Video Games Live

On Sunday night I went to see VideoGamesLive, a concert where a live orchestra is playing music from video games. I’ve been wanting to go for a long time, ever since Roxy and Mike told me about it in early 2007. I had tickets for last year’s performance, but I got sick the day before and I was in no condition to go. I had to wait another year and a half for them to come back to NYC, so I got tickets as soon as I could, over 6 months ago.

We ended up going a large group – 12 people. I enjoyed the concert – the crowd, not so much – but I wish they’d played some favorites of mine (that I missed last year) like Civilization or God of War. Still, I have to say I discovered new beautiful music like the theme from Chrono Cross (here’s live in the second half of this video) or the Halo suite.

Other highlights were a pianist who could play blindfolded most of the themes form classic videogames (Mario, Zelda, and the like) and a Guitar Hero performance (on Expert), played on the big screen. Also, during the play of One Winged Angel (the boss fight theme from Final Fantasy VII) they had a nice montage of cosplay.

You can find my pictures in this SmugMug gallery. There’s a ton of videos on YouTube of the event (i.e. this one: part1, part2). For more info, here’s the NY Times coverage of the event.

Now I go back to replay for the hundredth time the Chrono Cross theme, acoustic version.

The Lord of the Rings Concert

Many months ago I found out about an upcoming concert: the music from Lord of the Rings performed live to film by an orchestra and chorus. I’m a big fan of movie scores and soundtracks – I have quite a collection of them, especially by composers like Hans Zimmer, Mateo Pascual, John Williams and Howard Shore. All three Lord of the Rings movies are in there, so going to see this live was a no-brainer.

I had two tickets – figured I would have someone to accompany me by now – but when that fell through I invited a friend to join me. Some colorful characters were in front of the theatre, including a Gandalf (who had to leave his staff at the coat check Smile ) and some hobbits. I read that even Stephen Colbert was there.

The concert was absolutely great. They played the whole first movie (theatrical edition) with only the voice and fx tracks – the latter wasn’t very loud, so the music and voice was always over it. The solo parts were especially beautiful, as well as the chorus. The only disappointment was that people kept clapping when the credits started – at the names of the actors – while “May It Be” was being played. I understand you like the actors – I do too – but we went there tonight for the music. Clap after that finishes.

Radio City Music HallWe had pretty good seatsGandalf picking up his staff from coat check :DAnyway, it was a great experience. I’ll go next year when they’ll do the same thing for the second movie.