Over the past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Video Games Live at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse, NY. I had no intentions of going to this concert until about an hour before when friends begged Ryan and†me to go with them. It wasnít that I wasnít interested, I just hadnít planned for it, budget or time wise.
First off, I have to tell you, the Landmark Theatre is gorgeous! The building has been around since 1928, it has some serious history. At the beginning of the show, the MC joked about a ghost that roams the halls of the theatre, so thereís that. Words wonít do it justice, just take a look at this picture:
I wasnít sure what to expect as I had never heard of this concert before. I also am more of a recent gamer. My gaming experience prior to college consisted mostly of Super Mario World on the SNES and Harvest Moon games. Basically, I stuck to the casual games. I was worried I wouldnít enjoy the symphony as much as the older generation gamers would.
I was wrong. I knew about 33% of the games featured during the concert, but I still had a great time. Whenever an unknown game came up, I would just ask Ryan what kind of game it is and if he likes it. †Having a little bit of background information let me enjoy the music a little bit more than I would have otherwise.
We were talking before the show started and listed what games we wanted played or we wouldnít be happy. I listed Zelda and Skyrim, they both have beautiful soundtracks. I was delighted when the fourth or so song turned out to be Zelda themed. Thereís something magical about seeing footage of one of your favorite games on three projector screens while an amazing symphony plays the iconic music live. I canít even explain it. They featured my favorite video game moment of possibly all time during the Zelda song. In Zelda: Twilight Princess, there is this scene where you have just defeated a difficult enemy on horseback on a bridge. The sun is setting in the background and Epona (the horse) rears up while Link swings his sword in victory. I think you need to watch it for yourself:
The host and creator of Video Games Live talked a lot about how people don’t give video games the credit they deserve. I was really shy growing up and I found solace in coming home and popping some Harvest Moon into my Playstation. I spent countless hours escaping to another world where all I had to worry about was watering my crops and foraging in the forest. It’s a similar experience to reading a book, but more interactive and much longer. I must say, one the best parts of a video game is the soundtrack. I bet if I randomly played the Mario theme song, many of you would start singing along and imagining the good old days around the SNES.
Video Games Live was also great about getting the audience involved. We were encouraged to make noise and get excited, something that is unheard of at orchestral performances. Apparently, before the show started, they held a Guitar Hero competition. The winner of the competition got to come up to the stage in the middle of the show and perform a song in front of hundreds of people. I don’t recall what his name was, but the winner from my show was then told he must get a score of 400,000 points to win a prize bag. It was great to have a lavish, historic theatre full of gamers cheering this random guy on as he played Guitar Hero. And yes, he did win. He finished “The Pretenders,” by the Foo Fighters on expert level with 98% accuracy. A lot better than I could do!
I cannot recommend this concert enough. My favorite part of the night was when they played the Skyrim song and my friends and I all sang along. It was great! If you have any interest in video games or just enjoy a fun, interactive concert, you should catch Video Games Live when it comes to town. I know I will be going again as soon as I get a chance!
Seriously, GO GO GO! It was AWESOME! <3