Video Games Live, which plays your favorite video game music (including some of WoW's greatest hits) with a full orchestra, is off on a world tour this year. This means that wherever you are, there's a reasonable chance they'll be playing somewhere in the vicinity. The tour kicked off in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend and is heading to Mexico before jumping around the US and then moving on to China, the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Canada. (Sorry, Australia!)
If you're interested in catching Video Games Live, well, live, check out their tour dates page for tickets and backstage packages -- though tickets to shows later this year and next year aren't available yet. And if they aren't stopping anywhere in your area, they have three albums of great gaming music -- Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 -- available on iTunes and Amazon to get your game on.
On the Warcraft front, the album features VGL's take on Invincible from Wrath of the Lich King (zoom the video above to 4:25 for a preview). If you're interested in picking up your own copy you can get Invincible for $1 or the entire album for $10 -- and if you enjoy Level 3, you should definitely check out VGL's back catalog which features more music from World of Warcraft and plenty of other games.
It's going to be a photo finish for the Video Games Live's Level 3 project on Kickstarter, which is in its final days with nearly $30,000 to raise to meet its goal. If you're not familiar with Video Games Live, it's a group headed by Tommy Tallarico that tours the country playing live orchestral arrangements of video game music -- and the group has frequently graced the BlizzCon stage. The current fundraising campaign is aimed at producing the group's third studio album -- dubbed Level 3 -- and though they haven't finalized the tracklist yet, it will feature tracks VGL hasn't yet tackled from games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger/Cross, Shadow of the Colossus, Skyrim, Journey, Monkey Island, Destiny, DOTA, Assassin's Creed, Earthworm Jim, Silent Hill, Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Super Smash Bros., Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Mass Effect, Katamari Damacy, BioShock, Beyond Good & Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter II, Uncharted, Portal, Tetris, Red Dead Redemption, Devil May Cry, Megaman, Soul Calibur, Resident Evil, Pac-Man, and our favorites, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Blizzard tracks from WoW and Diablo are confirmed to be on Level 3 -- so we may be treated to a studio version of Invincible, as played by Video Games Live in the video above.
Sound interesting? It's not too late to chip in -- and pick up a ton of great video game music for a very modest cost. Backers can get Level 3 as well as VGL's earlier albums and plenty of other extras: check Kickstarter for all the details.
Many of you may be familiar with Video Games Live, a concert series celebrating the music and art of video games. Music from Blizzard's games has been featured in other Video Games Live concerts, but this is the first time the event will be held in Blizzard's home town of Irvine, California, and the planners are well aware of the games giant in the performance's backyard. If you use the promo code "Blizzard" when you purchase your ticket, you'll get a 20% discount on the price.
The show will be performed by the Pacific Symphony, along with video footage, synchronized lighting, and live-action interactive performances. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend, tickets are now currently on sale for the show on July 17th.
Video Games Live, the wildly popular traveling concert series that performs music from major video games, is visiting a new venue this August: the television. VGL was founded in 2002 by video game composers and game industry veterans Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall. Since its inception, the symphony performance has prided itself on introducing the experience of a live orchestra performance to an entirely new generation of listeners; most attendees are viewing the symphony for the first time. In addition, it's a celebration of the gaming industry, the creative process of designing music for video games, and a showcase for art of video game music to both gamers and non-gamers.
The concert series literally travels the world, performing in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Scotland, France, Taiwan, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and most of the United States (including, of course, BlizzCon). Both because of the subject of the concerts and because of the quality of entertainment, concerts can easily sell out. Thankfully for those of us who haven't been able to afford the cost or simply live nowhere near the touring locations, PBS will be airing a 90-minute Video Games Live special, consisting of never-before televised live musical performances from the Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civlization, Chrono Cross and Guitar Hero franchises, including a musical journey through classic gaming. And of course, music from both Warcraft and StarCraft will be making an appearance as well.
For those who don't catch the televised performance, there will also be a CD and DVD/Blu-ray release that coincides with the nationally televised special, including over three hours of bonus material. Check out the trailer above for more details about what is sure to be a gorgeous night of entertainment!
If you're looking for a way to relax this weekend, why don't you hie off to Houston and get tickets to the Gamer MusiCON '09, an all-day event celebrating music from the video game industry. If you're familiar with the Video Games Live, the whole event has expanded somewhat with the help of Blizzard Entertainment and will now have a full hour-and-a-half Blizzard Live! to go along with the traditional Video Games Live! concert.
Blizzard Live! will feature music, both old and some never performed ones, from Blizzard's different game worlds - Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft - paired with exclusive game footage and synchronized lighting. The Video Games Live! segment features music from other popular games like Chrono Trigger or Mega Man.
Of course, just like any great geek and gamer event, Gamer MusiCON will feature a lot of fun in between, such as costume contests, Guitar Hero faceoffs, a Q&A with Blizzard's composers, autograph signings, and lots of swag. The event, conducted by Jack Wall and hosted by Tommy Talarico, comes to life with the help of the Houston Symphony. It will be held at the Jones Hall in downtown Houston. You'd better get your tickets today! Oh, and don't forget to bring a date.
Hayes talks about how he works closely with the cinematic team to try and come up with an appropriate mood for what's happening on screen as the music plays. Even with early animatics, he says, you can get a good sense of where the scene is going and what the story is about. He also says that the Latin lyrics in his songs aren't necessarily Latin -- he uses a translator online and picks and chooses what sounds best. So not exactly historically accurate, but it's Warcraft -- as long as it sounds good, they can justify it however they like. It's definitely a fun little chat with one of the people behind some of the sweet sounds of Azeroth.
With the flurry of activity surrounding the Worldwide Invitational, the live stream was the best thing that you could watch if you weren't in Paris yourself. During the closing ceremony, Video Games Live performed a Blizzard-centric symphony. For those that missed it, VGL is organized by Tommy Tallarico, the MC, and Jack Wall, the conductor. Both have composed music for video games for years, but now also travel around the country working with leading orchestras to perform that music live on stage for audiences.
After viewing the closing ceremony, I checked out their website and discovered that they were performing in Austin, Texas two weeks later! Armed with ticket and video camera, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was thoroughly pleased with the performance. They can only play about 20 of their roughly 50 arranged pieces per night, so I was treated to music from Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Starcraft, Super Mario Brothers, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, and many others. In between the segments were games, costume contests, and commentary. At the end, they offer a meet and greet with the crew, as well as some video game industry professionals occasionally. In all, it's about a 5 hour event.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
Record company EMI Classics has announced the release of Video Games Live Volume One, a recording of the famous traveling orchestra (led by friend of WoW Insider Tommy Tallarico) that plays videogame music, including that of the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. You may have seen the group last year at BlizzCon, this year at WWI, or (likely) this year again at BlizzCon, and they got rave reviews every time they played.
The recording was conducted by Tallarico, recorded at Abbey Road, and features the Slovak National Orchestra, The Crouch End Festival Chorus, and "the videogame pianist," Martin Leung. The CD will have eleven tracks (full tracklist after the jump), and will feature music from a slew of terrific videogame soundtracks, including our own Warcraft series (and Civ IV, which is probably the best music I've ever heard in a videogame, ever). EMI plans to release the CD in America on July 24th, and in Europe and the rest of the world on August 20th. It should be available for digital download right now in the UK, and an iTunes exclusive release will be available on the 20th.
Sounds like an amazing recording -- fans of Video Games Live will certainly enjoy it. You can see the full tracklist below.
Should be a great show on both counts. Does make us wonder, though, what Blizzard is planning for BlizzCon this year -- a repeat of last year's performance would be nice and all (and we have no doubt that no matter who else plays, L70ETC will definitely have to be there, considering that they're made up of Blizzard employees), but maybe we'll get some new blood in the mix? Jonathan Coulton is definitely a name that springs to mind -- even if he's not specifically a Blizzard guy, his music is very familiar to WoW fans of all levels.
Who else could they hire? Nyhm? Felicia Day to host? As fun as Jay Mohr was, seems like after all the taunting last time, he just might be trouble to get again -- Blizzard might as well choose someone that WoW fans want to see.