We had a fun-filled evening last night here at MAGFest with some of the top acts including ARMCANNON, This Place is Haunted, Metroid Metal, and The Megas. That’s in addition to the chiptune concert and the acts on stage 2 this year (which included The OneUps) which we’ll cover in another post. Needless to say, there’s endless music going on this year and it’s been difficult to keep up!
Still, we had a great time at last night’s concerts, so join us after the jump for our impressions and photos.
ARMCANNON provided a strong start to the evening with the eclectic mix of game tracks. The crowd was easily double the size that we saw last night, filling up a good portion of the room with fans pumping their fists and singing along to covers of classics like “Thunder Cats” and “Real American” by Hulk Hogan. In the game music territory, they opened with a great rendition of “Corridors of Time” from Chrono Trigger before getting into one of my favorite game franchises, the original Ninja Gaiden series with plenty of shredding and synth work. There was also a rockin’ Metroid medley covering the red soil area, Maridia, and the spore boss, three of my favorite tracks.
One of the highlights, however, was their version of “Still More Fighting” which apparently brought a smile to Uematsu’s face who was outside of the concert hall but heard the familiar guitar shredding from a distance. I dug the neat piano solo breakdown about midway through. They closed their set with “Mad World” which most people (myself included) recognize from Donnie Darko. It was a strong start to a great evening.
This Place is Haunted was up next with their seventh appearance at MAGFest. They brought along their unique brand of stage humor, talking about their love of tranny hookers and playing out stage fights which were at the very least entertaining. All of their performances were set to speed runs on the screen next to the stage, which also added to the entertainment value. To give you an idea about what they’re all about, they opened with a rock rendition of the Skyrim theme which sent the crowd wild, with video footage of murdering random villagers with an axe. A couple other tracks performed included Ecco the Dolphin, X-Men, Double Dragon, and a Castlevania medley featuring close to 10 guitarists on stage over the course of the performance. There was also a strange Danny Elfman medley featuring “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the theme from “Batman.”
My most anticipated act of the night, Metroid Metal, came next with yet another huge crowd. Their set felt kind of short as there weren’t many individual tracks performed, but they were meaty medleys that covered the entire time of a set. They started with an awesome boss medley (I like their take on the mini-boss theme in particular) before launching into “Brinstar.” After a brief excursion into what I think was Metroid 2, they performed a nearly 20-minute long original Metroid medley, covering the game from start to finish, although they skipped the title screen and put that in at the end, much to the delight of the audience. In fact, fans were so hungry for Metroid Metal that they demanded an encore and actually got it (in the form of “Space Pirates” from Metroid Prime), thanks to The Megas who gave up some of their own time on stage so the fans could have what they wanted.
The last act of the evening was The Megas who are known for their unique blend of pop rock vocals with Mega Man classics. While I love their arrangements, I can’t say the lyrics do much for me, and in particular last night, there were problems with the mix, making it difficult to hear the individual elements of their performance, lyrics included. I’ll defer to Patrick here as he’s a huge fan of The Megas:
It was a standard Megas show last night (which, really, is a good thing). The crowd cheered like crazy at the start of each and every song. These guys are really good at building momentum, and when they pseudo-ended the show with their “Air Man” track, people were going nuts. But, of course, things got even better when they came back up for an encore. As is their way, they invited all cosplayers (mostly Mega Man-related, but there were others) to come up and dance for the final song, which they allowed the audience to pick. The final song was their “Metal Dance” track (a personal favorite), and the fan-friendly energy was through the roof. That, and coffee, kept me awake for hours after the show (which made Saturday morning all the more painful to start).
[Pat grabbed some footage of The Megas' encore]
And that was it for the second night. DJs Cutman and Awesome took attendees into the early hours of the morning with a mix of pop and game music tracks in a dark concert hall where glow sticks were prevalent. Tonight will feature Bit Brigade, The OneUps, 20XX, and the Earthbound Papas, so stay tuned for that and more!
Let us know what you think of the evening’s performances and what you’re looking forward to the most from tonight. And once again, amazing photos courtesy of Emi Spicer below: