Monday, March 30, 2009

Video Games Live Austin

This was my second time at Video Games Live Concert, the last time being in Houston. I have to say I enjoyed the second showing but mostly because I appreciate the sound of live music a lot.

They never play the same show twice but have about 60 pieces they pick and choose from for each showing. About 2/3 of the show was a repeat of what I had seen in Houston including Metal Gear Solid, Mario Brothers, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Civilization, World of Warcraft, and Kingdom Hearts. The new stuff I enjoyed a lot was the music from Myst and Halo.

More than anything, it's just so exciting to see other gamers so appreciative of the music and arts. It was also a huge treat to see Jack Wall's daughter performing, she's only twelve but sings like she's decades old. It's amazing.

I will say one thing, these kids today love their Halo. I thought the group of kids next to me were going to have a heart attack when the Halo music qued in. They were clutching each other for dear life....there were almost tears. lol.

There were two highlighst of the show. One was the live skype call to Jason Hayes right after they played Legends of Azeroth. The orchestra and choir was so dead on with the piece that it literally sounded like I was loading up the game.

The second highlight you would have thought would be the concert pianist who played a suite of Final Fantasy songs plus a variety of Mario Brother themes. Nope. It was the 16 year old kid they brought up on stage to play Guitar Hero Aerosmith "Sweet Emotions" on expert mode to win a AMD Dell Laptop. He had to score 200k points in order to win...the catch being obvious projector/game sync discrepancy and the music was played LIVE from stage by the orchestra. When he hit 200k, the audience went wild!

I mentioned the absurdity that a kid playing guitar hero would get more applause than a concert pianist to my friends after the concert. Morgan's boyfriend then pointed out something very true. As far as piano goes, a lot of people have no practical gauge of the difficulty because they've never played before. Guitar Hero, however, more people would have an actual appreciation and understanding as they have all played it before. Interesting, no?

My only critique of the show was that I felt they could have done the video portion of the show more justice. If you're going to use footage of the games as sort of a focal point of the performance, I'd expect the video quality to be a lot better than just a low quality projected image. Cheaply displayed videos sort of detracts from the music, I think I'd rather just watch the orchestra at that point.

Otherwise, great show. I'm glad I was able to catch it again.


Anonymous said...

I went to Video Games Live when it came to Milwaukee, WI and want to go and see it so bad again. It was such a good time and probably one of the first times in a long time I felt like I was with my peeps at an event.
Really need to go to more geek events here.

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