Consider the stereotypical image of dedicated gamers: introverted, alone in their bedrooms – probably wearing trackie bottoms and a hoodie. It’s an outdated image, and one that Video Games Live is here to change faster than Pac-Man noshes ghosts after he eats one of those pill things (readers – any tips for a video game reference less than three decades old gratefully accepted).
Billed by its promoters as a ‘video game multimedia symphonic concert experience’, VGL invites gaming fans to come together, get loud and get creative with their costumes. Music from classic and modern video games is performed by an orchestra, choir and pointy-guitar-welding dudes, while giant screens show game footage, all accompanied by lighting that wouldn’t feel out of place at a Kiss concert.
The event is the brainchild of video game music composer Tommy Tallarico, who – along with fellow composer Jack Wall – brought the concept to life in 2005 at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. Since then it’s toured the US and Europe and even gone global, landing in Singapore and Brazil. And the fans freakin’ love it – just picture thousands of Marios, Zeldas and people in LED-sprinkled ‘Tron’ suits rockin’ out like there’s no tomorrow.
Still think it’s geeky? One Gary Coleman (from ‘80s sitcom ‘Diff’rent Strokes’) would disagree (when he was alive, obviously), as would Elijah Wood and legendary comic book writer Stan Lee, all of whom appeared at the first VGL.
In November, the event comes to Hammersmith Apollo, returning to London for the first time in six years. Previous concerts have included music from the ‘Halo’ series, ‘Metal Gear Solid’, ‘Medal of Honor’, old classics like ‘Pong’ and Mario’s many outings, but this time around the organisers are asking fans for requests ahead of the show, via Facebook. We’ve got our fingers crossed for ‘Minesweeper’.
Video Games Live takes place on November 2 at the Hammersmith Apollo (also called the Eventim Apollo). Tickets are priced £25-£40. Find out more about Video Games Live and buy tickets here.