Video Games Live: A Gamer’s Dream Concert

Let’s face it, being a band geek and a gamer tends to go hand-in-hand.  Needless to say, when I heard about a concert of all video game music two summers ago, I freaked out and promptly bought tickets.


Just a little background on the concert series. It is the lovechild of Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim, Prince of Persia, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Advent Rising, and a bunch of others) and Jack Wall (Myst, Splinter Cell, Jade Empire, and my favorite, Mass Effect). These video game music gods teamed up to bring us, what I consider, the best concert experience possible.

This is a concert event put on by the video game industry to help encourage and support the culture and art that video games have become. Video Games Live™ bridges a gap for entertainment by exposing new generations of music lovers and fans to the symphonic orchestral experience while also providing a completely new and unique experience for families and/or non-gamers.


The concerts aren’t just the normal orchestra concert where you have to sit quietly and listen. VGL gives you a full experience employing video and lighting affects to capture the audience’s attention. Take a look at the trailer. Even though it’s a bit old, it’s still awesome.


Video game music tends to be ignored in the world of the realistic video game. Gamers always talk about the realistic graphics and story, but forget that the music really lends to the full experience of the game. You can’t honestly tell me that you can’t recognize many of the classic games that we all played by a small snippet of the song. Tallarico and Wall take the music to a whole new level. They rearranged many of our favorites into suites (i.e. The Halo Suite, the Mario Suite, the MGS Suite) to be played by an orchestra, sometimes with the accompaniment of a choir and instruments normally not found in an orchestra. And these aren’t your normal rinky-dink arrangements made for a high school band somewhere. Sometimes, they’re even better than the original arrangements. What is really cool is the cooperation that you see from the game companies and composers themselves. Though some companies (*cough* Square Enix *cough*) are total bastards about it and if it weren’t for the composers or evil incarnate, Disney, music from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts couldn’t be included. Over 50 different segments were created for VGL, so just because you went once, doesn’t mean you heard everything. Here’s a short list of the music that’s included:

Mario™, Zelda®, Halo®, Final Fantasy®, Warcraft®, StarCraft® II, Sonic™, Metal Gear Solid®, Kingdom Hearts, Chrono Cross™, Myst®, Tron, Castlevania®, Metroid®, Interactive Frogger, Interactive Space Invaders, Interactive Guitar Hero™, Diablo® III, Medal of Honor™, God of War™, BioShock™, Civilization IV, Tomb Raider®, Beyond Good & Evil™, Advent Rising, EverQuest® II, Mass Effect™, Crysis®, Monkey Island, Earthworm Jim, Pac-Man, Lair, Conan, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Headhunter, Splinter Cell®, Ghost Recon™, Rainbow Six®, Jade Empire, Contra, OutRun, Gears of War, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™, and Classic Arcade Medley featuring over 20+ games from Pong® to Donkey Kong® including such classics as Dragon’s Lair, Tetris, Duck Hunt, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Gauntlet, Punch-Out, OutRun and MANY MORE!

My Experience

This isn’t my first time going to a VGL concert. I went back in ‘07 to one in Houston. Let me just say, these concerts are a place to let your freak flag fly. It’s like going to a gaming convention. You see all different types of characters wandering around. Some left me feeling a bit creeped out and others, I was amazed at the amount of time and detail they put into their costumes.
While the costume contest is a cool part, what made the concert for me was the fact I was surrounded by thousands of other people who were here because they loved video games and video game music. Since I haven’t had the chance to go to a gaming convention, yet… that experience was new to me. And I must say, except of the occasional lack of personal hygiene, it was awesome. I’m a library school student/librarian by trade, so normally the people I interact with, other than the guys here, don’t play or know anything about video games. That’s not saying I don’t work with some major geeks/nerds, because I do, but most of those people are book geeks. So every once and a while, it’s good to get around your own kind, ones that aren’t going to be shocked that when you go home, you play Gears of War (or something like it) to relax.


For all you gamers out there, if you haven’t gone to one of these, check out the Video Games Live website to see if there is one coming to a city near you and GO!!! Even if you have family that are not gamers, they will enjoy this, so take them too! And now, please enjoy the Halo Suite from VGL.


~ by reluctant_gamer on August 13, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: