What says video game love more then attending the Video Games Live concert? (www.videogameslive.com)
On 08/07/10 while attending Gen Con, I was lucky enough to get a set in the Conseco fieldhouse (www.consecofieldhouse.com), home of the Indiana Pacers. What exactly is VGL? VGL is an event that tours from city to city that utilizes a light show synchronized with video game footage to set a backdrop fora full orchestra and quire playing some of our classic and favorite video game music.
That’s right, we’re talking the sweetness that comes from such epic video game music directly in your face, cranked up to levels that would scare your neighbors dog and send the cops banging on your door. What games? Well the show boasts to have over 60 pieces that it can perform. 18 are chosen randomly and played so the show should be different every time you see it.
Music selections are included from games like:
- Mario Brothers
- Final Fantasy
- World of Warcraft
- Starcraft 2
- Legend of Zelda
- Mega Man
- God of War
- Chrono Trigger
- Chrono Cross
- Shadow of the Colosus
- Guitar Hero: Van Halen
There was even a Guitar Hero: Van Halen competition at Gen Con before the concert where the winner got to come up on stage and play the game while the orchestra played at the same time. We were also treated to some fun events like a “loading screen” during the break in the show which includes a montage video dubbed “My Video Game Life in 5 Minutes” that showcased a small evolution of games and game play that related to almost everyone that attended. Another guest appearance included a fun skit featuring Laura Intravia “Flute Link” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLa1Eyf08Ew) was fun to watch and listen to. The YouTube video doesn’t give it justice, but now you have a little bit of an idea. The big note about this is that she is such a fan, she created the solo and interactions all on her own. Nice work.
Tommy Tallarico is the man behind the music and is responsible for putting everything together. Heis credited with working on the most video games in a lifetime, 275 and counting. The concert itself wasn’t without its faults though. Tommy got into action for the second portion of the show himself and started playing along with the orchestra with an electric guitar. He nailed Final Fantasy VII’s One Winged Angel from the Advent Children soundtrack with every sweet riff and wham-my-movement that made the song near face melting live. The same could be said for the other songs he was included in save one. Halo 2′s main theme which we all know and love was butchered as he jumped from the main line to what seemed like the base line and back. Those notable sweet riffs that make the song kick so much ass were obviously lacking and made the song feel awkward as his guitar drowned out the orchestra itself. It would have been better if he had not played at all so we could have enjoyed it more.
Another moment involved the orchestra itself being late during one of my favorite songs. During their rendition of the Chrono Cross main theme it was abundantly clear they flubbed over a main crescendo in the song and had to speed up to get back into place. A minor error I can forgive myself if it weren’t for the fact we were told in the beginning that the orchestra was so good, they only needed on rehearsalto nail everything. Oops. The final disappointment that came was the lack of Square Enix game footage. Where as every other game had its own montage of footage, every Square Enix game they played a portion of was notably missing. Instead of seeing the opening scene in Final Fantasy VIII where Squall faces off against his opponent in bloody combat, I got to see close ups of the orchestra playing. Square Enix made up close to 25% of the night’s performance and none of it had video save some cos play pics during FFVII.
But, needless to say the event as a whole was outstanding. I would say that for anyone interested in VGL, they should absolutely go and enjoy the experience as long as they can get in cheap enough. I couldn’t go wrong for the 15 bucks it cost for me to get in. It was even popular enough that there were ticked scalpers right outside the stadium. That fact was only made funnier were as 10 feet later the P.A. system of the stadium blared warnings about buying such tickets. Bring your family, bring your friends, and if you can afford it, get the seats directly on the floor itself. The show can only get better the closer you are to the action.