Motoi Sakuraba, now among legends like Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Koichi Sugiyama and Yuzo Koshiro; gets to have his very own live performance of his game music.
For those who don’t know, Sakuraba started off his music carreer in a progressive rock band called “Déja-Vu”, which seems to have had some success over the later '80s and early '90s if I’m not mistaking.
So it’s just logical that he chose to do a progressive rock performance. He wasn’t alone though, he was accompanied by two men : Toshihiko Nakamura, the drummer and Atsushi Hasegawa, the bassist. Sakuraba had the amazing task of going through 10(!!!) diffrent synthezisers during the performance, which he did with amazing grace.
They opened up the concert with “The Dawn of Wisdom” from Star Ocean : Till The End of Time. I found the theme really well performed as all 3 performers made their seperate entrance, which was a delight to see and hear.
The second song performed was “Unfinished Battle with God Syndrome” from Valkyrie Profile. I’ve noticed right off that it sounded diffrent from what we’ve heard on the OST and arranged CD. The reason was that Sakuraba chose to use a diffrent instrument set(very similar to what was used for the Shining The Holy Ark Arranged) just for a change I guess, which was more than welcome.
One of the songs that really got to me was "Theme of RENA ~ Drum Solo ~ Bass Solo ~ ", it was just incredible. Motoi showed off his amazing skills as usual, after about 5 or so minutes, he and Hasegawa stop to allow Nakamura perform his wonderful drum solo. This lasts for about ten minutes. Once Nakamura is done, Hasegawa comes in and gets his bass guitar wailing away for a good 5 minutes or so. This is SO the best performance in the entire concert in my opinion.
One of the tracks that made a less successful transition to live was “Confidence in the Domination” from Valkyrie Profile. At first, I could not recognise it until it had past 30 seconds or so… but I personally loved it.
The concert ended with a medley of 2 Star Ocean songs, being “The Incarnate of Devil” from Star Ocean : The Second Story and an encore of “The Dawn of Wisdom” from Star Ocean : Till The End of Time.
This DVD also has a few sweet bonuses. You have several interviews of the trio, a live recording session and the lovely piano solo Sakuraba has done outside of the concert.
In conclusion, I find this to be one of the most worthwhile VGM collectibles to be released this year. Ms. Kahori Ezaki(Founder of CocoeBiz LLC) is to be thanked for convincing TEAM Entertainment to make the DVD region-free for full accessability to all Sakuraba fans worldwide. She also has the item for sale at a decent price in her online shop. If any Sakuraba fans want their fix in music, this is the way to go. Highly reccomended.