Video Games Live sells out Houston - next stop Chicago
Video Games Live, the acclaimed video game concert series continued its run of sold out shows last week by selling out Jones Hall in Houston, TX with the prestigious Houston Symphony Orchestra & Choir. According to promoters, the show sold out 5 days in advance and thousands of people had to be turned away prior to the event including nearly 1,000 people on the day of the show. “I’ve never seen the excitement level and crowd like this here before!” stated one proud mom who was taking a group of neighborhood kids to experience a symphony for the first time. One audience member was quoted in the newspaper the next day saying…“I’ve been to a few different game concerts now but nothing compares to what these guys are pulling off. Wow! I still can’t believe what I saw.”
The doors opened 2 hours early for the pre-show festival which included a costume contest (all entrants appeared on stage), prize give-a-ways, Guitar Hero II competition and over 20 playable games for the PlayStation 2, XBOX, XBOX 360 and GameCube including such franchises as Halo, Super Smash Bros., Kingdom Hearts, Medal of Honor, Sonic, Zelda, Tekken and Dead Or Alive, all courtesy of Game Crazy and Hollywood Video. Yet another $2,500 AMD Ferrari laptop was given away on stage to the winner of the Frogger competition in which 2 people were picked to compete in Frogger while the orchestra played the music in real-time and changed the score on-the-fly depending on the action on screen. Other valuable prizes including CD and DVD gift packs, concert tickets, movie passes, gift certificates and more (provided by the Houston Symphony, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy) were given away during the Space Invader contest in which someone from the audience was picked to come on stage to try and clear the first level of Space Invaders against the clock. However the twist was that the player on stage controlled the ship by running back and forth underneath the video screen all while the orchestra played and changed to the action!
Following a roaring standing ovation performance, the packed post-show lobby held the game designers and composers meet and greet which was open free of charge to all attendees. The meet and greet included industry legends who had worked on such projects as Halo, Warcraft, Metroid Prime, Myst, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, EverQuest II, Earthworm Jim, Unreal, Balder’s Gate, Quake, Doom, Brothers in Arms, Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Splinter Cell and God of War.
Lee Ann Leung (sister of Video Game Pianist Martin Leung) debuted her rendition of a 10 song solo piano arrangement from Final Fantasy to a standing ovation from the sold out crowd. “I was in tears after her performance” stated one audience member, “In fact there were a couple of places during the concert where I cried. I’m just so speechless right now.” Advent Rising vocal soloist Laurie Robinson was also on hand to perform with the 60 member Houston Symphony Choir.
Pictures from the event are available here: http://www.videogameslive.com/gallery/album17.