Video Games Live is playing a sold-out show in San Diego during Comic-Con this Saturday, and today they announced that those of us who couldn't get tickets can still catch the show live on Twitch from the comfort of our couches.
If you've never been to Video Games Live, it's a surreal show--in the summer of 2012 a friend and I snuck into the Nokia Theater in downtown LA to watch their E3 performance, a 2+ hour aural smorgasbord of video game music performed by a live orchestra. Veteran musician and VGL co-creator Tommy Tallarico emcees a rollicking concert that showcases professional musicians, video game composers and YouTube celebrities in rapid succession. Almost every piece of live music is bookended by crazy laser light shows and short stage bits where Tallarico plays guitar solos, interviews gaming luminaries or pulls audience members up on stage to play games in front of the whole orchestra.
Some of these segments toe the line between entertainment and pandering to fanboys, and Tallarico's bombastic stage presence is an acquired taste. Yet no matter how you feel about the people on stage, it's hard to quibble with the talent behind them. Video Games Live is the biggest and longest-touring video game music concert in the world--yes, there have been others--and it's probably the best these tracks will ever sound. They recorded the Video Games Live album at Abbey Road Studios, for chrissakes.
It's a show worth seeing when it comes to your town, even if you aren't passionate enough about games to recognize every track--the set list frequently includes music from composers like Chris Tilton and Jesper Kyd, who also compose music for TV and film.
Even if VGL isn't playing near you anytime soon, you can livestream the show this Sunday starting at 6 PM Pacific. This is the first time Tallarico and his team are partnering with the streaming service Twitch to livestream a Video Games Live concert, and it's a nice way to let fans who can't make it in person catch a glimpse of the action. It's worth tuning in to see a full orchestra perform music from Street Fighter II and Chrono Trigger--though they'll also be playing new tracks from unreleased games like Destiny and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, if you're into that. There will also be new music from Valve's Dota 2, accompanied by never-before-seen gameplay footage, which I believe makes this the first time any game developer has used a live concert as a vehicle for disseminating news on their latest game.