Video Games Live: The Wolf in Sheep’s clothing

Video Games LiveVideo Games Live is supposedly a concert of epic proportions bringing together video game music and symphony orchestras. This concert was started by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, who are both composers in the world of game design. Since this show was stopping in New York City at the Beacon Theater, I just had to go out and see this, seeing as everyone is talking about it. This seemed to be the perfect Saturday evening activity, seeing as how much I enjoy listening to classic video game soundtracks. However, all was not well, as I was soon set up for disappointment. If you’re ready for my review and rant, hit the jump.

First off, let’s quickly start this off with a moment to think about what you would expect in a video game concert, and what you expect in a concert in general. I want you to hold onto that image as you read this article. Now, seeing as how it was a show based on the music of video games, you would obviously expect the classics to be featured. They were all basically there. We had the medleys of Super Mario Bros., Metroid, and of course, The Legend of Zelda.

Now that we know they are a part of the selections, let’s think about what we could add to supplement those games. How does Halo sound – not too good? How about some World of Warcraft? Maybe some Civilization IV? And for the heck of it, let’s throw in a game that’s not even released, StarCraft II. That sounds perfect, right?

Well, that’s apparently what Tommy Tallerico and Jack Wall consider the epitome of game music compositions. I mean, who would expect any of the classic songs from the Mega Man games to be there? Or perhaps even a medley of Butter Buildings and Fountain of Dreams from the Kirby series? Maybe even some games that most people know for their amazing music like Shadow of the Colossus, Katamari Damacy, or even any of the games from the Chrono Trigger Series.

However, the lackluster choice of music wasn’t the only thing that was bad about the show. Every time Tallerico came out on stage, he took the time to pitch the company responsible for sponsoring them. I don’t even know how many times I heard about Razer and their apparently amazing keyboards and mice. I’m sure all us hardcore computer gamers would love to get our hands on some of them.

The only real redeeming part of the show was YouTube star Martin Leung. He’s the guy who played the original Super Mario Bros. theme on the piano blindfolded. If it wasn’t for him coming on stage and actually playing his Final Fantasy and Super Mario World medleys I would have walked out of the theater, right then and there. Besides his performance, the only real notable parts of the show were the Metal Gear Solid, Ghost and Ghouls, and the Sonic the Hedgehog medley.

Overall this concert felt like a high school auditorium presentation, where the teacher who isn’t hip to the gaming community makes a selection and you end up sitting through it, thinking, “I could have got a better selection.” They also had two random segments where a person from the audience had a chance to win some Razer stuff. Also included were: a cosplay contest, playing Space Invaders through tracking your movements on stage, and two people who could get the high score on Frogger in one minute, 30 seconds. It all seemed very lackluster. If you have tickets, or still feel like attending, I beseech you to not waste your money, just get a refund, or if you’re going to go get the cheapest ones you can get, because in all honesty It’s really not worth it.

I leave you with this, If you had your pick, what would you want performed orchestrally or in a band?

Special Thanks to MuffinGal for the photos.
TheaterMario and Luigi The Weakest LinkCosplay VGL
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An artist from New York. Will has been writing, designing, and loving video games since he was young. He has traveled across the United States, and parts of Canada in order to learn more about the world of gaming. After visiting E3 for the first time in 2009, he has vowed to return there and show off a game of his own. In his spare time he tinkers with electronics, programming, and of course collecting video games.