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Video Games Live – Pittsburgh


I was lucky enough to be able to finally get to a performance of Video Games Live.  This is a concert series that uses the local symphony to play special compositions of video game music from various games across the spectrum.  I was treated by my fiance’s best friend and we piled into a van with a few others and trekked out to Pittsburgh.  The trip was great until we got to one block from the building at which point a detour caused the Garmin GPS to redirect us onto a road that made us travel 8 miles out, do a U-Turn, and drive all the way back.  Luckily we had 3G in the area and I was able to pull up a different GPS map to get us back on track.  We arrived at the Heinz Concert Hall which was a very nice little building, and in spite of the number of people inside, it really wasn’t cramped at all.  Inside, the seating was perfect and we never had to worry about obstruction of view.

One of the interesting things about this event is all the work they do outside of the concert.  There was merchandise of all sorts as well as a costume contest, raffle contests, various little bars, and a guitar hero contest.  At the end of the show they have a little meet and greet as well for anyone to come and meet the performers and so the group can get feedback on the performance.

The concert itself was performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Mendelssohn Choir, led by Jack Wall (Composer for Mass Effect/Mass Effect 2), and MCed by Tommy Tallarico (Composer for Earthworm Jim, MDK and co-creator of Video Games Live).  The performance was fantastic and blew away all my expectations.  The music covered the gambit from Sonic, Mario, Legend of Zelda, Starcraft II, Mass Effect, Halo, and the like.  The two most powerful pieces for me anyway was the massive Megaman Medley that traversed the entire course of the games and the Shadow of the Colossus medley which was just so spectacular that words can’t describe it.

They had a number of really unique events that included pulling two audience members up to play each other in Frogger as the symphony provided the music.  The costumes were really good, and it came down to a guy dressed as a hunter from Left 4 Dead and a kid dressed up as Link.  It was a tough call, but Kid Link won the show and will get to live with an awesome memory the rest of his life.  There was also a really interesting part where they had the guitar hero contest winner come up on stage and play the game while the symphony provided the music.  The guy was actually a really good performer along with being a great Guitar Hero player and was actually the same guy who won the contest last year.

All in all it was just a splendiferous event that I highly recommend anyone with the chance to go see.

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  1. jettwinlock
    February 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    That freaking awesome, I got to hear my school band play some classic video game tunes during a concert before. I always love it when they can turn 8 bit music into symphonies or just different variations on it.

  2. Kahsha
    February 14, 2010 at 1:48 am

    So glad you had a great time! Maybe we can do it again next year… without the gps.

  3. December 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    when it comes to video games, i enjoy playing those that have very nice graphics and story like Plantz and Zombies ‘*-

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