a day in the life of ...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

05.06.2010 Video Games Live

I was at Video Games Live last year. As I recall, it was a pretty good show top to bottom. As such, I was expecting an equally good show this time around. This time around, the event was at the newly renovated Queen Elizabeth Theatre. If you have ever been to the the old QE Theatre you would have been pleasantly pleased by the changes. The old venue had very majestic and ornate feel to it. The newly renovated venue was noticeably cleaner in both aesthetics and tidiness. It was certainly a much more modern looking venue.

Much like last year, the pre-show festivities, included a costume/cosplay contest. Probably due to the fact last year's was around halloween, the number of entries were decrease from last years. The majority of the costumes were Final Fantasy related, but the eventual winner was a very amusing, yet mildly inappropriate, Earthworm Jim costume.

My post from last year was pretty thorough, so I'll make this a little more abridged. For the most part the main elements and structure of the shows was pretty similar to last year's. It started with the the typical Classic Arcade Medley, included an interactive audience game section (Frogger this time around) and a live Guitar Hero section. The solo piano portion was back, this time with the original "Video Game Pianist", Martin Leung. Actually, I think the 'staples' were actually in the same part of the setlist as they were last year.

Also returning was Victor Lucas and the guys at "Reviews on the Run". This time they ripped on "Record of Agarest War". This was probably one section of the show that I really don't mind seeing again. Some of the jokes and segues that were used in the show were repeats from the years before. The dialogue at times were repetitive and on the campy side, but overall things were smooth and well run. The setlist had a few repeats, "Halo", "Warcraft", "Kingdom Hearts"; but it did have enough new material to make it fresh. New entries "Shadow of the Colossus" and "Assassin's Creed" were particularly well done. The "Mega Man" rendition was okay. I still prefer the other renditions of it.

Once again, the encores were where the the show really took off. One grip was that the violin solo during "Chrono Cross" was barely audible through the amped guitar sections. The show ended as expected with Final Fantasy 7's One Winged Angel. I don't think the show was a as special as it was last year (a lot more one off / premiere songs), but the setlist was a little better.

Intro/Symphony warm up
Classic Arcade Medley
Sonic The Hedgehog
Shadow of the Colossus
Interactive Frogger Competition
Skype Interview with Ralph Baer
Mass Effect
Assassin's Creed 2
Final Fantasy Piano Medley
Final Fantasy 8
Legend of Zelda
Electric Playground / Reviews on the Run Segment
Kingdom Hearts
World of Warcraft
Super Mario Brothers
Super Mario Brothers Piano
Super Mario World - Athletic Level Piano
Tetris Piano
Guitar Hero Challenge: Van Halen - Jump
Mega Man Medley
Castlevania Rock
Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross
Final Fantasy 7: One Winged Angel

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

04.30.2010 Red Sparowes / Caspian

I was rather bummed to find out that Fang Island, who was on this tour, wouldn't be making it out to the Canadian dates due to a passport issue. (always a passport issue...) At least we got a longer Caspian set.

Caspian's front man, Phillip Jamieson is a tall dude, which came in handy because the Biltmore has a low stage. Anyways, they started their set with a couple of tunes from their latest album Tertia. If you like post-rock you'll like these guys. Their style of post-rock is similar to Explosions in the Sky and Mono. While their songs don't tug at your heart strings quite as hard as Mono's does, they do do the genre justice and can rock out with the best of em. Since they had a longer set than usual they were able to bring out an oldie, Brombie from their first album. Their last song, Sycamore,

Admitted, I'm a bigger fan of Red Sparowes' early albums than their later releases. They still do bring get the job done though when it comes to moody brooding soundscape-y post rock. Looks like they've replaced one of their guitarists since the last time I saw them. I know this because one of the guitarists is now female. They're still doing their projections if you're wondering, which a few people in the crowd were using to play with their silhouettes. The setlist contained some older songs, but was generally dominated by newer ones. I don't think Red Sparowes have worsen over the years, but to be honest, I really don't recall the newer songs being that memorable. For those who stayed until the end of the set, there was no encore, but I'm sure most were happy to get their post rock fix.

Caspian's Set:

01) La Cerva
02) Malacoda
03) Moksha
04) Quovis
05) Further Up
06) Further In
07) Brombie
08) Sycamore

mp3s: http://www.archive.org/details/caspian2010-04-30.flac

Red Sparowes' Set

01) Intro
02) "A Hail Of Bombs"
03) "Giving Birth to Imagined Saviors"
04) "The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like a Mighty Storm, Suddenly and Furiously Blinding Our Senses"
05) "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, And the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow"
06) "A Swarm"
07) "A Message of Avarice Rained Down Upon Us and Carried Us Away into False Dreams of Endless Riches."
08) "In Illusions of Order"
09) "As Each End Looms and Subsides"

mp3s: http://www.archive.org/details/redspar2010-04-30.flac


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