We Keep You Safe (We Are In Control)
May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last night was pretty awesome, and you know why?
For your edification, I went to a concert that featured the Protomen, Powerglove, and Danimal Cannon. Yes, you can access free music from each artist at the websites I linked. Go! You who have ears, listen! Also, Danimal Cannon uses a Gameboy as his synth. Yes, it’s as weird and awesome as it sounds.
Long story short, it was awesome. I’ve said it before, but attending live performances is just better than listening to it on a music player. Note, that it usually doesn’t sound better. I’ve only been to one concert (the glorious and wonderful Dan Mangan) where the music sounded as good or better than it does after being put through the ringer of the studio and editing, and that includes a Tool concert that cost me $60. I’ll say it up front: there were technical problems that really did detract from the concert. Half of the time that Protomen were on stage the vocalist was all but inaudible. Regrettable, but in the end it didn’t matter.
Why? Well, this is why:
For those of you who don’t know who the Protomen are, they perform original songs (not covers) inspired by the MegaMan universe. How inspired? Well, let’s look at the lyrics to a song called “Unrest In The House Of Light”, shall we?
Dr. Light: You have heard me tell this story
Many times before you sleep
This time listen carefully
And I will tell you once again
But this time understand that what I’m telling you,
Every single word is true.
You need to know.
There was another who came before you
He was a hero and your brother and my son.
He fought the darkness, and the darkness won.
And he fought bravely, and he died bravely
But he was forsaken by the ones he wished to save.
And when he died he died in vain.
You need to know.
You are not him.
This is only an excerpt, but yes, they perform a retelling of the story of MegaMan as tone poem. This scratches two particular itches of mine. The first is that this is why I harp on taking things seriously, especially when they seem childish or dumb. These video games were meant for children and a young audience, yes, but they don’t have to remain for a young audience. By making the story darker, grittier, but above all more real, the Protomen reclaim MegaMan for an adult audience which, yes, includes me. And how? By expanding on the story (and the story is pretty damn good, too). Take that, people who don’t think story is important! Even COD has a story…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and say it’s good, please. It’s a start, at least.
Second, they do a pretty good job of it, if I may say so myself.
And for this, they could do no wrong. Yes, they could drive to my house, set it on fire, and then each personally say that they don’t like me and it wouldn’t matter because this group mixed great music with a great story and it became better than the sum of its parts.
Gods above and below, it makes it sooooo much better. Powerglove, on the other hand, performed really cool heavy metal remixes of old Nintendo themes, but it didn’t click nearly as well as Protomen did, and the difference, I would argue, is story. As cool as it is to listen to someone play the Storm Eagle Stage Theme on actual guitars, I’ll take a wrenching drama about duty, loss, and the price of redemption.
That said, and for taking the piss out of them despite them putting on a wonderful show, I’ll give the last word (-ish) to Powerglove. Go, and listen. You’ll not be disappointed at all. Warning: contains metal. Heavy metal.
– John still thinks the next Protomen album should be about MegaMan X