GoNintendo "End of day" thoughts - 4 shows later and VGL still rocks

Holy crap am I tired. It’s going to feel real good to crawl into bed after travelling so much. Thankfully it was the weekend, and there wasn’t much news to catch up on. I will see you guys in a few hours once I actually wake up. Have a great morning everyone!

I have long been a fan of video game music. I believe video game music to be an integral part of the entire experience. A soundtrack can really pull you into game. Music can intensify the mood in any situation. Even with the limited musical abilities of the NES, composers still found a way to make extremely catchy music that perfectly fit the gameplay. Things have come quite a long way since then. Thanks to guys like Tommy Tallarico, we get to see live performances of video game music, played by orchestras no less. I can’t imagine how Koji Kondo (and many other game composers) feels hearing his works performed by symphonies, and watching the masses turn up see it. It really proves just how much game music means to us. The games of today already use full orchestras in their soundtracks, but our roots are within bleeps and bloops. A good piece of music is good not because of the instruments used, but the melodies within. That’s why to this day we all hum the Super Mario Bros. theme. Now we can all join with fellow game music lovers at Video Games Live, a concert that celebrates the works of the industry over the last 25+ years. If you haven’t seen the show already…you absolutely have to.

If you have been following GoNintendo for awhile now, you know that we are no strangers to Video Games Live. This most recent show puts my total at 4 shows attended. Projects like these mean a lot to me, and I see it very important to support them. The best part is that Video Games Live is worth your support and than some. The entire concert series is put together by video game composer Tommy Tallarico. If there were ever anyone to do something like this, Mr. Tallarico is the guy to go to. He definitely knows his game music, having composed some of the most memorable soundtracks we’ve heard to this day. I know my gaming life wouldn’t be complete without his Earthworm Jim creations. Mr. Tallarico does everything he can to get video games recognized as a true art form throughout the world. A project like Video Games Live lets the public know that video games aren’t the same as they were at their inception. Gaming has grown up a lot, and we have with it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to revisit the past. Works from the early days all the way up until current hits are represented. People get to see that games have changed, and hear their compositions in their highest form. Just because early game music started out in a very limited state doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful. VGL helps to show that to old and new gamers alike.

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While the main focus of the concert series is aural, there is another aspect that plays directly into the enjoyment. The goal of VGL is to spread the world of gaming, as I mentioned earlier. There are people attending these concerts that have absolutely no idea about video games. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people come in that haven’t played a game since Pac-Man. That’s why VGL is an extremely visual show as well. For every game that it is possible, Mr. Tallarico puts together a video package to go along with the music. People that never play games get to experience what we’ve known for years. They get to see Solid Snake diving over bridges, fighting off hordes of soldiers, and more. They see how much Mario has changed since his humble arcade start. One of the amazing things is the fact that the live music is perfectly matched to the on-screen action. Drum beats match with the video feed in a seamless manner. As I said, I have been to four shows as has Nicky Hill, and neither of us can really figure out how this is all pulled off without a hitch.

No matter how many times I see the show, I always enjoy it. There’s something about seeing a show like this…hearing the music you love performed live. Every time I hear the Mario medley matched with the video footage, it sends chills down my spine. Some of the musical pieces even make me tear up. You know you are a hardcore gamer when hearing the Star Light Zone theme from Sonic the Hedgehog makes you misty-eyed. It’s the entire experience of the show. Nicky Hill said it best earlier tonight. It has so much to do with enjoying the music/video with the crowd. You really see the audience getting into it, and each song is met with a huge roar of approval. You are in a theater with a massive amount of people that feel the way you do. Many of us have been waiting years for something like this to come along, which makes it so great to see Mr. Tallarico pour so much effort into it. Just thinking of future shows with new song additions and video pieces makes me extremely happy.

You don’t need to be a video game fan to enjoy this show. Chances are if you are reading this, you at least like Nintendo! That doesn’t mean you can’t bring the entire family along for a show. Get your parents to go, show off just why you love games so much. Bring them all the experiences you have as a gamer. Bring your grandparents for a night at the orchestra. Even if they don’t have any idea what video games are, they can enjoy the musical experience alone. At every show we attend we see elderly people all dressed up for the occasion. It puts a huge smile on my face seeing a show like VGL drawing out people like that. If there were ever a way to get people into the world of gaming, this has to be one of the best. It’s like taking the best aspects of video games and condensing them into a 2 hour show. There’s so much emotion coming from the entire VGL team, the audience themselves, the orchestra and choir…it’s hard not to get sucked into the buzz. I am yet to attend a show that I feel wasn’t excellent. I don’t think I will ever see that happening.

Do yourself a favor and find out where and when the next set of VGL shows will be. Go see the next one in your home town, make a road trip out of it and check it out with some friends, drag the family out of the house for something truly unique. No matter who attends, you will all come away with a very enjoyable experience. Do your part to further video games and to let the rest of the public know why this art means so much to you.

A special thank you to Tommy Tallarico, Jack Wall, Becky Young, and the rest of the VGL crew for everything they do for us. We’ve been coming to VGL for quite some time now, and we have no plans of stopping. You’re stuck with us!

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