Video Games Live

Video Games Live gives Toronto an Encore


What do you get when you cram almost 2,000 gamers into Massey Hall with an orchestra and choir reliving some of their fondest memories? Well, for one, you get a hell of a lot of Nintendo DS pictochat sessions going during the intermission.

What can really be taken away from Video Games Live's near sell-out performance on Saturday night was a spectacular rendition of some of the most memorable and epic music in gaming. Keep on reading for impressions and video highlights of the show.

This was VGL's second tour date in Toronto, having been circling the globe for a few years now. The Toronto show has always been special to gaming icon and music composer Tommy Tallarico, who has family in the area and insists the Toronto crowd is his favourite. (You tell that to all the girls, don't you Tommy?)

Tallarico brought the show together with legendary game composer Jack Wall (of Myst, Splinter Cell, and Mass Effect fame). Wall is also the conductor of the show, bringing the orchestra and choir to life, as well as frequently energizing the crowd with his unconventional conducting style. The crowd is actively encouraged to cheer and go crazy during the performance, and boy did they ever.

Take a look at some of the highlights of the show, care of Dear Toronto.

The crowd also went a little bit crazy for famed YouTube superstar, The Blindfolded Pianist, whose hands moved so fast during his Mario medley you could barely see them. Even members of the orchestra looked over in amazement as the guy bolted through the songs with such speed and ferocity that the keyboard was bouncing on the stage.

The VGL folks enlisted Toronto talent for the orchestra and choir, as well as bringing local game cover band The Runaway Five on stage for a couple interludes, which the audience ate up.

From the moment the orchestra animated music to classic arcade titles like Pong and Space Invader all the way until the show's epic finales, the crowd was going absolutely berzerk.

The climax of the show was most certainly the pieces from Halo and Final Fantasy VII, where Tallarico himself broke out a guitar to perform solos alongside the orchestra and choir.

Hearing the always hopeful theme from Civilization, in all its Swahili goodness, was definitely a highlight for me, having grown up living and breathing games like this when I was younger.

All in all, it was a really special experience for the crowd and me personally; My rookie days in blogging began almost 10 years ago when I reported news (and generally expressed my inner fanboy) about some of the early Command & Conquer games, and even Halo in its early days, while it was still supposed to be a PC and Mac game before the Xbox came around.

Video Games Live has tour dates scheduled well until the end of the year throughout North America. Check out the tour dates for all the details.

Photos by blogTO alumnus, Photendo


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