Video Games Live's Tommy Tallarico talks about going from 8 bits to symphonies and more
Tommy Tallarico remembers the skepticism that greeted his idea to put on a concert of video game music.
"Everyone thought I was insane," said Tallarico, who has been composing for video games for more than 23 years. "I was told that people who go to the symphony don't play video games, and people who play video games don't go to the symphony. So who the hell would ever come to such a thing?"
In 2005, Tallarico debuted his production of Video Games Live at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. "11,000 people showed up for that first show," he said. "All of a sudden I wasn't so crazy."
Today, Video Games Live is a flourishing touring production that performs up to 50 shows a year. With Tallarico as host and guitarist, it comes to St. Petersburg on Friday for a concert with the Florida Orchestra and the USF Chamber Singers. The set list changes from concert to concert, but it always includes music from popular series such as Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Halo and Warcraft. Friday's concert will also include music from games like Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokeyman, Tetris, Skyrim and Super Smash Bros, "a very big game that people will be psyched to hear about," Tallarico said.