Opinion: Video Games Live rocks Dublin
After six years of waiting, Video Games Live finally returned to Dublin on Saturday, 3rd April, and I was fortunate enough to attend the concert that pays homage to video game music. Video Games Live appearance in Dublin was the closing act for the “Dublin International Games Music Festival” that was held in the Convention Center Dublin.
As a person who enjoys listening to video game music I was more than a little excited for this event, and honestly I found my excitement to be more than justified. Experiencing some of the best video game songs being played by a live orchestra, the orchestra were the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, was amazing as you could not only hear the music, but feel it echo through the concert hall.
To add to the amazing music and orchestra was a cast of amazing conductors. The concert’s main conductor Eímear Noone, who has worked for Blizzard as a conductor for more than ten years, was amazing. Her passion for the music she conducted during the show was obvious to see as she gracefully lead the orchestra. While Eímear was the main conductor on the night, she brought a few friends, including Emmy nominated composer, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, fellow Blizzard composers Russell Brower and Neal Acree, and finally and by no means least Christopher Tin, the composer of the Grammy Award winning theme song to Civilization IV, Baba Yetu (Tin is the first ever video game composer to win a Grammy). Just like Eímear each one of the guest composers really showed their passion for their art.
The conductors and orchestra weren’t the only fascinating people on stage as vocalist, Jillian Aversa took to the stage to sing “Tetris Opera”, which was a fantastic experience
Another man who wooed the stage was the creator of Video Games Live, Tommy Tallarico who during the show took to the stage to lend his guitar playing talents to a few songs. Tommy also walked away with the biggest oops moment of the night as his over enthusiasm got the best of him, and a misstep saw him falling to the ground, but being the performer that he is he continued to play while he laid on the ground. When the show ended I managed to catch up with Tommy and asked him how he was feeling after his fall, and he jokingly responded by saying “Well people told me to go out and break a leg before the show, so I took them literally.”
Since the show was all about video game music, what songs and from what games did they play? Well the songs on offer were from: Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid, Sonic, Final Fantasy 8, Mass Effect, Tetris, Skyrim, Kingdom Hearts, Earthworm Jim, World of Warcraft (this included my personal favourite song: Invincible), Civ 4’s Baba Yetu, Street Fighter 2, Legend of Zelda Melody, Mario theme (no orchestra), and finally Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. While there were a good number of songs played, over 2 hours worth, I felt that the opportunity to play music from less popular games was missed, for example I personally would have loved to see some indie games represented or some of music from “Journey”.
To break up the action, every segment ended with short video game videos. These videos consisted of short video game cross over jokes that included: GTA x Frogger and Sonic x Pac-Man, and towards the end the videos were top 10 clips of “Worst Video Game voice acting” (as you could likely guess a lot of them were games from Japan) and “Worst Video Game title”.
These non-music segments were a great idea as it meant that the audience could be entertained while some setting up for the next round of songs could be done.
Despite how great the concert was there one or two minor issues. These issues consisted of bouts of silence while one of the composer had to setup his/her notes and headphones, and another minor issue was that I happened to notice some backstage chatter accidently go over the speakers, this chatter was very brief and could be barely heard, but as a person who has operated sound equipment for live and recorded broadcasts I understand accidents like this can happen from time to time. As I said at the start of this paragraph, the issues were minor and it didn’t seem to cause any major disruptions.
In the end Video Games Live was an amazing concert to attend, but what made it even more amazing for me was the broad range of people in the audience. There was a mixture of young and old, all of which left with smiles on their faces. In the end the concert showed that video game music could be enjoyed by both video game fans and non-fans alike.
If Video Games Live ever visits a town near you I highly recommend attending as it is a treat not to be missed. To find out if/when Video Games Live is visiting your country, please click the following link: http://videogameslive.com/index.php?s=dates.
Before I end this article I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who was involved in the show’s production. You were all super nice and incredibly helpful.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.