Game Music

BlizzCon 08: Closing Ceremonies Feature Comedy, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Video Games Live

October 12, 2008 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook BlizzCon 08: Closing Ceremonies Feature Comedy, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Video Games Liveon Twitter

Well, it began two days ago, and it’s already over. Gamers attending this year’s BlizzCon were not only treated to StarCraft II, Wrath of the Lich King, and Diablo III this year, but a slew of developer panels, in-game events, and merchandise made BlizzCon a complete experience. There was even a retro arcade featuring two of my Blizzard titles, Lost Vikings and Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing.

The closing ceremonies began last night with two comedians, followed by Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain who perfromed a combination of old and new tracks, and finally a special Blizzard edition of Video Games Live with three new segments. Needless to say, there was a lot for music enthusiasts to enjoy at the show.

Hit the jump for a complete account of the closing ceremonies.

First up were two comedians who did a really great job. Patton Oswalt was hilarious, and I wanted to mention his segment about how disgusting Yoshinoya beef bowls are because Dale loves that place for some reason. Oswalt was pretty convinced that the Yoshinoya is a front for the cocaine trade. While last year’s comedian was really funny, he succumbed to heckling from the crowd, but both performers this year had the crowd laughing consistently.

Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain followed, bringing more comedy as they played on the divsions between the Alliance and the Horde throughout the evening. Their set consited of six songs, including fan-favorite “I am Murloc,” and two new songs, one each from Wrath of the Lich King and Diablo III. The Wrath of the Lich King track was one their best songs musically, while the Diablo III song stood out with its funny lyrics and its rockin’ take on the Tristram theme. They joked about the whole art direction issue, insisting that we needed to join together to summon the “Lord of Rainbows.” Throughout the song, Diablo was referred to as “Big Red,” and one of the lyrics, “There is no cow level–yes there is!” got laughs from the crowd. It was a great performance.

To close off the event, Video Games Live took to the stage with a number of special guests and three new segments. The set list was as follows (* denotes a new segment):

1. World of Warcraft Suite
2. Diablo Suite
3. Diablo III Overture
4. Warcraft II Piano Medley*
5. SarCraft Medley (with the StarCraft band)
6. StarCraft II
7. World of Warcraft BGM*
8. Taverns of Azeroth
9. Taverns of Azeroth
10. Taverns of Azeroth
11. World of Warcraft – Bloodsail
13. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade – Lament of the Highborne
14. Wrath of the Lich King Overture*

The first piece was the same WoW segment that they play at every VGL performance. It got a reaction from the crowd as it features some of the game’s most memorable themes. The Diablo segments that followed were some of my favorites of the evening, although I think guitarist (and co-composer) Laurence Juber hit the wrong chord to start off the Tristram theme in the Diablo suite.

The new Warcraft II piano medley performed by Martin Leung was also one of the highlights of the evening. I loved Glenn Stafford’s music from Warcraft II, and it was great to hear the classic and highly memorable orc and human themes once again.  It would have been great to have had the orchestra playing during this segment, but I still enjoyed Martin’s performance which earned him a standing ovation as usual. The StarCraft band, which includes Glenn Stafford on synths, took to the stage next, performing a StarCraft medley before the orchestra took over for the familiar StarCraft II teaser trailer segment.

Antoher new segment was “World of Warcraft BGM,” which featured themes from the major cities in the game. It got quite a reaction from the crowd, as even those who weren’t into game music recognized the themes. From here, the David Arkenstone Band came to the stage to perform a number of tracks from their Taverns of Azeroth album, and although there were some technical issues with some of the levels during their peformance (with fluctuations between being too quiet to too loud), the funny visuals on the screen kept the audience interested.

“Lament of the Highborne” from The Burning Crusade featured Vangie Gunn (the voice of Sylvanas Windrunner) singing in an Elvish tongue, and I’ve always appreciated the beauty of this piece. The audience seemed to notice too, as they gave her thunderous applause. The show closed with the new “Wrath of the Lich King Overture,” which was shortened for this performance. It was great to hear live Uilleann pipes during this piece, courtesy of Braveheart and Titanic pipes performer Eric Rigler.

By the time the show ended, there was about an hour left for fans who wanted to check out the games on the showfloor one last time.  The closing ceremonies were a great success, and I think it’s cool that they were broadcasted to millions of people around the world watching BlizzCon on Pay-Per-View.

Is there a track from the Blizzard catalog that you’d like to hear live at a concert? Were you one of the many who saw the concert in person or on television?

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