Yesterday I went to Video Games Live which is a live performance of video game music complete with full orchestra and choir, plus the guy who can play Super Mario Bros on piano blindfolded. Despite some technical issues I had with the show it was a lot of fun and there were times I had chills listening to some of the best video game music has to offer.

At the beginning of the show there was a video game montage that started at pong and went through around Donkey Kong. Any time you have a montage of anything whether it’s movies or video games it’s an instant geek off event. The guy behind me wasn’t doing so well. I could almost maybe understand him mistaking Final Fight for Streets of Rage, but Double Dragon??? Even worse, it was NES Double Dragon!!!

The technical issues the show I thought were the fault of the theater. It was at the Beacon Theater which is a theater but not necessarily one built for orchestral performances. So they had microphones and large speakers for the show and also some live camera footage projected mixed in with game footage. The problem was the live footage had a delay which made it not quite sync with the performance. Also, coming out of the speakers it sounded so much like a recording, at first I wasn’t enjoying it as much because it didn’t feel so live. Some of the bigger choral pieces like their Warcraft Suite and Halo were a lot bigger and better, but still at times it didn’t feel so “live.”

Also it became clear during their performance of Chrono Cross that they had someone doing sound mixing during the performance. The reason I could tell explicitly there was there’s a moment in the theme song when it’s just a violin playing. For this show they also had a flutist playing that song but you could clearly see the concert master violinist playing too but she couldn’t be heard at all. Also the latter songs featured the creator of Video Games Live performing on guitar and often the guitar completely overpowered the orchestra which I felt was kind of a shame.

All that aside it was a great show that I would gladly see again. This performance they added in Shadow of the Colossus, but I wish they dedicated just a little bit more time to it.


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