Video Games Live: Bringing Visuals to the Symphony Scene

Video Games Live: Bringing Visuals to the Symphony Scene
Video Games Live

Whether it's the bloops of Pong or the thundering drumbeats of God of War, Video Games Live will once again pay homage to the best and most iconic pieces of video game music at the Mesa Arts Center on April 7.

Video Games Live is known for playing video game tunes with the help of a full orchestra and choir, but according to the shows' creator Tommy Tallarico, it's not all about the music.

"Video games aren't just two hours of old men in tuxedos and people going 'Shh! It's about to start, don't clap!'" says Tallarico with a laugh. "It's always dynamic."

This dynamic is explored through the various visual aspects of the show including three high-definition video screens behind the orchestra, synchronized lighting, effects machines and costumes.

The show's usage of video screens is the biggest factor, as it shows off footage from each videogame specifically edited in a fashion that goes with the music and helps create a visual effect.

The show utilizes three large screens that interchange between video games footage, shots of the orchestra, and additional effects.
The show utilizes three large screens that interchange between video games footage, shots of the orchestra, and additional effects.
Video Games Live

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For example, Tallarico says the previous show played a World of Warcraft song using a snow scene on the main screen with accompanying snowing effects on the remaining displays. Then artificial snow machines pumped into the concert space to literally transport the audience to the snowy landscape.

Video Games Live is also no stranger to utilizing costumes as a part concerts where Master Chief, Samus, and Tron have all made real-life appearances. Even Laura Intravia, the flautist touring with the show, is known for dressing up as Link from Legend of Zelda and performing solos.

"You don't want to do the costume thing too much because there's a fine line between being fun and being cheesy," explains Tallarico. "Sometimes it can get a little eye-rolling."

Tallarico (center) with flautist Laura Intravia (left) dressed as Link from the Legend of Zelda games.
Tallarico (center) with flautist Laura Intravia (left) dressed as Link from the Legend of Zelda games.
Video Games Live

The upcoming concert in Mesa, Tallarico says, will have its fair share of visual entertainment as well as pre-show events like a cosplay contest and an interactive Guitar Hero competition.

Tickets, at $37 and $52, are now on sale for Video Games Live at the Mesa Arts Center website.

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