Video Games Live Returning To Canada

By Paul Hunter

The world's largest video game concert event, Video Games Live, is returning to Canada for 16 action-packed shows in Spring 2011. Legendary video game music composer and creator of the concert series, Tommy Tallarico, made the announcement last Saturday during his panel discussion at the Fan Expo Canada.

Here are the Canadian tour dates:

April 12, 2011 Victoria, BC Royal Theatre
April 13, 2011 Vancouver, BC Centre of Performing Arts
April 14, 2011 Vancouver, BC Centre of Performing Arts
April 17, 2011 Calgary, AB Jack Singer Concert Hall
April 18, 2011 Edmonton, AB Jubilee Auditorium
April 20, 2011 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place
April 21, 2011 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
April 23, 2011 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre (day)
April 23, 2011 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre (evening)
April 25, 2011 Thunder Bay, ON Community Arts Center
April 27, 2011 Kitchener, ON Centre In The Square
April 28, 2011 Hamilton, ON Hamilton Place Theatre
April 29, 2011 Ottawa, ON Civic Centre Theatre
April 30, 2011 Montreal, QC Place Des Arts
May 2, 2011 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
May 3, 2011 Kingston, ON K-Rock Centre

Combining the best music and synchronized video clips from popular games from the beginning of video games to the present, Video Games Live is an experience that is sure to evoke strong emotions from seasoned gamers. Moreso, Tallarico says that Video Games Live is intended for all audiences -- be it long-time gamers or people who have never seen or touched a video game before -- since video game music has become an art form that can be appreciated by everyone.

I don't doubt his reasoning either. Take one listen to the music from Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, or Mario and you'll be humming the melodies in no time. I'm amazed at just how memorable video game music can be, but I'm not surprised. During his Fan Expo panel, Tommy mentioned that given the audio limitations of early gaming consoles such as the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and the NES, video game composers had to rely on simple looping melodies, typically about 45 seconds in length, for each song. What this meant for composers is that their short melodies needed to remain pleasing to the ear even after hours of repeated looping. As a good example, think of the classic Super Mario Bros. songs, they're practically impossible to listen to them too much. Tallarico went so far as to describe the Mario songs as the "Beethoven" of our time, and said that if Beethoven were alive today he'd be a video game composer. I'd have to agree.

Tallarico also announced that a Video Games Live blu-ray/DVD will be availabe this fall that will include musical performances for popular franchises such as Warcraft, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and many more. The disc will also include hours of bonus material, including behind-the-scenes footage, composer commentary, additional and extended music segments, and "making the game" documentaries.

For tickets to Video Game Live, be sure to check the tour dates page often. Looks like tickets are already on sale for the Regina, SK, performance.