Game Music

Comic Con 2009: Video Games Live Returns to San Diego for Round 2

July 27, 2009 | | 3 Comments Share thison Facebook Comic Con 2009: Video Games Live Returns to San Diego for Round 2on Twitter

The crowds at San Diego Comic-Con had plenty to celebrate as Video Games Live returned to perform simultaneously with the event. The second appearance of VGL in San Diego marks the 30th venue the concert series has performed this year alone. Certainly this is a testament to the interest fans have in the wide world of game music.

You’re probably wonder what was new, so I’ll tell you.  New pre-concert videos, a Mega Man segment, and the much-talked about Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross segment all made an appearance.  Overall, it was a good experience, so check out the setlist at the very least.

Our impressions of the show, after the jump.

The concert itself started at 7:30 PM but prior to that there was a selection of videos played on the large screen located towards the back of the stage. Of notable interest was the “Michael Fantasy” flash video by sikamako of the flash movie circle RSF. It featured a 16-bit version of Michael Jackson and other notable 8-bit/16-bit characters such as Kirby to even the I tetromino from Tetris. It might have seemed a somewhat poor choice with Michael Jackson’s passing last month.

From there, let’s jump into the setlist:

1.  Classic Arcade Medley
2.  Metal Gear Solid Suite
3.  Martin Leung – Final Fantasy Medley
4.  Dee Baker – Classic Arcade Segment
5.  Space Invders Interactive Segment
6.  Kingdom Hearts Suite
7.  Civilization IV – Baba Yetu (with Ron Ragin)
8.  The Legend of Zelda (with Flute Link)
9.  The Legend of Zelda Suite

Intermission

10.  Need for Speed: Undercover – Splitting Adam’s “On My Own”
11.  World of Warcraft Suite
12.  Super Mario Bros.
13.  Martin Leung – Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario World
14.  Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Interactive Segment
15.  Mega Man Medley
16.  Halo Suite
17.  Final Fantasy VII – “One Winged Angel”
18.  Encore ~ Castlevania Rock
19.  Encore 2 ~ Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross Suite

Things got started with the symphony playing music to the sounds of Pong on screen and moved through games such as Space Invaders, Asteroids and Centipede. Though the crowd was certainly getting into the spirit of things, the choice of playing a piece of Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” seemed odd. Being a SEGA fan, the medley got me pumped when the music from Rastan and Outrun was played. Before the next segment, the crowd cheered loudly when the familiar ring of the Metal Gear Solid codec was heard on stage. The caller was of course none other than Solid Snake, who took the opportunity to introduce Tommy Tallarico.

As in previous VGL concerts, some of the segments are kicked off with an appearance or video of the composer of the original game music. As it was appropriate with Solid Snake’s call, Hideo Kojima appeared on the big screen to introduce the following segment which featured music from the Metal Gear Solid series. Beyond the usual playlist staples was the addition of a young lady by the name of Flute Link. Flute Link played a medley of music from The Legend of Zelda series which was made more amusing by the routine involving the Navi on her shoulder, constantly interrupting her music.

Tallarico later mentioned that there were two franchises which were the most voted for inclusion in the VGL line-up and are thus part of the new lineup for the show: Mega Man (second half) and Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross (encore). The Mega Man medley featured tracks such as “Dr. Wily Stage 1” and the theme of Mega Man 3. It was odd to see the last part of the video footage containing clips from a Japanese retrospective on the entire franchise which might not have made sense to most of the audience. The Chrono Cross portion of the CT/CC medley was perhaps the most impressive portion of the concert as it featured Tallarico and Jack Wall both on guitar jamming with one of the symphony violinists.

Overall, I was impressed with VGL, including the new additions to the lineup. There were, however, some moments that seemed out of place. I found that during the Metal Gear Solid piece, the drums were played out of rhythm with the beat. Also, I expected a rock anthem of sorts to “Frog’s Theme” in the Chrono Trigger medley but was disappointed that it was rather subdued instead.

Nitpicking aside, for someone who hasn’t seen a VGL concert yet, it’s definitely worth checking out. If you’ve seen it more than once, give it some time as the lineup will most certainly pick up some new tracks and have you waiting for the next round.

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