Organised for Sonic fans by the Sonic fans at Summer of Sonic team. The hugely successful Kickstarter event, Sonic Adventure Music Experience, was held at The Garage in London on 8th December. The band wasted no time, being introduced one by one, there was Act. on drums, Takeshi Taneda on bass, and Jun Senoue (half of Crush 40) on guitar. Without a second to lose, the band just dropped into it as people were still making their way in.
Hit after hit, the band bounced from one track to the next, with seamless transition. Despite the name, the setlist contained tracks from games beyond Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 to include remixes and original tracks featured in Sonic Team Racing. Each piece was accompanied by gameplay footage of the matching level, which for the adventure tracks was someone playing the levels over trailers, and the Team Racing pieces did have more trailer style clips. Enhanced by Jun’s guitar being Sonic themed for most of the night, then Shadow for the Shadow the Hedgehog related tracks. The reaction to every song was enough to confirm how special the setlist was, with strong reactions with each tracks, particularly Eggman’s theme and “Welcome to Station Square” from Sonic Adventure 1. The organisers had some input with the setlist, suggesting two of their favourites, which felt like a shared special moment with the crowd.
After the first few songs, the band were warmed up and had a more natural on stage, reflecting the energy in the room that escalated at the same rate. Being honest, at times it didn’t feel like a soundtrack concert, just a straight-up rock concert with the crowd singing along to the guitar melodies in place of vocals. There was even a bit of comic relief between the crowd and the band, particularly with the name drop of Big the Cat lead to an improv performance of Lazy Days. The small venue worked wonders to create and foster a special connection between the band and the crowd, a fun and unifying atmosphere for everyone in the room. This was only enhanced during the last couple of songs, where special guest, Miles Meakin (a Sonic fan and member of Midnite City) adding an extra guitar into the mix. Where before this it was pretty solid, really strengthening the rhythm providing a hard and full sound. Where the trio did give a solid performance, personally it filled in a gap and these were the best tracks of the night.
Ending on a high, after an hour and a half set, the crowd demanded more with a traditional one more song chant. As if it was already planned, the band came back out starting off with a Happy Birthday song for Act., again bringing that unity to the room between the band and crowd. To end the night in style, despite the lack of vocalist, they played the iconic City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2. Filling in the vocals with a track but the crowd were enough for the vocals, everyone used up the last bits of the voice they had left. It was a great way to end a truly special night and hopefully, the hinting to another show in the UK will be sooner than later.