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February 8, 2009

Ffiinnaall Ffaannttaassyy - The Kitchen 02.07.09

via brooklynvegan from Friday's show. Owen wore a bright yellow shirt on Saturday.

Last night, Owen Pallett aka Final Fantasy and Matt Smith played the last of three shows as Ffiinnaall Ffaannttaassyy. Even if you've never heard of his pseudonym, it's likely that you're still familiar with Owen's other work. A go-to for string arrangements, Owen has worked (and at times toured) with Arcade Fire, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, and The Last Shadow Puppets. But, it is his work under Final Fantasy that really defines him as a must-listen.

As the program described, Owen Pallett and Matt Smith created more dissonant and abstract versions of Final Fantasy's music through some improvisation. With Matt, a Toronto-based musician and composer, Final Fantasy performed music that I could barely believe with my own eyes and ears. For one, Owen is a tremendous vocalist, and his tone was never compromised by whatever complex things he was doing on violin. During the show, I remember thinking to myself, "Is that REALLY his voice? Or is he pulling a Jennifer Hudson at the Super Bowl?" Nope, last night was all real-time, which was clear when Owen made a little slip-up while setting up a loop for "The Great Elsewhere." Behind a table of equipment, Matt Smith manipulated Owen's violin-playing and used samples to make the audience believe that a quartet, or even an orchestra, was performing onstage. It is quite strange when your eyes tell you that what you're hearing just cannot be, but that was the beauty of this show. I have no idea what Matt was doing, but I would really appreciate an explanation for I am very curious about his wizardry.

An experimental performance space, The Kitchen allowed for a unique stage set-up. If you take a look at the pictures on brooklynvegan, you'll see that audience members were invited to move around the stage to experience how the sound changed from location to location. Owen enticed people with organic fuji apples from Chelsea Market, and the opportunity to get up-close and personal with Ffiinnaall Ffaannttaassyy. He also invited offers for his clothes, but people refrained from going there.

Final Fantasy performs with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at a joint show with Grizzly Bear on February 28. Brooklynvegan is under the impression that Owen intends to exclusively perform with orchestras in the future. As much as I am excited to hear Spectrum, 14th Century and Plays to Please with a full backing ensemble, I hope Owen does not abandon his solo shows. He didn't insinuate said intention last night, and the program seemed to imply that Ffiinnaall Ffaannttaassyy (Owen and Matt) will be releasing the forthcoming Heartland, the full-length follow-up to Final Fantasy's last album. So, I'm hopeful that people will have the opportunity to see this duo in its current incarnation.

Friday's setlist is below. I believe it was the same for Saturday, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Setlist (via brooklynvegan)

Random fact: Final Fantasy's last album, He Poos Clouds, is "a satirical song cycle based on the eight schools of magic according to Dungeons and Dragons."

Song Song Song - Final Fantasy

Hey Dad! - Final Fantasy (with Zach Condon of Beirut)

Final Fantasy


wall art on February 28, 2012 at 6:35 AM said...

What a tantalising start!

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