Video Game music has always been influential in the field of electronic music. Some of the most popular songs are associated with video games, who doesn’t know the opening to Ocarina of Time or the Drowning Theme in Sonic, and of course the Tetris theme music. But video game music has evolved far beyond those sounds. As technology in video games has grown more and more powerful and their stories more cinematic, the scores for video games have turned into something of a film score, and the results have been varied, impressive and uniquely suited to the creations that they support.
While America is finally catching up in the video game music department with excellent offerings like Skyrim, The Last of Us and God of War, anyone who knows anything can tell you that Japan is still on top of the world when it comes to music in video games. 2017 in particular saw two excellent soundtracks released for Persona 5 and NieR: Automata. Both soundtracks were impressive for entirely different reasons, Persona for its buoyant jazz and bombastic battle music arrangements, and NieR for its sense of drama and atmosphere.
Because of the way these soundtracks are now composed, which tends to be with an actual composer and a full symphony, it opens up the soundtracks to a whole new method of experience, a live format. The NieR orchestra experience at the Microsoft Theater aims to do just that through an immersive performance featuring a full symphony.
Even if you haven’t played NieR (which I suggest you do) I cannot recommend this show enough. NieR single handedly pushed music forward for video games all while remaining approachable and exciting. You’re not going to find a better soundtrack for a long long time, so it’s worth your time to see it played in person.
Location: Microsoft Theater
Address: 777 Chick Hearn Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90015