Caboose Went to Video Games Rock 2: 8-Bitchin'
Yeah this is a little late but whatever. This was hands down the best concert I have ever been to.
Editor's Note: Damn. This sounds like it was one Hell of a show!
Hey g1s, I'm FINALLY delivering on the promise I made to make a blog about this concert. I had a blast there and hopefully I can describe it well enough so that you guys can share the experience, if only a little.
About a month ago an event happened in a certain Texas town known for its music. The town was Austin and the event was known as “Video Games Rock 2: 8-bitchin’!” starring a number of video game cover bands headlined by our bald friend brentalfloss. As luck would have it, this was during the site blackout so while other g1s were busy on tinychat or catching up on their game backlog, I had the opportunity to attend this event and what a concert it was.
I attended the first Video Games Rock concert last year and enjoyed it not just because of brentalfloss but it was also the night I discovered the Austin-based band “The Descendants of Erdrick” (most g1s might know them from a recent video put up on ScrewAttack, in which they performed under their other name: The Cartridge Family). I’ll talk more about the Descendants later but also returning this year were brentalfloss (of course) and the Dallas-based band “Man Factory”; the newcomer this time around was none other than DJ Cutman, the musical maestro who has become a staple of MAGfest.
Now before I get into how each of the bands were, I think it might be prudent to give you an idea of something that happened before the music started. My buddy and I got to the concert location early and, while waiting in line, struck up a conversation with some of the other concert goers. In the midst of a discussion about Sonic the Hedgehog’s last few games we were approached by a man that I can only describe as a stereotypical biker. We’re talking a worn out AC/DC shirt with an equally worn out leather jacket, an unkempt beard that went almost to his waist, and of course lots of metal; he was the kind of guy you wouldn’t be surprised to see pull out a chain and beat you over the head with it. He asked us when the concert opened up and walked away after we answered, needless to say we were a little wary of him showing up to a concert full of helpless nerds.
A few minutes later we were let inside the venue, my buddy and I saw the biker dude again. We were amazed that he actually showed up and were even more concerned as he went into the back of the concert area. When he came back…well:
This happened. Turns out the guy was a total Street Fighter fan and was the biggest Zangeif fanboy who ever lived. He was a really nice guy and was cool about taking pictures with people, going so far as to lift girls up on his shoulders with ease. I guess if you’re going to dress as Zangeif, you’d better have the physical strength to back it up. Hell, the guy probably DOES wrestle bears for all I know.
The first act of the night was DJ Cutman. Sporting armor bits, a laptop, and a modified NES Advantage controller, Cutman kicked off the night with a Power Hour track (one continuous track that goes on for over an hour incorporating various other songs) that included a lot of music from the Chrono Cross and Zelda series, among others. Fists were pumping, heads were banging, and crowd-surf attempts failed, all without a care in the world.
There are three moments that really stuck with me from that; the first was when he played Ievan Polka, a song heavily inspired by folk music. Soon everyone was in a line doing the can-can and shouting “Hey!” to the beat (the video of that is below actually). The second was from a remix of “Butterfly” from DDR; when it came on I yelled out, “Everyone DDR!” and sure enough everyone did exactly that. There’s something hilarious about dozens of people stomping and jumping around like they’re on a dance pad but we made it work. The final moment came right at the end of Cutman’s set when a dance floor opened up and people took turns showing off their moves. Some of these “moves” included a Street Fighter inspired dance fight, a man attempting to do the worm, a guy who has seen Riverdance way too much, the robot and pop-and-lock styles, a guy with a walking stick spinning around and using it was a pole at times, and Zangeif showing off some moves like the Double Lariat.
After that set, the crowd took some time to cool down, buy merch, or play the games set up in the back. DJ Cutman himself showed up in the back to sell his own stuff and I got to chat with him for awhile (and to buy one of his albums which is totally awesome to listen to). If anyone is interested in the track, it’s coming out to his Soundcloud later this summer and will eventually be added into his third album; take my money man, just take it. As I was leaving Zangeif came by and tried to convince Cutman to take a pic with him “piledriving” Cutman. From what I understand, he convinced him to do it. XD
As this was going on, Man Factory came on stage and started their set. Man Factory does rock opera songs about Street Fighter characters. Keep in mind that they’re only ABOUT Street Fighter characters; they don’t cover any theme songs (much to my chagrin). I’m going to be brutally honest here, I don’t care for their music. Part of it is because I can’t tell what they are saying half the time (although that may be a sound issue) and the other half is that their singing needs improvement; you can hear unintentional flat/sharp notes only so many times before it starts to get on your nerves. To be fair though, some of their songs were kind of catchy, the structure was good, and the instrument playing was well done. At the very least their set allowed my buddy and me to get some rest before the other two sets went on. Silver lining I suppose.
Consequently, when I went to the bar to get something to drink I ran across the bassist (and frontman) of the Descendants, Chris Taylor. He was getting something to “calm his nerves” at the time, he did that by drinking a Dr. Pepper spiked with Red Bull. He told me to not be surprised if he slipped into insulin shock when he went out on stage.
Eventually the Descendants of Erdrick took the stage, if you haven’t heard of them before, they’re a great video game cover band that includes a flutist in their roster. My buddy is in love with the lead guitarist because she uses a Flying-V guitar when she plays. Of course I’m not one to talk since I have a total crush on the band too.
They started off with their usual intro song and then moved on to a medley that everyone loves:
This song brought some of the loudest cheering of the night and I think one or two faces legitimately melted. Their set saw at least one guy climb up on stage and another, actually a member of Man Factory, jump into the crowd in another failed attempt at crowd surfing that night. I think he may have had little too much to drink that night.
I would HIGHLY recommend looking into these guys since their music is awesome and they are really making a name for themselves by playing at places like MAGFest and E3. They only have one album out right now (which is pretty good) but they are working on their next one and it will feature most of, if not all, of the songs they played that night.
Oddly enough, a lot of people left after the Descendants were finished, more than likely they didn't realize that “The Cartridge Family” is just the name the Descendants use when they play with Brent; their loss.
In a surprisingly small amount of time Brent came out with “his band” and the crowd cheered that Brent had remembered his pants this time. As a side note, this concert took place a week before A-Kon where Brent and The Cartridge Family performed almost all of the same songs. So, if you want to hear most of the music they played (including music that he hasn’t put up on his channel yet) then check out the video that ScrewAttack featured from that concert here.
He played a number of as yet unreleased songs at the time including: Chill with Lyrics (from Dr. Mario), Shadow Man With Lyrics, and Little Nemo With Lyrics. Another unreleased song from that night was called "Co-Op Love"; a nice little tune about couples that play games together and won’t let each other die. Coincidentally, I saw a number of couples kissing each other at the end of this song….God I’m so lonely…*glances around* Oh yeah this is still going on.
He seemed to be done with the new stuff after Little Nemo because the next two songs were classics: Final Fantasy and Bloody Tears. The next song WAS supposed to be Robo-Roll but several times throughout the breaks in the set Zangeif (remember him?) would shout out, “Sing a song about Zangeif!” It was at this point that Brent relented, partially because he actually SAW the guy who was shouting it. Brent played a little jingle about Zangeif being hairy and wrestling bears while the guy did a little jig in front of the stage to thunderous applause.
And of course, what would a brentalfloss concert be without its Mad-libs?
It’s kind of odd that Brent encourages us to be dirty but not all the time. He didn’t think that including “yeast infection” was a good fit when assembling the ad-lib despite him laughing about it so much in the final read through. It’s a shame that Brent didn’t pick my suggestions though, I kept yelling out, “Your mother!” but he didn’t seem to hear it.
In a surprise move, Brent gave up the mic to the lead guitarist of the Descendants to sing Metroid with Lyrics. It’s a rather haunting melody that is really unlike a lot of other stuff that Brent has composed before but it left the whole audience in awe so I’d say it worked. Reclaiming the mic and Amanda her guitar, they wrapped up the night with "Classic Endings with Lyrics" and finally the "Ducktales with Lyrics".
By this point it was well past midnight and the crowd was partied out. DJ Cutman came back up to play some chiptunes on his Gameboy but it was mostly background music by that point. Let’s be honest guys, a brentalfloss concert takes a lot out of you, kinda like sex…I mean really intense cardio. Yeah let’s go with that.
As my buddy and I headed back to my car we almost had to yell to hear each other because of the ringing in our ears. This happened to us last year as well and it took about three days for the ringing to stop but this year it only took about one; permanent hearing damage? What’s that? Totally worth it though.
So there you have it, that’s what I did while the site was down and I enjoyed every second of it (not the site being down part but…oh you get it). You can see a lot of the pictures that I took that night right down below.
I want to apologize for this being late but I hope that I made up for it in quality or at least quantity. As always, feel free to leave a comment below on just about anything. I’m hoping to become a better blogger but I can’t do it alone. I also want to give a shout out to DJ Cutman and The Descendants of Erdrick, you guys are awesome and deserve more recognition than you’re getting.