I Choose You! Pokémon fans take trip down memory lane with video game concert at Hammersmith Apollo

Pokémon fans prepared for trouble, and made it double at the Hammersmith Apollo on Sunday night.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions celebrated the video game series with its European premiere at the London venue and featured a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Susie Benchasil Seiter.

Hannah, 19, travelled all the way from Rotherham to watch the performance, which she found out about from YouTuber GameBoyLuke.

The internet broadcaster has more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers and creates Pokémon gameplay videos.

She shared her excitement about watching the first European performance of the show with SW Londoner.

(NOT SO) MELLOW YELLOW: This fan wore a cosy-looking Pikachu onesie

“Travelling through the Pokémon history gave me goosebumps,” Hannah said.

“It was a magical and sensational blast through the past to present.

“It’s an experience I will never forget, it made me cry, laugh it was such an amazing night!”

The crowd at the concert was mixed, from Pokémon cosplayers to 20-somethings re-living their Gameboy-dominated childhoods.

Among the sold-out audience was third place I’m A Celebrity contestant George Shelley.

After enjoying the concert, the Union J singer posed on stage with one of the cellists and chatted with eagle-eyed fans who spotted him in the front row.

Various scenes from all six generations of the Pokémon games were played alongside the two-and-a-half hour musical performance, beginning with the original Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow and ending with the most recent Pokémon X and Y.

pokemon pikachu Kelly ValeriusHAT’S A BIG FAN! One woman dons a Pikachu woolly cap at the concert

The performance began with a slow procession of start screens from each of the games released since 1998 and the atmosphere was palpable as the orchestra played through the first score.

Each piece was matched to some of the most iconic scenes of the video game, and it was obvious how each generation of the game had influenced the compositions.

The first score included beginning scenes from the original game and there were deafening shouts of approval when Charizard was chosen during the first scenes of Pokémon Red.

Susie lead the audience through each generation at lightning speed and the Philharmonic Orchestra were met with a standing ovation after playing to the final scenes of Pokémon X and Y.

PokemonSymphony-0041 Kelly Valerius ed
FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY: This small fan cuddles a Pikachu teddy

Of course, the performance wouldn’t have been complete without a rendition of Gotta Catch ‘Em All and there wasn’t an audience member who didn’t at least attempt to sing along to the iconic theme tune.

The night ended with a karaoke version of of Kiseki, the Japanese word for ‘miracle’, which plays during the end sequence of X and Y.

As well as enjoying the performance, fans had the chance to chat to Susie, Chad and Jeron during an after-show poster signing.

Although the line looped all the way around the balcony of the Apollo, people were still keen to get their posters signed by the creative minds behind the symphony.

pokemon poster signing Kelly ValeriusKEEN FANS: Both adults and children queued to get their posters signed

It’s clear from its international success that the symphony was exactly what Pokémon-lovers were hoping for, and it’s no surprise that the performances are officially endorsed by The Pokémon Company.

The premiere UK performance follows sold out performances in American cities including Los Angeles and Houston.

Music featured in the symphonies was composed by Chad Seiter and the animation was conceptualised and directed by Jeron Moore.

Chad Seiter has previously provided arrangements and orchestrations for Hollywood projects, including Star Trek and Mission: Impossible III.

Jeron Moore has also worked on video game symphonies in the past, and produced Play! A Video Game Symphony using orchestral performances from titles including Halo, World of Warcraft and Super Mario Bros.

Pictures courtesy of Kelly Valerius, with thanks

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