Atlanta. I therefore packed my things and drove up to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy.
The concert was amazing. Being such a big fan of the Final Fantasy games, much of Uematsu’s music provokes a strong emotional response in me, and seeing it performed by a live orchestra to an entire venue filled with fellow FF fans is a rare treat. Highly recommended.
I don’t think I liked it quite as much as when Dear Friends toured in 2005, which I saw in Chicago. For one, the show didn’t have any songs from FF4 or FF12, which really struck me as odd, considering we all sat through Fisherman’s Horizon from FF8. I mean, you go to these shows expecting certain things; you know you’re going to hear Liberi Fatali and One Winged Angel. But are there really people out there who are pining for Fisherman’s Horizon? Bizarre choice.
Uematsu was in attendance, and it was pointed out that he didn’t compose FF12’s soundtrack, which is why none of it is featured. I’m not sure I buy that explanation though; the show is “Music from Final Fantasy”, not “Music from Nobuo Uematsu”. And in either case, there were several songs from Final Fantasy XIII, which the conductor took special care to point out was not Uematsu’s work. Don’t get me wrong, I frickin’ love Blinded By Light. I still use it as my ringtone. I’m just not sure I wanted to hear it to the exclusion of the likes of Royal City Rabanastre or Battle For Freedom.
I’m increasingly worried that FF12 is becoming the black sheep of the series. What a sad thing to have happen.
The visuals were pretty poor. And by “poor” I mean “I could have done better”. Most of the time it was just CG cutscenes or still shots of Amano artwork blown up, blurrified and projected onto a screen dangling above the orchestra. This was very clearly cropped together by a dude on timeframe so tight I wouldn’t be surprised if it were literally thrown together the day of the show. This struck me as a missed opportunity, especially considering there were a few moments where the visuals really added something. Don’t Be Afraid, for example, was timed to begin after a short clip of the FF8 characters running around a map and triggering a battle. At the end, the orchestra credits were displayed over the iconic snowfield march from FF6 as the orchestra played Terra’s Theme. But for the most part? Clips and artwork that had nothing to do with the music being played. I think I would have actually preferred no screen at all.
In the end though the experience was well worth it, and I would absolutely see this show again next time it tours.