Video game music spawns a new genre tribute

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Video game music – welcome to the music of your life.

If you’re still not sure how much influence gaming culture has on society today, take a moment to consider this fact: There is now an entire ecosystem of bands whose sole purpose is to cover songs that appear. in video games. What’s even more surprising is that there are so many of these bands that every new band that gets into the video game music genre has to come up with a unique twist on how they’ll deliver these songs, just to sound relevant.

Brew Game Plus 3.0 flyer

When Kirby’s Dream Band (KDB) formed 11 years ago, the stage was still relatively small. “We were the only ones in San Diego at the time, and I think there was one in LA and one in Sacramento,” says band keyboardist Ian Luckey. He saw the scene grow to the point where there are now jazz bands, string quartets, and mariachi bands tackling the same musical material. “Almost any genre you can imagine, someone is making video game music with it now,” he says. “There’s a band in Nashville called The Protomen. It’s a very large group. They are like the queen; kind of rock opera. They write all the original music, except all the lyrical content is about Mega Man, ”a Japanese manga character. “If you can think of it, at this point someone is doing it in that genre or style on the VGM scene.”

KDB has performed at major industry events such as the Washington DC Music and Gaming Festival (MAGfest) and its most recent West Coast incarnation, MAGwest. MAGfest had over 24,000 attendees as of January 2020, numbers that the upcoming Vista-based Aztec Brewing Brew Game Plus 3.0 festival is unlikely to reach on October 16. That being said, you can expect the same universe to be depicted, as VGM events have developed a fan base that displays many of the same traits as the Comic-Con scene. Even the trajectories of the two movements share similarities. “Comic-Con started out as a pretty interesting kind of niche,” Luckey explains, “and you’re watching it now, and you can’t go anywhere in San Diego while Comic-Con is happening. It’s gone crazy. . I think that’s a good example of something that seemed niche at first, but there’s actually a really big fan base for them. It’s only been a little more recently that there is had an outlet for it.

Luckey and his wife CeCe help Aztec co-owner Tristan Faulk-Webster organize Brew Game Plus 3.0. This is not their first rodeo together. “We did a show [at Aztec] in 2018 and we did a show in early 2019, but as far as Brew Game Plus goes, it’s something that we created with Tristan, in terms of a festival instead of a show with a few bands. It kind of started with Aztec providing the venue and then we just reserved the talent. Then we started to work together on other elements. It is merging as we do at each subsequent event. They get a little bigger and more elaborate. This year’s edition will feature, along with food trucks, vendors and a costume contest, eight VGM groups. KDB will be making headlines, and Luckey and his wife will share the stage in their Halloween-inspired VGM outfit, the Tonberries.

For Faulk-Webster, this is the Aztec event he is looking forward to the most. If that happens, he has ideas on how it might develop in the future. “I think at first we would probably try to do several days and then after that find a bigger place where we could hold it. Vista has the Moonlight Amphitheater, which can seat over 1,000 people, and there are plenty of other options throughout San Diego.


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