Think music in video games is just random sounds? Think again.
For those who may not know what Video Games Live is, let me explain. Mix video game music played by a live orchestra, add a choir and there you have Video Games Live! This concept was created by video game industry icon Tommy Tallarico. He is a very successful video game composer/television personality, with over 21 years experience in the video gaming industry and has won numerous awards.
At the beginning of the show, attendees have the opportunity to walk around and check out various vendors. This allowed for demos of various games, introduction of products from Microsoft as well as Rogers, and a Guitar Hero competition.
The show is setup with a live orchestra, conductor, and choir. Above them are three screens that will display visuals to go along with the music, or events taking place on stage. The concert itself features the orchestra playing music from a wide variety of games from obscure gems such as Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross, to popular tracks from fan favourites like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Halo. However, sometimes the music can be a mixed bag. The team has to pick and choose which songs they will perform, and not everyone’s favourite will be played. Nevertheless, the production and quality of the music, along with the atmosphere makes even a song an attendee does not recognize very enjoyable.
The show also likes to mix things up. Between songs, short videos were shown on the screens including my personal favourite “Top 10 Worst Voice Acting in Games”, and mashup videos that combine two games for example Mortal Kombat vs Donkey Kong. These videos quickly became a crowd favourite and everyone around me was laughing.
There is a huge emphasis on crowd interaction. Tommy Tallarico encourages attendees to clap, yell, cheer and anything they see fit. Also, there was a live Frogger competition on stage between two members of the audience chosen at random. And it does not stop there, during the Guitar Hero competition mentioned earlier, the winner was able to come on stage to play a song from the game live with Tommy Tallarico on his guitar.
Video Games Live also features the Video Game Pianist himself Martin Leung (http://www.videogamepianist.com). Martin has become a worldwide sensation when his viral video of him playing the Super Mario Bros theme song while blindfolded on the piano hit the internet. The crowd was treated to the pianist playing numerous songs on the piano and even re-enacted the famous video with the blindfold.
Mention has to be given to Laura “Flute Link” Intravia (http://lauraintravia.com). This woman is a tiny powerhouse that lends her incredible voice to lyrics of various video game songs. Laura also performed the routine that caught the creator’s attention, and landed her the spot on the tour. This routine features Laura playing the flute dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda series.
Tommy Tallarico shines as the host, and guitar player. His personality and love for the industry shines here, captivates the audience and makes them as tho they are all part of one gaming community.
Overall, Video Games Live is an experience I will not be forgetting anytime soon. Gamers of all ages can enjoy tunes from classics such as Pac-man right up to tunes from recently released games such as Portal. The production, orchestra, and choir combined with various talents provide a new way to appreciate the music in video games. Video Games Live shows the audience how far along music in the gaming industry has really come.