MICF 2015: Reviews #15 – by Julian Callinan

Tripod: This Gaming Life, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra


I’ve seen a lot of good shows this year, but this is the first one I would describe as majestic. Of course, that’s pretty much because they have a symphony orchestra backing them up, but it means that Tripod’s songs feel that much more grand even when they’re about the smallest aspect of gaming. That’s what the show is about, the band’s personal relationship with games and gaming, and they go through a number of different aspects of the hobby, from what they enjoy about it to the emotional responses it can evoke. It’s a show seeped in affection and knowledge of games, so while it doesn’t really require any specific knowledge beforehand, it helps to be aware of, say, the difference between 8-bit and later games, or what Portal and Skyrim and Halo are. Also, if you’ve played Journey you’ll get the most out of it, as the conductor and supplier of the occasional zinger is Austin Wintory, who created the music for what is a lovely example of the artistry and emotional content of games. It’s a luxurious experience, and though the sound levels once or twice made the words of the songs a little hard to hear, their strong voices and interesting arrangements carried through. A real treat of a show.

Not for anyone who possesses no affection for computer games whatsoever, or people who only like music with saxophones in it.

Tripod is on at Hamer Hall for only Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th of April at 7.30pm.
Show runs for 150 minutes with interval – which is an hour longer than it says in the Festival Guide. Plan accordingly.


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