Festival Theatre, Sat 11 Jun
We were promised the musical comedy of Tripod, accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by gaming composer Austin Wintory, all in concert to examine the world of video gaming, and This Gaming Life exceeded any reasonable expectation, delivering lovingly familiar meditations on games like World Of Warcraft, Skyrim, and Halo, while paying tribute to both the people who play them and their oft-neglected loved ones.
Featuring memorable original songs, outsized arrangements that likely demanded the ASO’s full effort, and a dense laugh-per-minute ratio, it is difficult to imagine a more successful realisation of this concept than the performance enjoyed by the Festival Theatre audience this opening weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
The concert began with a proper Overture prior to Scod, Yon, and Gatesy’s arrival onstage, with their opening number depicting the joy of bringing home a new game only to endure the disappointment of preliminary setup. Further topics would include games with guns, retro gaming, the pitfalls of player character creation, gaming addiction, and much, much more, eventually culminating in onetime inside joke-turned-actual-showstopper Halo: The Musical.
Midway through, Wintory gave Tripod a break to show off music from his acclaimed Journey soundtrack, allowing the audience’s cheekbones to recover while injecting some pure musical beauty into the proceedings. Before long Tripod were back at it, telling their scripted stories so fluidly that they appeared spontaneous, and delivering their songs with characteristic enthusiasm and flawless execution.
The audience validated the performance with fervent applause, securing an encore of ‘murder ballads’ Tripod wrote with Wintory for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. The final encore of Jokes Jokes Jokes drew a raucous reception with its sudden dramatic ending, and the attendees brought the performers back for repeated bows, appropriate for perhaps the strongest mainstream artist pairing with the ASO yet.
Facebook: Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Twitter: @AdelaideCabaret #AdCabFest
Facebook: The Clothesline – Digital Arts Magazine