[FEATURE] Once upon a Toon — the aftermath (Part 1)

ゴキゲンな蝶になって きらめく風に乗って
今すぐ キミに会いに行こう
[I’ll become a happy butterfly, and ride on the glittering wind~ Right now… I’m coming to see you~]

~ Butterfly, Digimon Adventure Opening Theme Song

The lyrics quoted above are from my favorite song since the release of the anime, and it has not changed. Every time I listen to this song, passion immediately rushes through my body and I would happily sing along with joy.

Photo Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography
Photo Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography

The same thing happened at the Once Upon A Toon Concert on 18 July 2014. Performed by 11 different ensembles — one of them being a one-man-army — I relived a lot of my childhood memories as I sung alongside with the famous, classic songs that they performed tonight – some in a fresh and different way, and some in its most original form. There was anxiety on what kind of songs they play and will they perform it nicely and excitement about what kind of surprises will I get from this night.

Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography
Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography

The concert’s opening number – “Hey, That’s Kik” was an original composition by Terrence Ling. A battle between two of the 8 drummers was fun to watch. Not to mention, it was the first time in almost 4 years since I have listened to a live, pure percussion tune, and it was good!

Credits to TImothy Lim Photography
Credits to Timothy Lim Photography

The Saxophone Quartet was next, and these usually serious performers had the most interesting movements I’ve ever seen – they DANCED! They played all the Looney Tunes theme songs and they really captured the feels, especially when you see their serious faces doing humorous actions on stage. The one song that was worth noting was Pink Panther, because there paused and put on SUNGLASSES! They even performed my favorite cartoon tune – Tom and Jerry! And the excitement just kept on building!

Credits to Timothy Lim Photography
Credits to Timothy Lim Photography

The next act had my blood boiling like a volcano about to erupt – my favorite genre of music J-ROCK! I sang along to all their songs that they performed – Butterfly, Go, Anata Dake Mitsumeteru, DAN DAN KOKORO, and lastly… Gotta Catch ‘Em All! I knew all the lyrics and the arrangements were kept as original as possible which made it really fun to sing-along. It made me wish I was running around the concert hall, dragging everyone to sing-along & rock it out with me. The performers really brought on their rock persona on stage.

Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography
Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography

The acoustic set calmed my heated soul down with their truly soothing and relaxing arrangement. Possibly the sweetest, most harmonious band I’ve heard so far. At the end of the mash-up there’s a call out for other cartoons, which I think was simply brilliant! It was amazing!

Credits to Timothy Lim Photography
Credits to Timothy Lim Photography

The String ensemble brought a rare, live performance that could bring your sad feelings to the max by performing music from Studio Ghibli. I swear, I don’t know whether the compositions themselves are brilliant or the arranger is superb or BOTH! The performance brought tears to my eyes, proving that the ensemble, accompanied by Jack Lim on piano and Casey Joo who arranged the whole medley made the entire performance very, very good.

Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography
Credits to Aldwin Lee Photography

The final ensemble for the first-half of the concert was the a cappella group, comprising of mostly non-vocalists. Don’t be fooled by their majors – they sang like angels and they made people laugh for the entertainment they provided! Kudos to the choreographer who made Mr. Bean “appear” like how he did in the actual show… and whoever that came up with the ideas of having the Bananas in Pajamas to frolic on stage — *two thumbs up ** Though, it’s funny how this is called the “a cappella group” when, in the middle of the arrangements, some went to grab instruments and started to play. I’m not complaining – they weren’t bad – just maybe called themselves a different name. It was so awesome to see them perform Sesame Street, Spongebob Squarepants, (my favorite), The Addams Family, and Little Lulu in such a hyper way!

** Read [FEATURE] Once upon a Toon — the aftermath (Part 2) HERE **

This article was written by Chiang Yen Min, 3rd  year student of the B. of Contemporary Music program.

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