Melody Road 2019 Anime Feature: A Trip Through Time

 

Music is probably one of the easiest mediums for us to share or feel emotions and memories with. For some, they use it to keep them focused at work, get pumped to finish a workout, or just block out the cacophony made by the bustle of the daily commute. Personally, I like to loop music from games I’m reviewing when I’m hunkering down to write about them. It easily sends me to the time I was playing through them, picking them apart, and inspires (or enrages, depends) the emotions I experienced with it.

Upon hearing about the project Melody Road set out to perform, I was pretty excited. Their setlist was also chuck full of music I’d like to listen to all over again. Sure, one can argue that you can simply take to Spotify or whatever service you deem fit for you and listen to whatever tracks you like. But there is a unique charm to attend a concert, much like attending a movie. Instead of having the music around as a side-attraction, it’s the centerpiece of the event. Being able to enjoy it with like-minded individuals is also a huge plus. Finally, the live performance would very much mean a personal touch by each performer to the score you’re about to listen to. At least, these three things are what quickly comes to mind when I was sitting near the front.

So how was it? The short answer is, very fun. Sure, the size of the orchestra itself is a bit more modest than what was presented back then by Manila Symphonic Orchestra, but they managed to put together a setlist that they would be able to perform admirably anyway.

They opened up with Gundam Wing’s OP, Just Communication, complete with female vocals! This was actually a pretty strong way to open the evening. They were followed by other beloved, older works. The opening of Doraemon, the inclusion of some Ghibli tracks like ‘Merry Go Round of Life’ of Howl’s Moving Castle, Totoro’s theme were expected, but welcome pieces. This being ‘anime night,’ what really got me happy would be the featuring music from anime that’s particularly popular with the Filipino crowd. These would be Yu Yu Hakusho’s ‘Smile Bomb,’ Digimon’s ‘Butterfly,’ and Evangelion’s ‘Cruel Angel’s Thesis.’

Their idea of making a setlist featuring different decades of anime is something I’d find deserving of praise, as this would appeal to a broad audience, both young and old. Including songs from Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Demon Slayer added onto the satisfaction I was already experiencing from the little flashbacks I get with the other songs.

 

A nice surprise I was the inclusion of a choir for some of the songs. While it was a bit disappointing that there was no one to play lead vocalist for other songs, getting this ‘karaoke’ version was still pretty enjoyable.

There were a couple of things that I think could use a bit more work for the event The inclusion of merchant booths around the area was a bit curious, especially as they seemed to be only tangentially connected to the main attraction. And well, the MC could have used a better script.

Other than that, the event was handled in the most professional manner. Attendees were respectfully guided and advised against recording the performance, some security was around to help enforce the rules, but nothing of note happened that would negatively impact a guest’s time there.

Did you attend Melody Road and enjoy it? Or are you perhaps enticed to attend another concert should one be hosted? Let them know through their Facebook page.

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