Chrono Cross Anniversary Tour

My absolute favorite video game soundtrack of all time is from Chrono Cross. It was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and had the perfect blend of atmosphere, mystery, and comfort. It perfectly complemented the dreamy and whimsical world of Chrono Cross.

This year is the 20th Anniversary of Chrono Cross, and to celebrate Mitsuda has gotten his band together to give a live tour of the Chrono Cross soundtrack. It will be performed 5 times in 3 cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Tickets were not so cheap at 16800 (equivalent to $168), but it would be an absolute dream to hear my favorite video game music performed by the actual creator of the music. Easy buy.

Morning of the Concert

Prior to the concert, I met up with someone from the Internet who was also attending. We had our tickets reserved, but had to go to the venue early to actually get our tickets. Additionally, I wanted to visit the venue early because the merchandise booth was going to be open, too.

We went to the venue around Noon and waited for it to open. Plenty of other people were there, too. At 1:30pm, doors open but only a few people were allowed entry at a time. We eventually made it in at 2pm.

At the entrance, we gave our reservations to the clerk, and they gave us our tickets. Inside were only a few people, and it was a line for the merch booth that curved around the room.

My goal was to purchase the concert towel for the event. In Japan, almost every concert or tour has a towel associated with it. It's kind of like a band's tour T-shirt in America. Tell 'em where you've been by buying a towel. The towel was 1800 and I bought some stickers, too, for 1000. The tickets included a pamphlet of the concert, so I didn't buy that. Minutes after I purchased the towel, they were sold out, so I was able to get one in the nick of time. :)

We went back to my car to dump off our stuff, got some lunch, and went right back to the venue for the evening concert.

The Concert

We probably got back to the venue at 3pm or 3:30pm, and waited in line again. When the doors opened at 4pm, they were letting people in by sequential order of their tickets. Each individual ticket number was checked and let in by the order of when their tickets were purchased. You'd think this would take forever, but it went pretty quickly. We made it in around 4:30pm, and the show began around 5:15pm.

The venue was tiny. Capacity was probably 1000 people? (as long as they were all smashed together) WAYYY smaller than the Tokyo or Osaka venues. It was nice, though. Much more intimate.

The band members took the stage in darkness, tuned their instruments, and the opening sequence for the concert began to play on the screen behind them. The dreamy motions of the title of screen of Chrono Cross. It detailed the preamble of the story. And then, the heavy reverberations of the guitar being plucked as Scars of Time began, which moved into the light Flute.

It was incredible. It completely opened up my mind to hearing this music for the first time around 20 years ago when that first trailer dropped on the Internet, and when I imported the game on Playstation.

Mitsuda quickly introduced himself and the band as they played the opening menu music to the game. As "New Game" was selected, they played the battle music, which is how the game starts.

Overall, they played through the entirety of the game on the screen, and played the entirety of the soundtrack to accompany it. I wrote down a rough setlist of what they played:

Main Set
1. Chrono Cross - Scars of Time
2. The Dream that Time Dreams
3. Garden of God (Title Screen)
4. Between Life and Death (Battle Music)
5. Arni Village - Home World
6. Arni Village - Another World
7. Fields of Time - Home World
8. Lizard Dance
9. Termina - Another World
10. Forest of Illusion
11. Viper Mansion
12. Gale (Boss Music)
13. Victory (A Gift of Spring)
14. Guldove - Another World
15. Fortress of Ancient Dragons
16. A Narrow Space Between Dimensions
17. Dead Sea / Tower of Destruction
18. Prisoners of Fate
19. Magical Dreamers
20. Zelbess
21. Fate - The God of Destiny
22. Burning Orphanage??
23. The Girl who Stole the Stars
24. Frozen Flame
25. Dragon God?? (Explanation for Elements. Screwing up, then Game Over)
26. A Light for Lost Hopes (Game Over music)
27. Life - Distance Promise (Elemental Song)
28. Radical Dreamers - Unstolen Jewel
29. Fragment of a Dream

1. Song to get Mitsuda back on Stage
2. Band Members Introduction Song
3. Voyage - Another World??
4. Voyage - Home World??
5. Marbule - Another World

It wasn't like they just "played" the soundtrack to Chrono Cross. All of these were live variations of the original score. They deviated and mostly improved upon what they had before, and were able to match the crowd's reactions as they played. Much of the concert felt very interactive and Mitsuda explained a lot of his feelings and ideas for each song through the concert.

As the concert finished, there were credits on the screen, too. I have never been to a concert before with a credits screen.


Concluding the show, this was all the stuff I came away with. I grabbed some of the heart confetti that were shot in the air during the concert, my light stick, and the things that I purchased earlier. Also included is a book of artwork we received as part of our ticket purchase. We also got a flame pendant, too, but that's not pictured here.

Again, it was absolutely incredible and a dream come true to see, hear, and feel the music that has shaped my music tastes in video games. It was super dorky to rock out to RPG battle music. It was moving hearing Scars of Time and the other intro song live. And it was fun getting the audience to work together with their colored glowsticks to get the elements in the right order to get the true ending of the game/concert.

Mitsuda created an amazing concert, and with all of the production that went into the lights and video on display, I understand where the $168 price tag came from.

Update - January 27th, 2020

With the conclusion of 2 additional final dates in Tokyo, Mitsuda has released an official set list from the concert.

They also made an Apple playlist as well, so you can hear the music from the soundtrack.

Update - February 12th, 2020

In a tweet, Mitsuda mentions that the final Nakano performance was recorded, and he is in the process of mastering the audio.

Update - February 27th, 2020

As part of our ticket purchase, we were to receive a concert booklet of the event. We received an art book, but it was pretty short and didn't include anything about the concert itself. We filled out a card in order to receive this booklet later.

I got mine in the mail today.

Calling this thing a booklet doesn't do it justice. In fact, this thing is thicker than most pre-order bonus art books. There are tons of photos from each of the events, interviews, sheet music, and logo designs. Almost all the production that went into planning the concert is included in the book.

This was BY FAR the most production value I've ever seen packed into a single musical event. In the beginning, it seemed like the concert was a huge expense, but it's clear how much love and care went into the event. Mitsuda clearly loves his music for Chrono Cross as much as his fans, and he loved this experience as much as we did.

It's an incredible memorial of the event.

Update - June 24th, 2020

This is the concert that keeps on giving. Today, Mitsuda and Procyon Studios released their recording of the final concert in Nakano Plaza. For only 1800 on Mora, you could download the complete concert in FLAC format.

I have been listening to this nonstop on repeat at work while I check student's writing. It's absolutely incredible to be able to relive this concert again and again.

Update - January 25th, 2021

Everyone said it was going to happen, and today Procyon and Mitsuda announced a live Bluray release of the final concert performance at Nakano plaza.

I purchased the limited edition version of the Bluray which comes with a download for an arrangement album of Chrono tunes, and some extra stuff. This cost a total of 14100, which is a lot for a Bluray, but this'll be the very last Mitsuda can ring out of me from the concert. 14100 for the bluray, 16800 for tickets, and 2800 for merch. This totals 33700, or about $337.

It was totally worth it, though.

Update - April 15th, 2021

The preorder for the Bluray concluded on March 1st, and 6 weeks later, I was finally able to catch my deliveryman and get my Bluray.

It includes a full Dolby 5.1 surround sound experience of the concert with absolutely crisp audio and a full video recording of the event, too.

Also included is a short pamphlet of photos from the event, and a download code for the arrangement album. This arrangement is okay. I don't think it's as mind-blowing as the actual concert, but it's still a great listen. Much more low-key, too.

…And now, finally the saga is concluded. An absolutely amazing concert with many ways to relive and cherish those memories.

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