Those of you fortunate enough to have made it to one of the many worldwide live performances of Video Games Live, an orchestral showcase of some of the greatest suites from classic video game titles hosted by Tommy Tallerico and Jack Hall, may have had the opportunity to experience the magical rendition of the Staff Credits from Sonic the Hedgehog 1.
According to Destructoid, fans of the show can expect a CD and DVD release of the show performed recently by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. Alongside the Sonic Medley, the CD and DVD will also feature music from Zelda, Super Mario, Halo and a rocking version of One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII, complete with Tommy rockin’ out on his axe. The CD run time is currently pipped at 75 minutes for the CD, so you’re really getting as much as they can shove on there! The DVD will include over 3 hours of bonus material and behind the scenes footage in addition to the 100-minute performance.
Video Games Live: Level 2will be released State-side on October 19th, 2010 – so far there are no details on prices or a worldwide release – but I guess there’s always the option to import!
Welcome to my pictorial roundup of Summer of Sonic 2010! Here are a collection of photos from the day, taken by my sister, who was there as official Summer of Sonic photographer (do go check out her website!) If you stopped and posed for a photo thank you; being busy on stage meant I didn’t get an opportunity to take photos for myself, so these are all fantastic captured moments of what was a fantastic day for all.
Over breakfast the day before, Johnny Gioeli leaned over the table and asked me how many people were coming to this little shindig he would be performing at tomorrow. I proceeded to explain that we were expecting between eight-hundred and a thousand people to show up, travelling from all corners of the world, and he was simply staggered. Although I knew the numbers myself, the reality of it all didn’t sink in until the countdown began on stage, and looked down onto the vast throng of people. It still seems like another lifetime to me when Dreaknux, AAUK and myself were huddled around a little table in a Nottingham café fantasising about the prospect of a Sonic convention, yet not four years later we have accomplished a third successful Sonic event.
First off I want to thank all of you guys; you all showed up for starters, supported the event, and behaved impeccably. I didn’t hear one complaint on the day that you had to wait an extra half an hour outside of the venue (an unfortunate setback because of the thefts of electronics), You all waited patiently in queues for Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, in some cases for over an hour. Although we managed to get over twelve pods on the day, more than twice the number we had last year, we could have done with more – the popularity of the games available was incredible! I also didn’t hear one moan about the heat during the Crush 40 performance either, even from those of you who aren’t used to attending hot and sweaty rock gigs; everyone was far too busy enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Jun and Johnny perform live. I also want to thank you all for treating our guests with respect and politeness throughout the day.
Although I was pretty much running from point to point for the entirety of the event, what really made my day was the brief pauses I had in between my dashes, chatting to you guys. Even if it was only for a few minutes it was awesome to catch up with you lot, have my photo taken with you…or even signing things! I had a few minutes to catch up with Aaron “RubyEclipse” Webber, the community manager at SEGA of America, who is a fantastic and pleasant fellow, and is probably just as busy when he’s away from his (now Green Hill Zone themed!) desk. It was also marvellous to catch up with folks from the SSMB, Junsenoue.com, SonicWrecks.com, NiGHTSintoDreams.com and EmeraldCoast.co.uk amongst many sites, and to finally put some names to faces! Thanks to everyone who has sent the staff and I a thank you via PM, email or facebook, and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought me a drink or a bottle of my favourite poison – my whiskey cabinet is now well stocked!
I want to also convey my heartfelt thanks to our guests Nigel Dobbyn, Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli. For starters these guys are incredibly busy folk, and yet they took time out to come along and perform, draw, talk and sign items for you, for free. I’m always stunned that at the end of every event our guests always ask if they can come back next year, sometimes with their kids because they love coming out to meet you lot, and because the atmosphere is always so friendly. A huge cheer for the guys and gals at Archie Comics and First4Figures too for their extremely kind donation of literally hundreds of comics and action figures! I must also extend my thanks to Richard Elson of STC fame for donating some fantastic artwork to give away as well – all very much appreciated!
I think I speak for the majority of attendees when I say the Crush 40 performance totally blew everyone away. Organising all of the pieces that went towards creating the performance involved many sleepless nights on my behalf – I had nightmares of cabs blowing and microphones failing, but yet in the end it all came together miraculously. I give my infinite gratitude to AAUK, Dreadknux, Jun Senoue and SEGA for assisting me in putting it all together. I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagined introducing Crush 40 on stage…so Summer of Sonic really has become a place in which even my dreams have become reality.
Before I conclude, I think thanks are in order to all the members of staff this year, some of whom have, for a third year running, have given up their time to provide a fun-filled day for everyone. Not only that, some of these folks have donated substantial quantities of money towards the running of these events, and so I’d like to end with a few words of thanks to a few of them:
The DJs; FastFeet, Turbo, BlitzChris and Gavvie: The boys kept the turntables hot all day. This was the first year I haven’t commanded the DJ booth, so I tip my hat to Mr. Graham “FastFeet” Seward who took up the reigns and kept the wheels turning, and who also provided a spot-on job with backing tracks for Jun and Johnny’s performances – simply amazing dude.
The Store Staff:Flyboy, WayPastCool, Speedknux, Char & Nemain – My NiGHTS in shining armour! These guys manned the stores selling all those of wonderful bits of merchandise that no doubt grace many of your shelves and wardrobes. From Jun, Johnny, Tracey Yardley and myself, thank you all so much! A special thanks to Nemain who is probably the person responsible for propping me up the past few months!
The Tech Guys: B’man, Discoponies & Roareye – Even with a massive blow to their arsenal with the theft of equipment the night before, they provided excellent on stage support with feeds and visual magic for the third year running. I honestly don’t think there are any limits to what these guys can achieve on the day!
The Doors and the Games: Urtheart, Vger, Jay Zeach, Shadzter & Blake Draco – The ever present Urtheart once again resided over the doors flanked by his cronies, allowing us all to have another safe day at Summer of Sonic, while Shadz and Blake both kept the crowds moving on the pods. Cheers guys!
Sonic the Hedgehog: He always shows up year in year out with no complaint. And year in year out SonicYoda is nowhere to be seen…we thank him for staying in touch with him and getting him along every year!
…and the Rest: SoA, bcdcdude, Iceman, Rachael,ENVY, Gnasher &SonicMark – I still maintain Iceman is the coolest bloke on the Earth, doubly so as he jumped in when the going got tough and was a huge help setting up the day before. I also tip my hat to the dudes from junsenoue.com who also pitched in, especially in bringing me much needed sustenance in the form of a cheese burger. Rach was also running around much like my sis taking loads of snaps during the day as well. ENVY is the very tallented young chap who provided the fantastic art for the Buzzbombers quiz, and Gnasher for once again running the show. SonicMark has become affectionately known as my caddy as he ends up lugging my stuff around – I just need to find him an appropriate hat. Thanks loads fellas, you all helped make my life easier throughout the organisation of the event.
The Dynamic Duo: AAUK & Dreadknux – Let’s face it, Summer of Sonic only happens because these two guys have the drive to propel it forward. Kevin has once again gone so far beyond the call of duty that we’ve had to send out a search party for him. Svend somehow manages to coordinate a fantastic website every year and continues to be our shining standard bearer. Even though this event is nothing short of an organisational nightmare, they keep coming back year after year to entertain you lot, and I hope your remember that.
So, Summer of Sonic is done for another year, but we’ve already got a date in our diaries for 2011 (25th of June, folks!). Who knows what will be going down on the day, but with it Sonic’s 20th birthday racing towards us, anything could happen!
Not that you’ll need reminding, but please do go show your support for contest entries over on the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 contest page, particularly for the TSS boys which includes Dreadknux and myself! On behalf of both of us, thanks for all the votes so far, and keep them coming!
My busy schedule (which has included scoping out potential locations for Summer of Sonic) has meant this has been heavily delayed, but here it is! The illusive final part of the Jun Senoue Interview! Because there were so many questions asked by the fans, Jun agreed to answer some more of the other frequently asked questions:
T-Bird: BlueHedgehog25 asks are you planning on having any Crush 40 or similar songs featuring on the Rock Band Network?
Jun: I’m hoping that we can have some Crush 40 songs on Rock Band in the near future.
T-Bird: Exciting! Sure the fans will be please to hear that! Waaurufu asks who was the designer of your Sonic the hedgehog guitar?
Jun: Yuji Uekawa Sonic Team illustrator and character designer provided me with the artwork. Hiroki Hayashi, one of the people who is in charge over at ESP guitars took care of the rest!
T-Bird: Here’s a good question from SuperStingray: Where did the name Crush 40 come from, and what happened to Crushes 1-39?
Jun: I picked the word “Crush” up because of my favorite soda drink and Johnny added “40” onto the end. You will have to ask Johnny about other numbers!
T-Bird: A less Sonical pair of questions now! Pelon13 asks what is your favourite food, and what is your favourite colour?
Jun: Mexican food is my favourite, but it is very hard to find really good Mexican restuarants in Japan. Talking about colors, my favorites are Red, Purple, Black.
T-Bird: Moving back to technical preferences, Kasey asks what your favourite guitar is and what amplifier set-up do you preferentially use?
Jun: I like the combination of ESP guitar with Schecter pick-ups and Soldano amplifier with Soldano or Bogner cabinets. I only have small ones from Bogner at this moment though. With regards to “Knight Of The Wind” on “The Best Of Crush 40 – Super Sonic Songs”, I tracked all backing guitars once again with Soldano amplifier and Soldano cabinet.
T-Bird: Gwiz210 wants to know if Bubblicious Blvd. are planning on recording an album or an EP in the near future?
Jun: Nope! Bubblicious Blvd. is not a serious project at all. We [Jun, Mike etc…] just try to have play any dates we can in our spare time at the moment. Jan. 9th was the first day we were introduced to each other and we played the gig without any rehearsals! We’ve only met twice since then back on February the 20th to rehearse and to play another show a day later on February 21st.
We have played just three times, two shows and one rehearsal!
T-Bird: With regards to that gig, how did it go?
Jun: Talking about the show on Feb. 21st, it went much better than 1st gig since we’ve learned the songs 🙂 I was really surprised that a singer I used to work with back in the early 90’s came to the show to say hi to me! We had a dinner the other day, discussed several things and we will have a show on May 16th in Shibuya, Tokyo. The band was not famous but we had some good memories!
We will have a show with my drummer and bass player this time but I hope all four members from that era can share the stage in the near future.
T-Bird: Sounds like a very busy schedule! Nozwhompolton asks are there any plans to give Blaze the cat a theme? If so, will it be similar to the Sir Percival theme or something different like the Vela-Nova track from Sonic Rush?
Jun: When I worked for “Sonic And The Black Knight”, I had a plan to make her theme song and yes, my idea was to make a full-length version of “Sir Percival Theme”. I could not make it for several reasons…. the main reason being the short instrumental I composed for “Sir Percival” was good enough for the scene, and we didn’t need the longer one for use elsewhere in the game.
And that’s all folks! Hopefully we will be speaking to Jun again in the summer with regards to the Sonic the Hedgehog 4 soundtrack…and maybe some other things too!
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