If you don’t know what Video Games Live is, you are seriously missing out. Here’s a description from their official website:
Video Games Live™ is an immersive concert event featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Top orchestras & choirs perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive entertainment experience!
To put it simply… it is AMAZING. I had the pleasure of attending Video Games Live in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 19th, 2007. It’s something that you have to see for yourself to truly experience. You think you enjoy hearing video game music? Well, I’m a huge fan of it and I can tell you that hearing it live just can’t be beat. I don’t want to crowd up the front page, so if you want to read my full report on Video Games Live from two years ago, you’ll have to continue reading. I’ll be heading to Video Games Live in Richmond, VA tomorrow night so I’ll post my thoughts on that this weekend as well.
Also, as a special treat for all of you at WiiNintendo, I will attempt to record the concert with my Digital Voice Recorder and then post the music here! The Video Games Live website encourages you to record it because it’s essentially free publicity and I will take my recorder there. It is pretty good quality (it cost $150 after all), so hopefully it will sound good. If anything, you’ll be able to get a small taste of what I was able to experience.
Okay, so a lot of happened that night and I wrote up a long post for my old blog, NES Online. Here is the full post from there…
So, I told you I would write out a report on Video Games Live. Well, I am. And it’s going to be really long. I’m warning you now. What is contained in this report is pure awesomeness. Let me begin. I went down to Video Games Live with my friends, Andrew and Justin. Neither of them are hardcore gamers, but they have played a few games. Anyways, we get there and there’s a mass of people waiting to get inside. There are a few things to do there so we walk around. I see a group of people wearing the overclocked remix shirt, so I thought they must be from the awesome site, Overclocked Remix (www.ocremix.org). I went up to them and asked if they were from the site, and they were all like possibly. I then told them it was a great site and gave them a thumbs up and then went back to my friends. It was cool meeting them, though it would have been much better if I could have met the crew from Go Nintendo, who will be there tonight. Oh well.
Anyways, they had Space Invader going on a big screen and anyone could play (though there was a long line). I think they had a prize for the high scorer. They also had a Guitar Hero II competition two floors up. We went inside after a while and before the concert started, they brought out the Top 10 costume contestants. The Top 3 was a little girl dressed as Zelda, a guy dressed as a L-shaped Tetris block, and a guy as Megaman. The Tetris guy won, which I agreed with. Then, they played this video of a guy in a pacman suit being chased by guys in ghost suits in the middle of a city. It was hilarious. If I can find it on youtube, I’ll post it for you guys. Oh, and I bought a poster for Video Games Live for $10.
Anyways, now the concert actually starts. First up was a medley of classic arcade games, that included pong, frogger, and loads more. The music went well with the video and I enjoyed it. Oh, and please note that for the rest of the report, I am guessing the order of the songs. I don’t remember the exact order. I believe the second song was from Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid, came up on screen for a short intro and then the music/video began. During the song, a guy in a black suit holding a gun, with an exclamation mark on top of his head (probably something that happens in the game to show an enemy), came out on stage. Soon after, a guy in a crate came on stage (Snake) and moved around a little. It was pretty entertaining.
Then they played music from the game Myst. I had never heard of it so was interested in seeing what it was all about, but I couldn’t tell from the video. It was kind of weird, but the music was good. I believe Tron was in the first half as well. They played music from Tron and it was pretty cool. It really went with the video well and I enjoyed that performance. Advent Rising was another thing they played. There were 3 movements to it I believe. The first was slow, the second was fast, and the third was about medium. I enjoyed all 3 movements and it went with the video really well. The only thing that I thought was odd was the third movement’s video. I couldn’t really tell what was going on all the time.
They also had music from God of War and Civilization IV. Both of them were really good. The videos were really interesting and made me want to see more. The music was captivating and really awesome. I loved the action music played for those songs. And last but not least for the first half was The Legend of Zelda. When I saw Koji Kondo come on screen for an intro, I knew it was either Mario or Zelda. Either way, I was excited. The Legend of Zelda music was my favorite of the night. It was AMAZING. The music sounded so good with the orchestra and it was awesome hearing it on stage. The video took scenes from all of the Legend of Zelda games, including Twilight Princess, which was great. I especially loved when the orchestra played a slow theme and suddenly started building up into the main theme once again. The video went so well with the music at that part especially. After it ended, they had a screen up that said loading Act II, which was pretty funny.
So, after me and my friends walked around for a minute or two, we went back in. I heard some of the people working there saying they were running late and may have to cut a song. Unfortunately, I realized afterwards that they did, and more than just one song cut. Anyways, they played stuff from World of Warcraft, and since I haven’t played it, I didn’t recognize any of it, but the music was great. They did Medal of Honor as well, but instead of using game footage, they used real footage of World War II, which was touching and the music went really well with the footage of the War.
They then brought out a guy named Martin Leung. You may have heard of him as the Video Game Pianist, or maybe as the Blindfolded Pianist. I’m sure many of you have seen him in action, blindfolded, playing the Super Mario Bros. theme on YouTube. Well, he was there to perform, not blindfolded though, a medley of Final Fantasy music. I didn’t recognize the music, but it was amazing. Parts of performance looked like someone hit fast forward on their remote. His hands moved so fast and he jumped a few times in his chair. He was really into the music and it made the performance so much better. It was one of the highlights of the show.
Then they played music from Kingdom Hearts. I was excited, but then they said that they weren’t allowed to use footage from the game, so they used footage from Disney movies. It was still good, but it wasn’t the same. Either way, the music was awesome. They played the main theme and I love that music. It was definitely my 4th favorite from the show. My 2nd and 3rd favorites were at the end of the show, though not the very last one (I’ll get to that song later). Koji Kondo appeared on screen again, and I knew it was Mario time.
This performance was awesome! They used stuff from every Mario game I could think of, except Super Mario Galaxy (though they showed a few seconds from something that kind of looked like it, so I could be wrong). The music was awesome and of course, went really well with the video. I loved the part where they played the underworld theme and they showed scenes of Wario and Waluigi and of Mario swinging Bowser around. It was great. After Mario, they said we had time for one more song and the audience, me included, screamed out Halo. Even though I’m a Nintendo fanboy, I love the Halo music and the games are actually quite fun. So, they played Halo music and it was great. I really liked the main theme part of course and it sounds good. Then the video stopped for a second and another video started, which was a teaser for Halo 3. The music continued and it ended in a big finish that sounded awesome.
But it wasn’t over just yet. They told us that if wanted an encore, we had to wave our cellphones, DS’s, PSP’s, and such around. We did, and instead of an encore, they treated us to a new song. This was the last performance, and it didn’t go so well. I’ll explain in a second. They said these few things to get us going: “The company is Square-Enix. The composer is Nobuo Uematsu. The game is Final Fantasy VII. The song is One Winged Angel” and they started… or not. They were having technical difficulties with the video. So, they just started playing the music. I enjoyed the music, but it wasn’t the same without the video, which sucked, but oh well. And that was the end of the concert.
I just now realized at home that we didn’t hear music from Sonic, Castlevania, the Tom Clancy series, the Lucasarts Medley, and more. My guess is that we weren’t supposed to hear those. I think they switch it up every concert and they sometimes play different songs. They couldn’t have skipped that many songs. So, all in all, I really, really enjoyed it and would love to go see it again. My favorite was The Legend of Zelda Medley, which was pure awesomeness.Everything about Video Games Live, the video and the music and the lights, they all just fit perfectly together. The orchestra sounded amazing throughout the night. I was so glad I could go and I’m glad I made that decision. It’s well worth it. And now to go on YouTube and watch videos of it because I just haven’t had enough.
As you can see, it was an awesome experience and I can’t wait for tomorrow. Two years ago, I got to hear the following music: Classic Arcade Medley, Metal Gear Solid, Myst, Tron, God of War, Civilization IV, The Legend of Zelda, World of Warcraft, Medal of Honor, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Mario, and Halo. I don’t know what songs they will play tomorrow, but I am very excited. Look for my thoughts, and hopefully recordings, sometime on Sunday!