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Feb 13, 2008

My Night at Video Games Live in Toronto

Destructoid has covered Video Games Live shows multiple times before and I know you’re probably wondering why we’re doing it again, but trust me when I say that the night surrounding the Toronto show was just too good not to share with the Dtoid community.

I started off the night by heading from St. Catharines to Mississauga to pick up my good friend, Josh . After surviving a snowball to my windshield and a taxi that almost hit me, I grabbed my friend at his apartment and we headed off to Massey Hall in Toronto.

I missed the off ramp and had to detour back around but luckily we still made the show with 5 minutes to spare. As we looked for our seats, Josh and I discovered that seat 22, row P was right next to the audio booth and seat 23, row P was right on top of the audio booth. Apparently, there was a working position attached to this ticket and Massey Hall forgot to tell me.

You’ve got to love Massey Hall and their wonderful seating charts. Last time, I bought the most expensive seats I got stuck buying two seats behind a pole, when there were still good seats left up front and this time I got a seat that didn’t exist. Luckily for the lovely people at the ticket booth, no one bought seat 21 and we just moved one seat over.

This was when I noticed the pot smell and asked Josh if he could smell it too. Apparently I asked too loud, because the guys behind us heard me and admitted it was them. I asked if they hoped the show would seem cooler if they were high and one responded with, “God I hope so.” The way he said it made me think that he didn’t want to be here and the pot was the only thing getting him through the night.

Buddy kept bumping my chair all night too, but when I turned around I realised his knees were up around his ears because he was too big for the seat and all the bumping was him trying to get comfortable. Poor stoner … I hope he suffered in his tiny seat all night.

VGL started the show with the traditional costume contest and though I felt the Dark Link costume was the best, the crowd gave the best costume award to a little tyke in a Link costume. Cute kids always win.

The show itself was just as amazing and well done as the previous show in Toronto. Tommy and Jack added a few new pieces from Civilization VI, World of WarCraft, Star Craft, Halo 3 and best of all, Final Fantasy VII & VIII. They also played Medal of Honour, Kingdom Hearts, Halo 1&2, Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, God of War and Metal Gear Solid.

Martin Leung, the video pianist also returned with the show to play music from CronoCross and CronoTrigger, Tetris and his own Final Fantasy arrangement. He also played Super Mario Bros. blind-folded, and even added the little pause and unpause sounds to the piece. Martin always amazes the crowd with his piano skills and he even scored a standing ovation.

Tommy and Jack also invited a local Toronto band called The Runaway Five to come and play some jazz versions of video game songs. They were actually quite good to listen to as they played Super Mario Bros. and another tune that escapes me.

This time around Toronto was treated to Tommy Tallarico’s guitar playing skills during the Halo arrangement and Final Fantasy VII’s One Winged Angel. I truly think he missed his calling as a rock star. I especially liked his Spiderman guitar. Very cool.

Before the Halo piece, Tommy brought out a very special guest, Michael Salvatori, who collaborated on all three Halo 3 soundtracks with Marty O‘Donnell. Michael told the audience that the chanting at the beginning of the Halo theme isn’t Tibetan Monks and is in fact Michael and 5 other people from the Halo project. He even sang us a few notes to prove it. Halo fans, I apologise if I destroyed any part of your vision of the Halo games, but the truth about the theme music had to be told. There are apology bouquets in the mail.

After the show, Josh and I stuck around for the meet and greet and somehow ended up being the end of the line. We waited maybe 45 minutes to get around to the front and while waiting we took pictures of the cosplayers, listen to DJ Mario play his guitar, and waited for someone from the Destructoid community to spot my Dtoid shirt and attack me. It didn’t happen.

I can run into my ex-boyfriend from high school at VGL but I can’t attract one Destructoid reader throughout the whole night. I’m disappointed in the Ontario Dtoid members. Next time you better recognise your only Canadian writer in public and make me feel loved.

After everything wrapped up at the show, Josh and I met Tommy and Jack over at the hotel to hang out and grab some food. We trekked two blocks over to a local Pizza Pizza on Jarvis st. and this was pretty much where the best part of the night happened.

Some drunk girl was babbling endlessly to us about the kinds of pizza there was to buy and who should order first, then we were joined by another drunk gentleman who really looked like Senator John McCain. He decided to talk to everyone in the joint and tell them all about how cool Canada was. He then babbled something offensive to the three gay guys beside us, who then responded with …. And I quote, “I’m ready to bitch slap this b*tch, because that’s what we do down in Florida. We b*tch slap people.”

Is that true, Niero?

By this point, Tommy, Jack, Josh and I were dying from laughter over the scene at the next table and that’s when the gay, black man from Florida said it. The line that led to this incredibly long post. He said, “Oh … this sh*t is funny. Most definitely blog worthy.” The four of us erupted in laughter again.

Now the Senator was joined by two other drunks and they spoke in that special drunk babble that only drunk people understand, while they ordered their pizza. The Senator paid for his pizza and as he was leaving, he thanked us nice Canadians for not shooting him and then babbled something about not sticking that big thing in him.

That’s when the gay, black guy from Florida added, “If I had a nickel for every time that I heard that.” Again we erupted in laughter.

I believe it was that moment when I realised how awesome my life is right now. If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be laughing and hanging out in a pizza place at 3am in the morning with two gaming industry icons, Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, after just attending a video game music concert that I would writing about the next day on the gaming blog, where I work for a guy who wears a giant robot mask and have the attention of thousands of reader each day, then I would have thought you nuts.

Best of all, the snowball, the taxi driver, the dumb pot smoker/non-gamer, the missing seat and the giant sized headache that had been following me since 4:00pm that day meant absolutely nothing. Perfect moments don’t happen often and I know that guy in the pizza place was right. Moments like this are truly blog worthy.

And just too damn funny not to repeat.

[Video of the Toronto Show via Dear Toronto]


Anonymous said...

Hey Faith, Couldn't find an email contact for you and I don't have AOL messenger, but drop me a line @ graham@stuckintime.ca we're looking for a gamer girl to do reviews for our tv station. I'll give you more details via email. Cheers. G.

Anonymous said...

Hey Faith,

It is Brendan from The Runaway Five. We met after the VGL show in Toronto. I have tried to contact you; your email doesn't work and I tried by phone, however didn't hear back from you. Drop me a message at theendoftime@hotmail.com and maybe we could set up that interview.

Take Care,


Salem VII said...

hey, i was referred to this by a friend of mine...I;m actually the Dark Link.... hahaha so i was all excited to see the pics...and yes, Dark Link loves ebay...who needs the shop when he has ebay? hahaha, well, I'll be at the free show later on today in toronto in costume again =D so if you see me come up and tell me who you are! and we'll do awesome poses....i might even let you hole the Master Sword =D