hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The voice of the Twin Cities

4:00 PM on 09.30.2012 // Daniel Starkey

While pretty much everyone these days games, it still seems that most of the best events always hit the bigger cities. When I was growing up I longed to visit the Pokemon Center in New York or E3 in Los Angeles. There were no museums, no launch parties, no tournaments ... nothing. I lived in Oklahoma and the closest major events I could find were often at least 200 miles away.

Flash forward a few years: I moved to Minneapolis for college and discovered an incredibly vibrant gaming culture. For once, I had a city with a voice.

I want this piece to be the first entry in a larger series focusing on various aspects of gaming culture that can, presumably be found anywhere. For the first entry, I’ll be doing a brief rundown of the video game music scene in the Twin Cities.

If you've played any sort of game within the past decade or so you’re probably well-aware that interactive media has moved well beyond the bleeps and bloops of the 8-bit era. In their stead, we have bombastic orchestral productions, big-name composers and a huge community dedicated to remixing and re-imagining all of it.

Our own Jayson Napolitano could be said to have something of an obsession with the genre. But his passion is telling. It mirrors the dedication of the mainstream music scene specifically because there’s now a scene to follow, and while it may not be quite as vibrant as either US coast, Minneapolis and St. Paul are still giving fans in the Midwest plenty of opportunities to indulge.

Video Games Live

The first, most obvious, and most common of these is Video Games Live. For the past two years Tommy Tallarico and pals have brought one of the largest video game concert tours in the world. They perform music taken from dozens of games released over the past 30+ years. I have been fortunate enough to attend each concert that they have held here in the Twin Cities, and both times I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time.

It’s hard not to love Tommy’s goofy puns, or revel in nostalgic tunes given power and force by the Minnesota Orchestra. Plus, there’s just something refreshing about seeing literally thousands of gamers with their friends and family all coming to one venue to enjoy the same incredible songs. Even if you don’t reach out and strike up conversations or build friendships at the concert, the knowledge that there are so many others out there with the same appreciation for the same video game music is really something special.

The full 2013 concert schedule hasn't been posted yet, but I am holding out for another concert in early spring (hint, hint, Tommy).

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

Just last week I had the opportunity to attend another very well-publicized tour that came to Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre. Bringing the order of a symphony to the energy and elegance of an orchestral composition, the Symphony of the Goddesses was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had.

Taking advantage of one of the older buildings in downtown Minneapolis, the Symphony consisted of a reinterpretation of several Zelda titles through symphonic movements. Each movement was built around an intricate battle between several leitmotifs representing famous characters and locations throughout each title. The drama associated with each segment left me with chills throughout the entire show.

I don’t honestly know if the Symphony of the Goddesses will continue its tour after this year, but their presence serves as yet another highlight in the proud and active lives of Minnesota’s gamers.

Insert Coins Level 2

Insert Coins is a relatively famous barcade and nightclub off the strip in Las Vegas, and when the owners started looking for their next location, they chose Minneapolis.  

To be fair, I am cheating a bit by including IC2 in this list as it doesn't open until next month, but the potential for a nightclub with videogame-based drinks, nearly every console from Atari to the 7th generation, and a video DJ is pretty alluring. It’s hard to say what the atmosphere will ultimately be like, but having more places to play games and relax with a drink is never a bad thing.



These are just a handful of thoughts on some of the more interesting facets of the videogame music scene here in the Twin Cities. I’m sure as I continue to explore the cities I will continue to discover and rediscover incredible people, events, and places.  

That said, I would also like to encourage community members and fellow editors to compose similar articles covering anything they want in their own hometowns -- concerts, parties, NARPs, etc.  

I’m pretty convinced that there is a larger community out there than many of us realize. Bringing more and more people together to collectively bond over interactive media is a great way to make friends and join in some real-world adventures.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Added a humble code to my steam account when I already had the game. Purely because the soundtrack was attached. Now I see it on 2 friends wishlists. They must never know.
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Okay so what 2, 3, 4 years later I bothered to finish. Now to write up that blog on why FFXIV lost my love by never challenging me and see if it's actually interesting...
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What's up with taking your phone or a magazine to the toilet? Y'all need more fibre in your diet, why should a toilet visit take more than 2 minutes? What are you people doing with your asses.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished Momohime/Jinkuro's story in Muramasa last night. I always liked that ending. I didn't know there were more endings, though. On to Kisuke's story!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
It feels like each day I get up, do the rounds of my bookmarks, and am immediately brought down by kneejerk hate: new stuff, old stuff, last nights stuff, 2moros stuff, a game, a film, TV. Critical thinking is fine, but dang, pure cynicism's winning :(
Vuster avatarVuster
Rpg Maker MV is coming soon O: I mean I am overjoyed but... I JUST GOT USE TO VX ACE!! Either way, I intend to do a form of quick summery of the features on release o:
Flegma avatarFlegma
Nintendo's(?) weekly SMM level picks: [url][/url] - scroll down a bit for the list. I wish I didn't need to type in the level ID myself, though.
Shinta avatarShinta
Metal Gear Online, Day 2. The maps in this game are amazing. Try out all 3 classes, because they're all pretty different. Really getting the hang of the game now.
Jay Escobar avatarJay Escobar
Video game voice actors are threatening to go on strike if EA, Activision, Disney, WB, and others refuse to pay them the necessary bonuses (
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I love how Final Fantasy Record Keeper is making a big deal about being able to unlock FF XII's Vaan. I do get to unlock Ashe though, so that's cool.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just put in my pre-order for Dragon Quest Heroes: The Thing in The Thing with The Thing. Good times, hope it doesn't disappoint! Like I do. With everyone.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
You know you've played a good JRPG when the ending makes you sad...
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -