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2.15.2008

Video Games Live


We went to see Video Games Live last night. It's a concert event that combines a live orchestra and choir with electronic accompaniment and video and lighting elements. It was a lot of fun, and I think the whole family enjoyed it.

The show opened with a classic games medley. It built up starting with the sounds from Pong, and then progressed through about 10 games by era. The video on the big screen was clips from these various games set in tune to the music. I remember seeing Pong, Joust, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Defender, among others.

The rest of the night was mainly arrangements of the themes from major series. They would show video from all the games in a series along with a composition of the major theme songs from that series. The lighting moved in sync with the video and music, and would change colors and patterns to match the tone of the piece. The longer "series" arrangements were: Metal Gear Solid, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Medal of Honor, Kingdom Hearts, World of Warcraft, Halo, Super Mario Brothers, Castlevania (it was the encore piece).

There were a few audience participation bits thrown into the middle of the show. They brought out one kid who had selected by a local TV station. They told him he would have to play Space Invaders on stage. The catch was that they gave him a fire button and put him in a shirt with the Space Invaders tank drawn on the back. He had to run left and right underneath the giant screen to control the tank. He really was awful at it. Of course, I think they tried to pick younger audience members so that they wouldn't know the classics.

During the second act they did a similar game, but instead had two younger audience members play Frogger versus each other on the screen. They got to use normal controls, and as they played the orchestra adapted the theme to match the action on screen. Both kids stunk on ice at Frogger and won the consolation prizes.

I was suprised that they brought Martin Leung, the "Video Game Pianist". He's the kid from the YouTube "Mario Piano" videos. He played an arrangement of the Final Fantasy X theme, and came back in the second act and did his blindfolded version of the classic "Super Mario Brothers" theme. He then took the blindfold off and performed the more upbeat theme from "Super Mario World" and then halfway through did the "time's running out" sound and doubled the tempo.

The show closed with the "One Winged Angel" theme from Final Fantasy VII. (Sephiroth's theme). I honestly have never been that big of a fan of that song, but it was kind of awesome to hear a whole orchestra perform it. They then came back and did an encore of what they claimed was a new arrangement of the Castlevania series. That was really cool!

I was a little disappointed that they were not able to use any Square-Enix video due to copyright reasons. (SQUENIX - lighten up!)

It was a fun night. Even my wife, who is not a gamer, had a good time and recognized a lot of the music.

1 comment:

  1. I was going to ask you how it went, but obviously you updated your post. Sounds like it was fun.

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