If you are going to be in Los Angeles during E3 week and you consider yourself a fan of video game music, then it is a moral imperative for you to get yourself a seat for the Video Games Live concert happening at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live on June 6th. Why you ask? How about if we tell you that The Feed has exclusive details on who the special guests and performers are going to be, along with what video game soundtrack music will be making its debut as a part of the Video Games Live line up! We caught up with VGL creator Tommy Tallarico, just before he took off for a pair of VGL concerts in Malaysia next week, to give us the details.
Now to be fair, for those already attending the Video Games Live concert during E3 week who don’t want to know the surprises ahead of time, you've been spoiler warned! But, if you need convincing to get yourself into this amazing concert and don’t mind some spoilers, prepare to have your mind blown.
The Feed: Tommy, tell us what we can expect from Video Games Live during E3 week this year.
Tommy Tallarico: Each year with Video Games Live, coming up on our eighth year of touring, the challenge has always been how we top ourselves because we always want to put on a new show every time we come back to a location and we’ve never played a place as much as we have LA, so we use it as our premiere launching pad for new segments that we are going to do. With it being a part of E3 even more so because we have so many people in town from around the world.
Some of the Video Games Live world premieres we are doing will be music from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, music from Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Earthworm Jim, a game I was fortunate enough to work on and people have been asking me for years to put it in the show, the Sony game Journey from thatgamecompany, an incredible score. We are also doing music from Donkey Kong Country and Star Fox with different arrangements. It’s the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter this year so we are doing a segment with it and hopefully will have some guests from Japan for it.
The Feed: That is a lot of premieres for one concert!
Tallarico: And for Warcraft and Diablo III for example, the composer Russell Brower will be conducting the 110 person orchestra and choir we have on stage. Austin Wintory, the composer from Journey, he will be conducting, and we have a special guest conductor for Skyrim, which is still a secret for now but will be announced from on stage and Silent Hill’s Akira Yamaoka will be playing guitar for part of the show. The other big thing we are doing is we will be debuting “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VII. Just recently it was inducted into the Classic FM Hall of Fame (an annual classical music popularity chart) where it debuted at #16, so to celebrate that we will be performing it as well.
The Feed: Who are some of the special guests you are bringing on stage to perform with you?
Tallarico: We have a bunch of “Internet Sensations” playing on stage during certain songs and perform their own solo bits as well. The big name that we’re most excited about is Lindsey Stirling. For those who know Lindsey Stirling, it’s very exciting news and for those that don’t know, you have to have to check out her videos on YouTube.
The Feed: And here’s one now!
Tallarico: She is an amazing violinist. She got really far on America’s Got Talent and has launched a whole career by making these epic, cinematic videos and some of them are video game related. She’s done a Zelda one, a Skyrim video, she’s done things like Lord of the Rings and asides from being a really talented artist and violinist, she has a really strong stage presence and writes her own music as well. It will be the first time she’s done some of her video game music with a full symphony.
We will also have Laura “Flute Link” Intravia and she’ll be performing different things with the symphony as well. She’s not only an amazing flautist, but an incredible solo vocalist as well, so she will be doing some of the solo work throughout the night. We have Martin “The Video Game Pianist” Leung and he’s going to be debuting a medley of Rare game music, including Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie. He’s also going to do some Dragon Quest stuff. And then we have a new guy on the Internet scene, his name is Viking Jesus. He is this heavy metal shredder guitarist who does these incredible themes, whether it’s Pokémon or Star Fox.
The Feed: Beyond the live performances, what else can concert attendees expect from this year’s LA show?
Tallarico: We’re partners with AMD, Intel and Samsung, and they are going to be giving away laptops to people in the audience throughout the night. Guinness will be there, bestowing a World Record on us that night. All attendees will be receiving a Video Games Live trading card and we even have Billy Mitchell from King of Kong at the show with a Video Games Live branded edition of his hot sauce available.
We always try to take the concert to new levels of interactivity each year and as technology changes we want our show to change with it. We’re going to have the audience be able to control the show through their cell phones and smart phones. During certain parts of the show we will have the audience decide what they want to hear. We will actually show the votes in real time.
The Feed: How are you continuing the tradition of the pre-show Guitar Hero competition?
Tallarico: Every year we change the song. In the past we’ve done Aerosmith, Van Halen, Foo Fighters, but this year we are doing “Hold the Line” by Toto and the winner of the competition will come up on stage, they will be playing Guitar Hero, while I play live guitar, the symphony and choir will be playing along with them and we are actually going to have Toto on stage playing with the winner! And that’s just a little sneak peak of Video Games Live.
The Feed: A little one!
Tallarico: Another thing, if I have all these people who are soloists, you know that at the end of the show I’ve got to bring everyone out, so you can imagine, 110 musicians of the symphony and choir, plus all those great names I mentioned, and maybe we will see some other surprise guests on some instruments as well. The grand finale of this thing is something you are going to want to stick around for because we are pulling out everything for that one.
The Feed: How about after the show? What’s going on then?
Tallarico: The post-show meet-and-greet is open to everyone. There’s no charge at all, like some other game concerts do, it’s open for everybody. Some of the people that are going to be there are Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin who did the music for Civilzation, the folks from Blizzard are going to be there, Akira Yamaoka, the composer of the Silent Hill series, we have the Earthworm Jim team, the guys from Toto, Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert from Monkey Island, Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, King’s Quest) will be there and many more. We are going to release the full list soon but that gives you a small taste of the people we have coming out.
The Video Games Live tour will be heading to South America, Canada, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Kentucky, New Jersey and Connecticut later this year, with an extensive European tour happening in 2013. But, if you are in Southern California during E3 week, you need to see Video Games Live in person. Even if you aren’t attending E3 (let’s face it, most people can’t since it’s industry only) you can attend this concert, and frankly, you will have a better chance of meeting a member of the game industry at the meet-and-greet after the concert than you would by going to E3 itself! Tickets to Video Games Live at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live are available now.