Genshin Concert Los Angeles highlights the best parts of gaming communities

Genshin Concert Los Angeles highlights the best parts of gaming communities

The Genshin Concert came to Los Angeles on Sunday night, attracting thousands of Teyvat’s fans from all over. Online gaming communities can have a bit of a reputation for being toxic, and Genshin Impact’s is no exception. In person, though, that shadowy cloud of internet hostility didn’t hang over the theater as we congregated around our favorite game and an orchestrated celebration of its music.

Fast Traveler

HoYoverse kindly provided me with a ticket to the concert, so I hurried on over to the Peacock Theater and arrived at the venue about half an hour before the doors opened. This was fairly late, and a sizable crowd had already gathered in a sea of intimidating lines. Some were just here for the merchandise, having waited for hours to buy official concert gear. Many were wearing Genshin-themed clothing or accessories, with some decked out in full cosplay. It may have been a bit chilly, but Yelan fully committed to her cosplay and absolutely rocked it.

I started chatting with the people in front of me in line. They were a group of three, one of whom had traveled all the way from Arizona to be here. They asked me who my main was (Venti), when I started playing (since launch), and whether I was up to date on the Archon Quests (mostly). I overheard similar conversations around me. Concertgoers got to know their neighbors through discussions on favorite characters, events, and other Genshin-related topics.

Once the doors opened, it was a mad dash for two additional merchandise stations set up inside, and the lines filled quickly. Two employees in a sea of cardboard boxes frantically tried to serve as many people as possible before the concert started. I got lucky, barely snagging some merch before I took my seat.

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The concert begins

The concert began with pieces from Mondstadt, starting with the main theme and taking us through Dragonspine and Dawn Winery. Scenes from the game flashed on three large screens, punctuated by close-ups of the orchestra as they played. 

After a brief intermission, we moved on to Liyue. The audience yelled when Zhongli appeared on screen for Rex Incognito, a major fan favorite. After another intermission, we heard pieces from Inazuma and Sumeru. Raiden Shogun’s theme was adapted to better suit the orchestra, toning down some of its harsh trap elements but remaining punchy. We didn’t hear much of Sumeru’s music, but the audience roared to life again as Port Ormos’ theme began to play.

Unlike some of the performances in Asia, the Genshin Concert Orchestra didn’t feature many ethnic instruments that are integral to creating the unique sounds for each of Genshin Impact’s nations. The Genshin Concert Orchestra playing for the American and European leg of the tour appears to be much smaller than Shanghai’s orchestra, which featured a full choir and more diverse instrumentation. I did see one woman playing the guzheng and filling in for other instruments as best as she could.

We also appear to have missed out on a few fan-favorite songs that HoYoverse offered in other locations, perhaps because of the limited orchestra. I would have loved to hear more of Sumeru’s music in general, even if parts wound up pre-recorded.

Image by Destructoid

Aside from the excited but generally respectful cheers, there were a few disruptive callouts during the songs themselves. One particularly amorous fan screamed, “MY WIFE!” as soon as Ayaka appeared on the big screen. Perhaps they were emboldened by being in a crowd of like-minded people, but come on, guys. We’re better than this.

There were also a few people doing public pulls during the intermissions. They logged into Genshin Impact on their smartphones and held them up so that people in the rows behind them could see the screen. We then watched as they pulled on the current rate-up banners. Judging from the congratulatory cheers that erupted around them, one person appeared to have gotten what they wanted. Another lost his 50/50 to Keqing, and we consoled him for his loss.

This is the best part of gaming communities — despite all the drama and in-fighting, we share an adoration for Genshin that’s unifying. Thousands of fans were able to come together in person and enjoy being with others who played the same game. It’s hard out there to find friends with similar interests, and the Genshin Concert was a great environment for fans to unabashedly express themselves. Who knew the Genshin community could be so wholesome?

The concert ended with a bit of trolling from the conductor, Eric Roth, who took a bow and walked off-stage as if the show was over. He returned a moment later to play us a few Fontaine songs, and after one final round of applause and cheering, the concert was truly over. It took a moment for most people to realize everything was said and done, but it was. People eventually started making their way outside, laughing and smiling as they started the journey home.

If you weren’t able to make it to the concert, Zy0x posted a completely accurate summary of events on Twitter. I was there, and I can vouch that everything mentioned in the thread is 100% true (it’s not). Okay, but even as something tongue-in-cheek, the thread’s tone and spirit are totally indicative of the Genshin Concert crowd experience.

Even if Venti himself didn’t make an appearance, I was absolutely thrilled with my experience at Genshin Concert 2023. With some luck, maybe I’ll see you at Genshin Concert 2024, and we can discuss our favorite characters while braving those endless lines as a community.

Christine Choi

Freelancer – Christine has been gaming since she first stole her brother’s Game Boy as a kid. She’s come a long way since then and has been creating content for Genshin Impact since 2021.

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