I decided to indulge in the classier of video game arts and go to Video Games Live, the go-to traveling symphony featuring solely video game music. And it was incredible.
There was a great selection. Zelda, Megaman, Mario, Street Fighter, and other staples made appearances, which is to be expected. What wasn’t expected was things like the Tetris Opera, which was extremely well done. A fun arrangement, and a great tribute to the game. Only problem was when people started clapping. Apparently Texas Gamers can’t clap on beat if you held a gun to their heads. Who knew.
At one point they said they were leaving the next song a surprise. Cool, I like surprises. Then the music starts to swell and while most people wait in wonder, a few people (including me) immediately knew what it was. Shadow of the Colossus. Deep…DEEP memories of that game came back. Another masterpiece. You could feel the energy and emotion in the room as each song played, with the wonderful reminiscence of how deep games can affect people.
Skyrim came on at a point and the crowd went nuts. I kind of wished they’d have maybe added in The Dragonborn Comes somehow, but for the sake of time, they did the theme and that’s perfectly fine.
Earthworm Jim got a very long medley…kind of surprising. Not a bad choice, just odd to get that much play time.
Final Fantasy, of course, had it’s presence. However, when he started talking about it, my mind immediately went to “One Winged Angel”. It’s a good song, but right now, it’s my Gangnam Style for VG orchestral concerts. Everyone does it. EVERYONE. So, fine, get it over with.
“We have the choir here to help.”One Winged Angel. We got it. Just go.”And this is the song that defines so much with Nobuo’s work. “One…” So much happening with each instrument! “Winged…” Without any more delay we present the opening… “Ang–wait, what? Opening? “To Final Fantasy 8.” WHAT. They didn’t even play video for it but I guarantee any FF8 fan in the audience was already playing it in their head, note for note, beat for beat.
There was a guitar hero challenge. Guy won. Everyone got free passes to SGC. Awesome. I’ve heard that they try to do something like this at every concert so be expecting some fun with this.
But they got to the end of the concert. I knew they’d do an encore but they hadn’t played Chrono Trigger/Cross yet. I started going through all the other songs they hadn’t done anything from that they could play: Halo, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, their Retro Game Medley…all seemed like bigger, more obvious options. I’ve personally waited over 12 years to hear Scars of Time live. 12…long…years. I’ve been to 4 different VG orchestral performances and not one played Trigger/Cross, so I was crushed. My heart shattered and I was pretty much ready to hear what they were doing for the encore, enjoy it without being upset about going 5 for 5 and never hearing Scars of Time live.
They came out and started talking about how all these other staples…Zelda, Mario, Tetris, etc…they weren’t the most requested piece. I immediately went to Halo or One Winged Angel. Up until the moment they announced it was Trigger/Cross, I was pretty much defeated. They announced it and I immediately felt every part of my body prepare.
Then I cried. A lot. Trigger started it, Cross just cranked up the waterworks. A person across the aisle made a joking comment about it and someone else went “no, dude, you don’t understand how powerful this song is”. For about 6 minutes, I smiled, I cried, and it felt like a lifetime wish had been granted.
Then we all sang Still Alive.
Hands down the best VG concert I’ve been to. Distant Worlds is so serious about it’s music, but this realized how fun and exciting games were, so yeah, hell yeah, make some noise! Definitely returning any time they come back through. Do NOT miss this if it comes to your town.