Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2014

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Las Vegas Philharmonic plays video game music

This is one time the kids should be dragging their parents to the symphony.

The Las Vegas Philharmonic performs “Video Games Live” at the Henderson Pavilion Saturday night.

“If Beethoven were alive today, he would be a video game composer,” Tommy Tallarico, who’s written the music for more than 450 games and dreamed up “Video Games Live,” told me a couple years back. “Beethoven was about getting his music to the masses. This music is pounded into the people.”

Joystick melodies. Silicon sonatas. Video verses.

The show blends the music from popular video games — from old school arcade games like “Pong” through modern masterpieces like “Halo” — with a dazzling light show and clips from the games projected on a giant screen behind the orchestra.

The result is captivating for both gamer and music aficionado.

The video nuts will shiver in delight at the recognition of their favorites. To them, the strains of “Medal of Honor” or “Zelda” are as familiar as the “Ode to Joy.”

Even if you are just a symphony fan and know nothing about games, you’ll be surprised at the melodic and harmonic complexity of the scores for games such as “Myst,” “Final Fantasy” and “World of Warcraft.”

And everyone can appreciate the sheer joy of the string section bouncing its way through “Super Mario Bros.”

Parents don’t have to worry about the video clips being violent or sexy. What you see are beautiful cinematic graphics that synch perfectly to the score.

The show begins at 8 p.m. but the gates open at 7 p.m. with costume contests and game demonstations outside the pavilion.

Tickets and $25 to $45; go online or call 267-2171.

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