Aural Postcard: Video Games Live

This was my first Video Games Live. Even though I went to a Final Fantasy – themed concert, I hadn’t been to VGL. Wow! What a great, fun, interesting event. Where do I begin – the demographic of 80% pimply teenagers filling the Queen E Theatre, the guitar hero competition in the lobby, the whistling and cheering the orchestra, even while it is playing, the Mulroney-esque smarmy host, riling up the audience, the appearance of a Fender Stratocaster and an amplified acoustic guitar. Best of all – the audience collectively chanting the Mario theme song: “Bap, bap bap….ba-ba-ba-ba….bababa-baba-ba-bababa.” Nothing like a full house of gamers roaring a Mario tune, screaming at the beginning of each song.

Annotation: the usual – i Phone recording, dB reading on (bad quality) iPhone picture.

Narrative: One of the really amazing moments was a live segment where two players from the audience were called on stage to play a game live – and get sonified by the orchestra, in real time! In other words, they played Frogger (my *fave* game of all time) and the orchestra played a symphonically-mastered version of the game soundtrack, trying to stay true to the actions on the screen. The audience was wild – screaming encouragements, booing loudly when a player lost a frog, cheering ecstatically when they scored a point. The culmination was when the girl gamer scored her last frog on the split second, winning the game level with standing roaring ovation. Historic….in so many ways!

The other amazing moment was another live segment where the winner of the lobby GH competition came on stage and performed a song live with the guitar controller, accompanied by the symphony orchestra, while the host of the show played the solo on an electric overdrive. It is obvious but I’ll still say it – the mixing of acoustic music and amplified music and canned game music was a delicious simulacric experience 🙂 Nomnom.

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