Friday, June 7, 2013

Video game music at the symphony

Scott and I did something unusual tonight:  We went to hear the North Carolina Symphony play video game music at the Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh.  As you might guess, the orchestra wasn't doing this show on its own; the concert was the local stop of a touring production, Video Games Live.  

The show was fun, I very much enjoyed listening to the music, and overall, I had a great time. 

Video Games Live is the brainchild of performer and video game music composer Tommy Tallarico.  Part symphony concert, always a multimedia experience, with screens playing video game snippets during each song, and part a showcase for Tallarico to play guitar and prance about, the concert is an unusual experience and one worth attending.  It's also unusual in that it packed most of the hall with people far younger than the typical symphony-orchestra crowd. 

As Scott, who's been to the symphony there before, observed, "Wow, colored hair."  He then looked at me and one other older dad and added, "And a little gray."  That's my son. 

Introducing younger folks to the symphony, even in this unusual way, is a good thing.

The show's biggest weakness was Tallarico, whose insistence on claiming center stage for almost the entire second half wore on me and on everyone whose comments I could hear.  It's his show, so he is of course entitled to do as he pleases with it, but it would be a more effective experience if he would tone down his presence by about half and let others take the limelight more. 

That said, he never reached the point of being really annoying, and the music was always enjoyable, so I certainly recommend catching this show if it comes near you.

Afterward, we headed to Chuck's for a late dinner.  The appetizer Fork and Knife Fries, which featured some quite good fries covered with three melted cheeses, red bean chili, shredded iceberg lettuce (it worked; trust me), and buttermilk herb dressing, were awesome.  Both our burgers were perfectly prepared and covered with interesting and tasty condiments.  I definitely recommend this place when you're in the mood for red meat.

Best of all, I spent an entertaining evening having a great time with my son.  That is a huge treat indeed, and one I appreciate more and more as he grows older.  I hope we go to many more shows together. 

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