One of my best old friends, Ming, and I went to Video Games Live (VGL) (press release/PR and details) at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre on 10/19/2007. It was our first time to VGL and obviously to new building (opened on its second day and event!). We got there at about 7:00 PM PDT after parking at a five bucks parking lot and walked a few blocks to exercise. The new place's outdoor looked nice. Ironically, they had issues because a power outage(?) occurred (not completely black and silent from loud speakers). Also, the flashy computer screen displays got corrupted while waiting to go in. They never came back on until the intermission time. Security was usual (take everythings like keys, cameras, etc.).
The bad parts were inside. Ming and I were disappointed with the lack of pre-show festival events that was shown on the official Web site. I find it amusing the the Nokia theatre reminded me of Best Buy employees (blue shirts). The bad part about the show was the bad seatings. My friend ordered the tickets like a month in advance for orchestra seats on TicketMaster. This was after the pre-sale. We sat in row J at seats 118 and 119 (top right). The online map didn't show them so far right, but they were. Also, I noticed the rows toward the fronts have smaller numbers so maybe we got confused. Ming and I missed about 3/4th of the stage and had to use the left monitor to see displays. I heard other people complained too about their seats near us as well. That sucked. Oh well, 30 bucks ... heh.
Overall, the music was awesome in person! I loved symphony version of the old classic games (e.g., Gauntlet, Rastan, Frogger). Even the newer games like World of Warcraft, Civilization 4 (details about the awesome sound track), etc. They all sounded incredible (where's the CD album for the soundtracks, especially the old games?). And that with my mono hearing aid! Nice bass too with it. There were even a few live performances beside music.
There were plenty of humor. Beginning startrd out with a costume contest. Then, the show started with a recorded funny music video music video ("Ms. Pacman's Demise" by The Go! Team). I totally forgot about it too since I saw it before on VideoSift (didn't recognize the video until after the legs scene). "Banana Man" (an audience member dressed up as a banana!) playing classic Space Invaders and moving his ship, on stage by running around, part was hilarious. At the same time, there was the real-time symphony playing with it (host said "live surround sound" or something). Too bad on Frogger competition that broke during the first game.
Ming and I took some photographs (1 MB), but they didn't come out too clearly in the dark (no flash allowed).
Intermission was OK. Only freeplay Space Invaders and Guitar Hero in the lobby. Blah. It was weird that the whole show, I only played about 10% of the games. After the show ended, the lobby was so crowded and no way to greet the celebrities and others so my friend and I decided to go home. I believe the concert was full or almost full. Overall, the concert was fun even with issues. I even got to see one of my unexpecting co-workers there! :)
Google Video has various low quality video recordings (better views too) and Flickr has high quality photographs (better than my friend and I took) from other people who were at the event. Don't forget others' photographs too.
8/3/2009 10:04 PM PDT and 7/28/2010 9:57 PM PDT: Fixed broken links.