That’s right, many of the staff members of OSV will be traveling out to spend New Years in Virginia at the Music and Gaming Festival, better known as MAGFest. This will be the 8th time the convention is taking place, and as always there will be plenty of bands, special guests and activities going on to spend your valuable time with.
Jayson Napolitano and yours truly, Audun Sorlie will be at hand to take part in the festivities, hanging out with the bands and taking in way too much alcohol for our fragile little bodies. and other staff members are sure to be coming as well. MAGFest takes place in Alexandria, VA at the Hilton Mark Center from January 1st to 4th, with concerts and events every day.
But what exactly can you expect this year? Well join me as I take a look at the line up for M8!
Well, what most of us and the attendees are interesting in is the music, so let’s start by looking at the band lineup, shall we?
It’s a pretty good lineup, with some truly must see acts. One complaint might be that there is little in the way of new acts in this lineup, as every band but one has previously played MAGFest. It does kinda affect the long time attendees such as myself as I feel I’ve seen a few of these bands enough by now and would like some fresh acts on stage, but nonetheless, it’s a solid lineup for the most part.
One band I would suggest skipping however is Armadillo Tank, they played last year to the smallest crowd of the convention and absolutely terrible production all around, with hideous, I mean HIDEOUS vocals that alone was responsible for 90% of the people walking out of the room. This Place Is Haunted has a history with sloppy playing and bad sound, but I’ve heard good things about them lately, and I’m actually kind of excited to see what they bring to the stage this year. The Megas also have a fan following that appreciates them deeply. It’s not really my thing at all, but I can see the appeal with their charisma and energy, so I’d suggest checking them out.
As for must see acts, The Smash Brothers, Arm Cannon, The Oneups, Select Start and Metroid Metal are the shows to see this year. Arm Cannon does a wide variety of music, from game music to wrestling entrance themes, and the bald guitarist is super cute. The OneUps is a fusion/funk/jazz five-piece unit headed by OSV’s good friend Mustin, and is the only new act this year. Their reputation as musicians couldn’t be any better, and it’s gonna be a real pleasure seeing them for the first time.
Select Start returns for the first time since M6, and goes more in the classical route with their emphasis on cello, flute and violins. They remain one of the bands I enjoyed most watching live, and their arrangements are fantastic, and highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a more classical approach as opposed to the standard metal of most the other bands. Metroid Metal and Smash Brothers can never disappoint, and little needs to be said for them. Grant Henry’s amazing work with the Metroid soundtrack is an amazing experience, and Smash Brothers gives you the chance to see virt sweat and hump like non other. So there’s at least 5 bands you can’t miss, which isn’t bad at all.
As for special guests, they confirmed Jon St. John, the voice actor for the Duke Nukem series to make an appearance, which should be a lot of fun, if people can contain themselves from asking him to say balls of steel all the time, poor guy. The biggest guest this year however will be none other than Sid Meier, creator of Civilization and Sid Meier’s Pirates!. I expect him to have an awesome panel considering all his experience and talents. There are also a whole bunch of indie film makers coming to promote their video game based movies, like X-Strike Studios who are known for their movies based on River City Ransom and Metal Gear. Screw Attack will also be there to deliver their usual shtick.
As for other events, be sure to check out the Speed Demos Archive Charity Game Marathon. Game experts will be speed running games nonstop in ways you never imagined, and all donations will go to the charity CARE. It’s a great way to admire gaming talents, have some fun and give to a good cause. My best friend, Daniel Brown, willl be there to speed run Ghosts n’ Goblins on the NES, and let me tell you, that game is a nightmare and it’s a sight to see someone run through that game so easily.
So quite a loaded lineup wouldn’t you say? In addition to all this, you also have the 24-hour game room, dealer rooms for video game purchases, arcade cabinets spread around and most importantly, me walking around to light up the day for everyone.
For more info, go to MAGFest and preregister today, and we’ll see you in January! They also released a promo video featuring Jon St. John, but it is so painfully awkward due to nerds trying too hard, so I’ll leave it up to you to find it on your own.Tags: ARMCANNON, Concerts, Conventions, Doujin, Events, MAGFest, MAGFest 8, Metroid Metal, Panels, Select Start, The OneUps