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Video Games Live

Video Games Live logo

Video Games Live (VGL) is a concert series created and produced by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall.[1] The concerts consist of segments of video game music performed by a live orchestra with video footage and synchronized lighting and effects,[2] as well as several interactive segments with the audience. The concerts are conducted by Emmanuel Fratianni.[3]


  • History 1
  • Segments 2
  • Albums 3
  • PBS Special 4
  • Legacy 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


October 24, 2008 Video Games Live performance

Video Games Live was first conceived by Wall and Tallarico, who spent three years planning the show. During the planning, the technology needed to allow the concert master to communicate with the performers, as well as to synchronize the lights and effects, was also created.[2] The concert debuted on July 6, 2005 at the Hollywood Bowl, where the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performed to an audience of 11,000 people.[2] Three concerts were held the first year. In 2006, the concert re-launched with an 11-show world tour. The concert was expanded to 30 cities in 2007 and 47 cities in 2008. More than 70 shows were held in 2009 alone.[4]

Each concert is performed by a local symphonic orchestra[2] and local professional musicians.[1]


Video Games Live features music from video games from all eras. Music from more recent games (and ongoing series), such as Final Fantasy, Halo, World of Warcraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Metal Gear Solid have been performed. Other segments feature retro arcade games such as Tetris and Asteroids. Video footage of each game is shown during its segment.[5]

The concerts often feature solo performers. Martin Leung, who became known on the Internet for playing video game songs on a piano while blindfolded, routinely performed during the concerts between 2006-2012.[6][7] Also discovered on the internet, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Laura Intravia appears at the shows often as well.[8][9] VGL also occasionally features local video game cover bands like The Megas and Random Encounter. During performances Tallarico also plays guitar for some segments, from worldbeat-like folk for Chrono Trigger to heavy metal for Final Fantasy VII and themes from Castlevania.

The show features several interactive segments where audience members are invited on stage to play video games while the orchestra plays music to match the game. Games such as Frogger,[10] Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Guitar Hero have been played live.[6]


Video Games Live, Volume 1, is a recording of various segments from multiple shows, was released on July 22, 2008. The music on the album was performed by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra (except where noted), and was released by Angel Records.[11]

Video Games Live: Level 2 was released as a DVD, Blu-ray and CD on October 19, 2010 by Shout! Factory.[12] The music was performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (except where noted), and debuted at #8 on the Billboard charts.[13]

Video Games Live: Level 3 was released in 2014. It was funded by 5,679 fans on Kickstarter beating its goal of $250,000 by reaching $285,081. Unlike the previous albums, this one will be recorded in a studio featuring a full orchestra, a 60-person choir, a full rock band and video game composers from around the world. Each segment will be personally arranged and orchestrated by their original composers and use input from the game designers, developers, and publishers.

Video Games Live: Level 4 was released in 2015. Like Level 3, it was funded by a Kickstarter campaign,[14] and passed its goal of $150,000 to reach $187,646. Also like Level 3, it was also performed by a studio orchestra.[14]

Through Time and Space: Chrono Piano Album was released as part of Level 4's Kickstarter campaign.[14] It features music from the games Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger arranged for piano.

PBS Special

The April 1, 2010 New Orleans concert was taped and broadcast on July 31, 2010 on PBS. The special was later released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 and contains additional segments, behind the scenes footage, making of Video Games Live, interactive angles, exclusive game developer and composer interviews, and special never before seen game trailers. [2]


Wall and Tallarico see the concert as a way to show "how culturally significant video games and video game music is in the world today."[10] Video Games Live has been praised for bridging the generational gap by showing older generations that video game music is not just "bleeps and bloops."[2] When the show is performed in Brazil, it is subsidized by the government for getting young people involved in the arts.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Liu, Marian (2009-01-23). Video Games Live" is a feast for the eyes and ears""". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Eberson, Sharon (2009-07-07). "PSO presents 'Video Games Live' to turn on new generation".  
  3. ^ "Video Games Live — Our Team". Video Games Live. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-05-29). "Video Games Live's global success".  
  5. ^ Jean, Grace (2007-07-02). "'"It's All in the Playing At NSO's 'Video Games Live. Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ a b Dunlap, Brandon M. (2009-03-21). "Crowd of gamers elated by 'Video Games Live' concert at Miller". Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  7. ^ Schiesel, Seth (2009-10-26). "Video Games (No Controller Needed)". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  8. ^ Ponte, Christian (2010-11-08). "Video Games Live Returns to Chicago!". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  9. ^ Today, Malaysian (2010-05-06). "Laura Intravia". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  10. ^ a b Iwasaki, Scott (2008-03-29). "Symphony help breathe life into video games". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  11. ^ "Video Games live | http". // Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  12. ^ "Video Games live | http". // 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  13. ^ "Video Games live | http". // 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  14. ^ a b c

External links

  • Video Games Live Official Website
  • Video Games Live discography at MusicBrainz
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