Cross fans of music and video games were in for a treat last Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. The "Boston Plays Indies" event at The Middle East in Cambridge, Mass. was a collaborative concert organized by the Boston Festival of Indie Games. The diverse audience had all walks of life in attendance with one thing in common: their love of the music inspired by and made for video games. The line-up of musicians were as follows: DEADBEATBLAST, Control Group, DJ Cutman, Video Game Orchestra with a special appearance from Darren Korb.
This chip tune performer used booming bass lines featuring video game music as well as a screen projecting colorful videos. Like a true entertainer, he was charismatic with the audience and danced energetically to the beat of his music. DEADBEATBLAST is a down-to-earth musician. He invited anyone in the audience to talk to him, buy him a drink or make a donation to his cup.
Control Group is an indie rock group from Brooklyn, NY. One of their members, Darren Korb, clearly contributes to the video game industry with his solo work on the game Bastion. However, when listening to the band itself, the connection to video games is a little unclear. We feel that the band is decent, but the vocals could use some fine tuning.
As for DJ Cutman, his profile on soundcloud says it best: “Dj CUTMAN is a passionate and prolific DJ and producer of Chiptune and video game remixes. His record label GameChops is the first of it's kind to license dance music remixes from major video game publishers like Nintendo and Sega. He hosts a weekly chiptune show "This Week In Chiptune" spotlighting some of the world's best chip-musicians, and authors the blog VideoGameDJ.com.”
The headliner for this concert was the Boston-based Video Game Orchestra. The onlookers thoroughly enjoyed the experience of listening to symphony style, rock-inspired video game music. We recognized songs from such games as “Portal,” “Megaman 2,” “Final Fantasy 9,” “Plants Vs. Zombies,” “Metal Gear Solid” and “Crono Trigger.” Video Game Orchestra also covered “Enter Sandman” by Metallica with hoots of approval from the audience.
By the end of the night, there was a symbiotic relationship between the performers and the listeners. The audience fed off of the energy of the musicians and the band fed off of the energy of the crowd. In summary, it was a great night for the art of music and the nostalgia of video games.
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