Daniel Kramer
Tonight's God of War number will be a religious experience for gamers

Whoa, Is Lara Croft Coming?

Downtown hipsters and scenesters beware: Your stomping grounds are gonna be invaded by a throng of geeks gamers tonight.

This evening's Video Games Live show is to the gaming crowd what South By Southwest is to emo kids with pre-fab bedhead. As Nick Keppler's Night&Day item describes, the show marries big-ass vidya' game footage with crashing percussion, soaring strings and the kind of choral stylings that are generally reserved for minor gods. Imagine, if you will, that every move you made as Halo's Master Chief was punctuated by the sounds of a live orchestra and a full choir. It's every gamer's dream. Well, that and this.

I checked out the dress rehearsal last night with our photographer Dan Kramer. It was, in short, awesome. You need never have thumbed a PS2 d-pad or toggled an Xbox joystick to enjoy this show. We were lucky enough to catch two run-throughs of the Halo theme. Any fan of the shoot-'em-up game will get goosebumps when they see the game's opening montage, replete with the ethereal "ohhh-ohhh-ohhh" male choral voices. The audience will be splashed with teal and purple lights (be prepared for 1.5 seconds of blindness) as the theme really gets going. It's downright cinematic.

Other highlights: The Metal Gear Solid theme, which will make you want to go out and fight some manner of crime afterwards. Also, God of War, which thunders like, well, a God of War.

Things get going at Jones Hall 'round 5:30 p.m. The early stuff really is for the hardcore gamers. "More than the music, this is also a chance to see the people behind the games," says N. Evan Van Zelfden, a game-industry journalist from Austin who made the trip down. "Actual developers and composers are an important part of the show. You'll see them onscreen, and onstage, and during the meet-and-greet. It's not often a gamer gets to see that."

Yeah, yeah. But you other folks would best be served by getting to the show a tad bit early, as the Hall promises to be a mini E3 . Ladies, if you're looking for someone to hang with tonight, there'll be no shortage of single men here. Just be prepared to listen to a 45-minute treatise on Tron's theme when you're at tha club. — Steven Devadanam

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