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From the Front Lines: Video Games Live

July 11, 2009

Good morning folks; I have to say I’m glad this is written rather than a video blog, seeing as I completely lost my voice last night.  The question is:  Who is this?  That’s right; it’s the flame war inducing Brandon coming at you with something very different to report.  Rather than report, let me tell you a little story…

Flashback to a few weeks ago.  While perusing through the interwebs, my roommate Matt and I stumbled across something called “Video Games Live” at Wolf Trap in Northern Virginia.  Interest mounting, we clicked into it to learn that it was the National Symphony Orchestra playing some of the greats of video game music.  Please note, neither Matt or I keep up with the gaming media very well, so this seemed completely new to us.  We both admitted that it sounded intriguing, but I had plans for the tenth and Matt didn’t want to spend the money.

Move forward to 7/9.  I was out driving in between locations, trying to obtain information on individuals’ backgrounds; yes, that’s what I do for a living.  I’m an investigator.  No, it’s not nearly as exciting a you’re imagining.  Anyway, between these appointments, I get a call from Matt that goes like this:

Matt:  “Hey, what’re you doing tomorrow night?”

Brandon: “Not a lot; Allison’s working until close, so the group thing got canceled.”

Matt: “Video Games Live…  Lets go; I’ll order the tickets right now.”

Brandon: “Oh, that’s tomorrow?  Uh, sure.”

Matt: “Want to bring beer?”

Brandon: “Oh yes, the perfect man date.”

7/10…  Armed with Bud Lights for Matt and Michelob Ultra Ambers for myself, we headed out to Wolf Trap in the Charger.  Here we were thinking that Wolf Trap, being a national park and what not, would only be slightly full with mainly Asian girls and young children.  Boy were we wrong.  Wolf Trap was at max capacity with every type of person you could imagine.  From hippies to hipsters, mama’s boys to moms, jocks to geeks, thousands of people had thronged to the event in anticipation for the various musical masterpieces there.  While I’d love to go through each song and tell you what it was and how amazing it was, I’ve decided I’d be doing you, the readers, a disservice.  I will say this though:  Every single number blew my mind out of my skull and splattered it across the poor security guard behind me.

On top of music that was beyond words, there was something even greater.  Many there were gamers.  Now, you don’t need to be antisocial to be a gamer, but you don’t have to be social either.  I think it was evident that sometimes gamers can become a social island to themselves as far as in person; however, once brought together, every one had a world to say to each other.  Every single person there had the same childhood memories.  “You played <insert game title> as a kid?  Remember that one boss in the second to last level?”  It was an atmosphere completely open in conversation, even without names given.  Why?  Because no matter how different each person was, there was a unity splayed out through the music of games like Metroid, Chrono Trigger, and Castlevania.  Matt was dressed like the iconic frat guy.  I looked like some bad open mic poet.  One person had more piercings than…  Someone with a lot of piercing.  Another could have lifted me over his head and tossed me at least twenty feet.  Did I mention there were gamer chicks?  Yeah, even those rarities of nature graced the concert.  The point is though we were all unified, remembered childhoods past, and taught each other new ways to enjoy the games and systems we currently own.

So what’s the point of this post?  My normal column is all about bringing on more intellectual thought for video games.  This post?  I say to all of the readers out there:  Go to Video Games Live.  There are over sixty shows this year.  Let alone the music, there is no excuse to miss such an amazing social exchange.  The website is and they have the tour dates listed.  Without consulting the Big Man or Garrett, I will say anyways that TBMAG are 120% behind this production.  In all seriousness, from a guy who’s been to nearly fifty professional concerts of all sorts, this was the best concert I have ever been to.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. namekj permalink
    July 12, 2009 12:24 am

    QQ I wish i found out about this before hand I would have gone to one of the ones in canada! The next clostest one will be in PA or I can go to the one in NY.

  2. Masonvrocks permalink
    July 13, 2009 5:53 am

    Sounds really cool, doubt they’re coming to South america though eh?

    If you have the chance, watch the Tour De Japon Final Fantasy vids on youtube, those songs sound amazing when played in full orchestra.

  3. Celes Leonhart permalink
    July 15, 2009 2:18 am

    Hah: I rush over to the website to check up on any UK tour dates, and all I find, perched at the end, are a bunch of random countries all grouped as ‘TBA’. Success.

    It reminds me though, I think very-much the same for the quarterly anime conventions they host a bus or so away from me. Everyone has this broken expectation to find hordes of reclusive, cliche wizard-robe wearers. In reality I know many of my friends that aren’t even really gamers that are bothering to go, dressed up as Tifa and stuff. These people can be summarised as the most frustratingly social people you can meet too. …and yet I still haven’t been to one. I should really give it a go, I know a few people travel the whole country (and even sometimes internationally) to go to the October con, apparently the best one for some reason. I’m sure it’d actually be a great time (and I can get some Final Fantasy fanboy goods.)

    Coincidentally also, for the first time in my life I’m going to an orchestra next month. Not game related, but it set me back £30 and I’m hoping it’s to be an experience!

    Nice to see an up-beat piece though Brandon, haha!

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