PLAY! A Video Game Symphony comes to Seattle

Competing with the Miss America pageant for your Saturday evening attention is the Seattle performance of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony, featuring music from a large number of video games. Presumably, the music will have something to do with the accompanying video being projected on large screens.

The description of the concert omits any mention of whether this is a cosplay event. Just saying.

Comments (18)
  1. Matt Green says:

    I went to the one in Vienna, VA in 2006. It was quite a show. Not every game translates well to a symphony, unfortunately. I get the feeling the early Super Mario Brothers tunes are included for nostalgia’s sake more than anything else. Modern games like Metal Gear Solid and Halo sound superb and easily rival soundtracks of epic movies.

    If it comes to your area, don’t miss it.

    "The description of the concert omits any mention of whether this is a cosplay event. Just saying."

    If it is a video gaming-related event, then people will show up in costume. Especially Final Fantasy characters.

  2. julie:) says:

    I’m going to the Final Fantasy concert in Chicago in March, for which I’m really excited.  One of my roommates is trying to decide if she should cosplay.

    Another roommate recently showed me a number of video game-related music clips on YouTube, most notably the Cal Band Video Game halftime show from a November 2007 football game.  There is also the Nintendo a capella clip, but that’s been around for a few years.

    Some video game themes do bring a moment of nostalgia for those of who can actually recognize them.  I’m curious about (and maybe this question will get answered when I go to the Gaming Learning and Libraries Symposium in Nov.) whether or not video game culture is being retained.  I know someone who works at Volition (The Punisher, Red Faction, Summoner) and he didn’t know how/if the games were being archived.

    Yes, I know there’s a book or two I could read (<gasp> a librarian reading a book?!) and probably get my question answered, but some days, pondering is just so much easier.

  3. Adrian says:

    Symphony!?  Phooey!  But I’d pay to go see Buckner and Garcia perform all their hits from their Pac-Man Fever album.

    In fact, I was listening to that CD just this morning.  "C’mon, c’mon, do the Donkey Kong!"

  4. Sitten Spynne says:

    Matt, you’d actually be surprised how well older music translates to a symphony.  A few years back, a subscriber bonus in Nintendo Power was a recording of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra playing renditions of music from Super Smash Bros. Melee.  The newer tunes were obviously very close to the in-game renditions, but most of the older tunes (including the SMB theme and the music from Mach Rider) had been rearranged to fit the orchestra and sounded quite good.

    If I had the chance, I wouldn’t miss it.

  5. Ned says:


    Holy smokes!  At first I thought you’d written "… I’d pay to go see Bruckner …" and that one really flabbergasted me for this thread.

    Thanks for brightening my day,


  6. MS says:

    I wish they’d include music from Deus Ex.  That game had a tremendous sound to it (of course, it probably wouldn’t work in a symphony).  Though Chrono Trigger is pretty spectacular.

    "If it is a video gaming-related event, then people will show up in costume. Especially Final Fantasy characters."

    That is one thing I dislike about the hardcore video gaming population.  I’d rather not see the fat guy in a Sailor Moon outfit or whatever.  Further, this is a fancy symphony hall, not a convention center.

  7. Jon says:

    @Matt Green

    I went to the one in Vienna, VA in 2006. It was quite a show.

    As was the "Video Games Live™" concert in 2007, which was also performed by the National Symphony Orchestra.  But that one was at the Kennedy Center, rather than Wolftrap so IMHO the acoustics were better.  (Especially since I only had lawn seats for "Play!")

  8. Brian Hoyt says:

    I also was at the Vienna, VA one and I really enjoyed.  My girlfriend kept making jokes about her being one of the few normal females there though.  I would recommend it if you enjoy video game music at all.

  9. xix says:

    Zelda alone sells me on it.  Mayhap one day a similar show will come to Toronto

  10. I attended the Play! last night.

    There were, at most, 10 or so people in any cosplay. I was happily surprised that people took an evening at the Benaroya Hall more seriously than Video Games Live a few years back.

  11. Ross Bemrose says:

    Unfortunately, I missed it when it was in this area.

    Doubly unfortunate when you consider that I run a video game music site.

  12. Worf says:

    Damn, a nice lineup.

    Final Fantasy, Halo, Super Mario Bros., all the nice names. I’m sure SMB is nicely done, but it’s more for nostalgia – the music wasn’t something people would say had great music. However, many of us have played SMB and recognized the tune, so it’s worthwhile in that respect.

    Final Fantasy… they release many CDs of it – one or two score collections of 4 discs, a piano version, a remix, the single, etc. Great stuff.

    If only they played here…

  13. Erik says:

    I went to PLAY! this afternoon in Seattle. I didn’t see any cosplay, really, though there was a guy in one of the front rows wearing a hat shaped like a panda’s head. Every time the tuba player was featured by one of the on-stage, embedded camera people, the audience got a view of ol’ panda head.

  14. James says:

    Actually I would have liked to have seen that. I was even trying to justify to myself a trip to Sweden to see them… until I noticed the tour dates were last year. Oops.

    I wonder if they’ll add any more dates this year. I guess not. I wish I’d heard of it earlier.

  15. Nathan says:

    I saw Play last year at the Sydney Opera House.  It was surreal to hear people in the opera house cheering when the first few bars of Halo and World of Warcraft started playing.  Haha.  Some of the orchestra were shaking their heads.  "HOW DARE THEY CHEER!! THIS IS THE OPERA HOUSE!!!"  :)

    Great concert.  

    Anyone know if they are releasing PLAY! on cd anytime?

  16. Erik says:

    I thought that they were selling a CD at the show on Saturday, though the website doesn’t have it available. I fear that I missed my chance :)

  17. Paperino says:

    Thank you. I was able to know about the show through this blog and attend it on Sunday! You are a service to our NW community! :)

  18. dlanod says:

    I went to the Sydney performance in the Sydney Opera House, and it was an excellent show.  Well worth ticket price, especially for the nostalgia factor for some of the older games.

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