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MAGFest XI: Recap and Review

January 17, 2013 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook MAGFest XI: Recap and Reviewon Twitter

It’s late, it’s great, it’s our MAGFest 11 recap and review! Even with illness cutting our team down, we still managed to take it the sights and fresh sounds of at least a portion of what this great event had to offer. From slick chiptune beats to shredding duels within dwellings to blowout rave parties, MAGFest 11 had a little bit of something for everyone.

Miss out on MAGFest goodness? Looking to recap good memories of the event? We have our scoop below the cut!

Of the 36-odd bands that performed at this year’s MAGFest, there were only so many one could attend and still enjoy the rest of the convention.

The debut performance by the 4-man band Dwelling of Duels Live helped to really kick off the spirit of MAGFest with a solid entry into the fray of artists. As mentioned in “Know Your MAG“, the gathering consisted of the extreme talents of Tony “Prince of Darkness” Dickinson, Alexander “housethegrate” Liss, Kunal Majmudar and late addition Dan “Ashane” Liss – all of which blended their respective skills well. Featuring songs submitted to the Dwelling of Duels competition by each performer, the you could easily start nodding your head to the Sonic-centric beats of housethegrate’s “Walk on Water” and Dickinson’s “Sonic Gargles with Garden Marbles”. Combine this with crowd-pleasing songs such Ashane’s “Zealous Entropy”, and you have a great lineup by a group of talented gentlemen. (The few technical difficulties aside.)

A special treat was in store for those who threw fatigue aside and attended the chiptune set of Jake “Virt” Kaufman, with the surprise addition of fellow chiptune artist coda! Switching on and off between each other, the two champions of the chip belted out beats that just dared you to start bouncing around the large hall in excitement. Those who missed the performance and neglect the Youtube recap experience are in luck, however, as Virt hinted that some of the songs played will show up in near-future projects, so keep your ears open.

Not a band, but the fantastic talent of Daniel “Kareshi” Brown performing his last US rendition of Final Phantom is way beyond worth mentioning. Retiring his arrangement of Final Fantasy music to the the original 1925 silent film Phantom of the Opera after years of playing for conventions and events across the east coast, the event attracted a crowd that was a fitting send-off to such a wonderful performance, and did not disappoint in the least.

Of course, the real holy grail of the entire MAGFest listening experience for nearly all the attendees was US debut of special guest Yuzo Koshiro’s DJ set. Kicking off the hour-long performance with the familiar underlying melodies from Actraiser, it then exploded into a full-on rave scene as sounds blasted from the stage and began a chain reaction within the crowd. Arranged tunes from other Koshiro-composed games such as Streets of Rage could be heard intermittently behind the blasting bass and synthetic sounds, though it was a bit disappointing that some songs were almost too well-hidden amongst the rest of the set. This didn’t stop the enormous crowd from breaking out into dancing, as people got into a grove and realized this was the legendary Yuzo Koshiro playing, and thus reacted appropriately. Glowsticks and light-up outfits could be seen through the mob of fans bouncing around the party floor throughout it all, culminating in a cheering ovation for Koshiro as he finsihed the set and regarded the fans assembled with genuine thanks and instigation of a living MAGFest meme.

If you managed to drag yourself to nearly all the concerts, or merely to a few of the huge ensemble of bands and performances, MAGFest 11 managed to have a diverse amount of styles and talents for everyone to enjoy, and continued to live up to it’s reputation of bringing great people and great music together for one glorious 4-day event.

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