Various Artists

Video Games Live: Level 2

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For the second installation of Video Games Live, composer Jack Wall (Myst, Splinter Cell, Mass Effect) conducts the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra through a live performance of beloved video game scores. For this stop on the 200-plus date worldwide tour, electric guitarist Tommy Tallarico, drummer Joe Travers, and a small choir assist Wall’s orchestra to cover Nintendo oldies (Mario, Zelda, Megaman) and newer X-Box faves (Halo, World of Warcraft, Chrono Trigger) for a rejoicing crowd of gamer geeks. Of course, considering the visual aspect of the event (accompanying video footage, a light show, and interactive segments -- followed by a game demo, costume contest, and meet-and-greet, loosely modeled after Comic-Con), the audio doesn’t really cover the grand scale of the performance, and the loudly mixed hoots and hollers seem disparate without the on-stage action. For a full experience, the DVD version of Video Games Live: Level 2 is a better bet and rectifies this. However, the music is still impressive, varying from solo piano ballads and light concert pieces in a ‘50s Leroy Anderson vibe to rockin’ prog suites in the spirit of Rick Wakeman backing the G3 tour. For pure bombast, be sure to check out “Castlevania Rock Overture” and the “Final Fantasy VII: One Winged Angel” finale.

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