Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions, Hammersmith Apollo

Pokémon was founded in 1995 and is still going strong today capturing the next generations heart and making them want to catch em’all. The Pokémon Company continues to release new games, series and merchandise worldwide. I attended ‘Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions’  a world tour event to celebrate the memorable music from the beloved games which stopped at London Hammersmith Apollo, Sunday 20 December 2015.

Even as I got off the Hammersmith tube I was surrounded by Pokémon cosplayers and people casually wearing the classic Ash Ketchum baseball cap. The show had not even started but I could feel the warmth and excitement from the hundreds of Pokémon fans of all ages, gathered in one place.

I admit I haven’t played the most recent Pokémon games released but when I was younger I was absolutely glued to my Gameboy Colour – Pokémon was the only reason I even owned a console! Throughout my childhood I completed Blue,  Yellow, Gold, Crystal and Ruby along with collecting the trading cards, plushies and everything else Pokémon!
Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions at The Theater
Photo by Kelly Valerius

It was a trip down memory lane as The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Susie Benchasil Seiter, performed pieces across the series’ history; from the original Pokémon Red and Blue, through to the sixth generation Pokémon X and Y.

As the games music is often designed to loop, the original score composed by Junichi Masuda was adapted with new arrangements made suitable for an orchestra. The concert was accompanied by a screen showing game play  which was perfectly in time with the orchestra. It showed the trainers journey from choosing a Pokémon, battling gym leaders across the regions and finding rare legendary Pokémon. The distinct change in animation over the years is incredible and made me question what the animation would look like in 5-10 years time!

The best song of the night was the amazing orchestral version of the Pokémon theme ‘Gotta catch em all’ which we were encouraged to stand and sing along by enthusiastic conductor Susie Benchasil Seiter.

Full of Poké-puns and sing alongs, the performance was great and a nice treat before Christmas!

Full set list below:

Show intro
Pallet Town
Prepare for Trouble (Synth)
Born to be a Champion
Ecruteak City
Songs of the Towers
Ancients of Hoenn
Falling Ashes
End of the Road
Dreams and Adventures
Routes of Sinnoh
The Lake Guardians
Pokémon Center
The Day I Became King
An Eternal Prison
Welcome to Kalos
Professor Sycamore
Fights and FInales
Gotta Catch’em All