Article mentioning last night's Orpheum Theater show

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Thu Jul 17 05:49:55 CDT 2008

>From Venture Beat:

E3 trendspotting: the triumph of music
Dean Takahashi | July 17th, 2008

LOS ANGELES — I just came back from the "Rock Band 2" party at the
E3 video game show. Inside the Orpheum theater, The Who belted out 40-year-old
songs to the delight of the crowd. The event was the most exciting so far in a
dull conference that has proved, in most respects, to be a shadow of its former

As lead singer Roger Daltry exhorted the crowd to belt out words "It's
only teen age wasteland!" from "Baba O'Reilly," it occurred to me,
like words flashing across a giant karaoke screen in front of my face, that
music has made video games bigger than ever. It's an obvious trend, arguably
one of the most significant forces driving video games into mainstream culture.
It started a few years ago with "Guitar Hero" and is now a juggernaut
force that is taking hold throughout the industry. The momentum behind this
trend is growing, and continues to contribute to a broadening interest in video
games. The Entertainment Software Association reports that 65 percent of
American households now play video games, and of last year's top 15 games, five
were music games.

Sure, there are pulse-pounding shooting games like "Gears of War 2"
and "Resistance 2" at E3. But it's easier than ever to say that music
has stolen the show. The halls of the Los Angeles convention center are ringing with music games
from every major publisher. The Rock Band 2 game coming this fall is the joint
product of Harmonix, MTV Games, and Electronic Arts. It will go up against Activision-Blizzard's
"Guitar Hero World Tour." Both games involve players using faux
instruments which make it easy for just about anyone to play a guitar or the
drums in an effort to match the chords and beats of familiar songs, like those
from The Who.

While Napster and the iPod have crushed CD sales, which were long ago
surpassed by video game sales, the enjoyment of live or recorded music has
never been more popular, as evidenced by shows such as "American Idol"
and the record concert sell-outs of Disney artists Hannah Montana and The Jonas
Brothers. With music-pirating rampant, the music industry has looked to license
its music to game companies, who have a proven model for making old songs
popular and introducing new artists in the games. Pete Townsend, the guitarist
and singer for The Who, joked during the concert, "It's all about
merchandising, isn't it? That's why we're here."
 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!


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