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Video Games Live

In spirit of throwback Thursday, I thought it would be a good idea to take a trip down memory lane.

Back in 2012 my buddy Anthony Pena from Undying Magic Design and I attended one of the greatest concerts in the history of music – Video Games Live.

Held at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank NJ, Video Games Live was actually more than just a concert, it was an experience that brought gaming fans like myself to their knees.

Created and produced by industry veteran and video game composer Tommy Tallarico, the show is famous for performing the world’s most recognized video game scores with a live orchestra. The scores are played alongside video gaming footage with synchronized lighting and effects that are out of this world!

The show itself had a few other surprises as well!

Let’s take a look back at my experience from Video Games Live at the Count Basie Theatre!


Guests were invited to fill out an entry form for a chance to win some Video Games Live swag.



Of course you could also buy your own Video Games Live merchandise.



The gaming audience awaits. Oddly enough these people where the only ones not playing with a 3DS.



Shot of the theatre before the flood gates opened.



My view of the Stage. Anthony and I were able to get Media/Photo passes to the show thanks to the lovely Count Basie Theatre’s Marketing Director, Diana St. John and Tommy Tallarico himself.



Before the show began, there was a cosplay contest for those guests that dressed up for the show! In this case The Mario Brothers won the contest, and took home some sweet Video Games Live merch.



That night’s performance was conducted by Emmanuel Fratianni. Here the orchestra played the first set of video game scores which were the early years of gaming (Pong, Frogger, Donkey Kong).



Tommy Tallarico then came out, welcoming us to the show, introducing the ensemble and the conductor Emmanuel Fratianni. “You’re not Italian til you’ve been to Jersey!” – Tommy Tallarico



Tommy Tallarico was phenomenal! Here he is rocking out to the scores of Street Fighter II!



This is Laura Intravia and she is absolutely brilliant. Otaku’s may recognize this girl as “Flute Link” but here she is during one of her awe-inspiring performances throughout the night. This one from God of War.



Tommy invited one lucky guest up to the stage to play Space Invaders, as the orchestra provided the music and sounds for the game. “This is how rich people play video games” – Tommy Tallarico



Unfortunately the contestant was not able to beat the level in the allotted time, but still went home with some cool prizes. “Go for the ends, or…. you can just keep hitting the middle…” – Tommy Tallarico



The next performance was really interesting! The ensemble played scores from the Kingdom Hearts series while showing Disney Characters from the game in their original Disney films on-screen.



The following set was a treat! It was the first time ever that they performed the Pokemon score in the United States. The crowd also sang along with Team Rocket’s intro speech which was really neat!



Laura Intravia came back out again with a beautiful performance from Metal Gear Solid – “Snake Eater”.



The first Act was then concluded. I should mention that there were short clips of video game parodies played on screen in between sets, which were quite entertaining. (Contra meets Duck Hunt…etc)



After the break we were treated to a mind-blowing performance from the scores of Castlevania. The original composer Kinuyo Yamashita, who also played, joined Tommy center stage!



My favorite picture of the night – Laura Intravia reprising her role as “Flute Link”.



Laura Intravia came out once again in Mario Attire rocking Super Mario Scores with the ensemble.



The orchestra played music from the World of Warcraft, as the crowd shouted “For the Horde!”



This was an awesome crowd segment. One skilled guitar hero player rocked the crowd and was crowned “Video Games Live Guitar Hero Champion of Red Bank NJ” after scoring over 500,000 points while playing Pretender by the Foo Fighters on expert. He went home with some top notches prizes of course.



Halo scores were played, and they were magnificent. Halo Anniversary composer Tom Salta joined Tommy on stage. Make note of Tommy’s awesome steam-punk guitar with sniper scope.



The crowd went crazy when Tommy and crew played Final Fantasy VII’s “One Winged Angel” for their final set. Although clearly the focus here is on one of my favorite female video game characters.



The crowd demanded an encore, and the Video Games Live crew gave us what we wanted! They played Chrono Trigger, and Chrono Cross scores, along with Laura Intravia’s flawless flute skills.



But that wasn’t all! The greatest treat was Portal’s “Still Alive” score brought to life by Laura Intravia and Tommy Tallarico to bring the show to a close. (The cake was not a lie here)



Anthony and myself after the concert.



The crowd at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank NJ

Looking back on that day – the best part about Video Games Live, was the variety it offered. What you’ve seen in this post, may not necessarily be the same thing you see when you go. Every show is different, the sets are always changing, so the experience is one of a kind! I highly suggest you check out this show.