If you haven't heard, there's going to be a huge Pokémon music tour. It will be travelling the country, performing live at various renowned concert halls and venues, and will feature a live orchestra playing the classic Pokémon themes you grew up with. It's okay if you can't contain your enthusiasm, because neither can I. A couple laps around the house usually helps.
Though only two concert dates have been announced as of this writing, you can expect the tour to touch base in cities around the USA if the similar Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Godesses is anything to go by. It kills me that I wasn't able to attend Zelda's live-music debut, and thinking about attending a concert dedicated solely to Pokémon has had me pouring over the soundtracks of its classic games like it's my job. Thanks to this article, it kind of is.
In honor of this great event, we've compiled 34 classic Pokémon tunes from the first three generations of games that we'd absolutely, positively love to see make the cut for the concert. Obviously not all of these will be chosen, but it's a nice pool to draw from if anyone involved with the event happens to be reading. For the sake of sticking with "classic" tunes, generations after Ruby and Sapphire have, for now, been omitted. Perhaps there's enough there for another article down the road.
Without further ado, here are our top classic Pokémon music picks. Think we missed something? Want to share your favorite modern Pokémon tunes instead? Leave a comment and alert your fellow trainers.
Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
This is where it all began! The title theme from the original Red and Blue versions is an anthem most people think of as instantly synonymous with Pokémon, and is found in both the anime and nearly every Pokémon game.
The original Pokémon titles are loaded with classic tracks, from the theme in Professor Oak's lab to the heroic overworld tunes that set the tone for the next 20 years of handheld Pokémon adventures. Not only that, but current series director Junuchi Masuda composed the entire soundtrack by himself! Talk about starting at the bottom (he's since directed every mainline Pokémon title since Generation III).
Welcome to the World of Pokémon!
Who could ever forget their first step into Kanto? Professor Oak certainly gives you a warm welcome.
Pokémon Research Lab/Oak's Theme
His lab is quite the cozy place as well. This tune would kick off the concert brilliantly, and seems a likely inclusion.
Don't forget about Oak's grandson, either. Despite a fondness for the phrase "smell ya' later," Gary becomes less challenging as you develop your Poké-battling skills.
This basic tune plays just north of Pallet Town as your begin your adventure. Simple, yet classic.
Remember that old guy who teaches you how to catch Pokémon? This is where he hangs out. I'm impressed he doesn't dance, what with this song playing all the time.
Though remixed countless times over the years, the original Pokémon Center theme debuted here. Thanks Nurse Joy!
Another heroic overworld theme -- this one should instantly conjure nostalgic memories. And happy tears.
Caverns of Mt. Moon
Zubats! Zubats everywhere! Actually, it was possible to track down a Clefairy here, not to mention a coveted Moon Stone.
Cerulean is where Misty's gym is located, and also home to one of the catchier tunes in the game. Be sure to check out the funk-tastic remix from the GBA remakes too (found below).
"Hey, Red! There's a time and place for everything!" Better not try riding this bad boy indoors.
Ah, Lavender Town. The resting place of deceased Pokémon. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. It's not hard to imagine a full orchestra taking the creepiness (and beauty) of this tune to new heights.
Team Rocket's Hideout
The theme to Team Rocket's hideout is so hectic that just watching real-life musicians try and play it would be entertaining. Hopefully they'd dress up in official Rocket attire.
More inspiring overworld tunes. This stuff is MADE for the big stage.
Recognize that sound? It means a legendary Pokémon has appeared. Some Mewtwo holograms would go along with this nicely at the concert, I'd imagine.
The original version of Cinnabar's theme is nothing special, but check out that remix from FireRed and LeafGreen. WOW! I need to hear that steel drum in real life.
Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions
Pokémon Gold and Silver took music to new heights, and is perhaps the most consistently excellent soundtrack in series history. Not only did tunes gain percussion-like bleeps and bloops, but some even explored harmony and counter-melody in creative ways not always found on the Gameboy hardware.
Many tracks from these games would be fantastic in a live orchestra setting -- keep scrolling to see for yourself.
New Bark Town
All Pokémon starting towns have pleasant, humble tunes, but New Bark's is the most interesting. Bring your Kleenex if they decide to go with this one.
Dark Cave/Ice Path
Both old and new versions of this track are great, but the HeartGold/SoulSilver remix nearly approximates what a live version might sound like! It pretty much speaks for itself.
Another pleasant track that captures the feel-good vibe of Pokémon. The live show doesn't need tons of these, but Olivine's cheery tune would make a fine choice.
Sprout Tower/Bell Tower
These are two seperate tracks, and I've included the HeartGold and SoulSilver versions because they're the ones that got me excited. The oriental vibe is strong, and would sound amazing in a concert hall.
The ultimate trainer anthem. Gold and Silver are home to the best rendition of this track, and some electric guitars up on the big stage would make it that much more awesome. Expecting such a thing may be wishful, however.
Azalea Town/Blackthorn City
Remember those poor Slowpoke trapped in a well? I demand a live Slowpoke dance routine if this song is chosen.
Team Rocket Encounter!
This would be a great one to toss in mid-show and startle everyone in the audience. Rocket disbanded for good after Gold and Silver, but this tune lives on.
Goldenrod is Johto's largest city and a central trade hub, and the music is perfectly suited. Though not a must-have, the tune would make a lovely inclusion (especially the highly jazzed remix).
Every so often a Pokémon tune triggers a strong wave of emotion, and Ecruteak's thoughtful melodies are a fine example.
Ah, one of Gold and Silver's finest overworld themes. It does its job eliciting epicness as well as any.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions
Ruby and Sapphire were the first Pokémon titles to use simulated instruments instead of mere synths, and thanks to the power of the Gameboy Advance, its tunes sound fantastic.
Though the beloved MIDI trumpets of 2003 may sound a bit dated now, we won't have to wait long for an upgrade; the remakes of these games are scheduled for a November 2014 release, and are sure to feature some stellar remixes.
One YouTube commenter describes the nostalgia of Petalburg's theme as "so strong it's painful," and I couldn't agree more. This is a must-have for a Pokémon live concert, and I will weep heavily if it's included.
Another great city theme. The belltones are a nice touch, and the chimes of a live orchestra would suit it brilliantly.
This is the big one, folks. TRUMPETS! Generation III's famous MIDI trumpets are on full display in this track, and hearing it played by real trumpets is probably every Pokémon player's dream.
And here's another tear-jerker. It makes you appreciate both the beauty and sorrow of life, or something. *Sniff*
Water is a big part of the Hoenn experience, so thank goodness the surfing music is enjoyable. Perhaps a 3D simulation of riding an enormous Lapras would be possible? Or maybe a Wailord?
This may very well be the most inspiring overworld tune in Pokémon's repertoire. The fantastic weather effects occurring in-game as it plays are a nice touch, too. My secret base was here!
Spooky! Mt. Pyre may have been a drag to traverse, but its atmospheric tunes would be great live in concert. Definitely get the fog machine warmed up as well.
I honestly hope the concert ends with this track. Then everyone in attendance can conga-line out of the hall, whooping and possibly high-fiving over a common love of Pokémon.