The Rock Band video game has been released and for some gamers, Christmas has come early. Developed by Boston based video game company Harmonix (Go Red Sox), and acquired by MTV in 2006, Rock Band is all the rage. Some people are saying it’s the best music video game they’ve ever played and god forbid, that it’s even better than Guitar Hero. It’s also being reported that sales of music genre games like Rock Band could help save the “flagging” music industry.
Strictly from an observers point of view, I must admit I am curious. It’s hard not to be from all of this excitement. To be able play a video game where up to four players can play instrument-based peripherals – guitar, bass, drums, and a microphone for the singer seems like fun. However, as a singer and musician, I would be interested to know if musicians really can have fun playing Rock Band without getting bored quickly. After all, what’s better than experiencing the real thing? Then again, after a few drinks…
Hats off to the developers, though. Rock Band does seem like it could be a great party game and it is quite the innovative idea.
I’ve been growing more fascinated with the use of music in video games. They’re a great platform for music and will continue to create more opportunities for bands and artists in the years to come.
Now that MTV is involved, it will be interesting to see where we go from here. Rock Band is opening up the playing field and breaking independent bands alongside major artists within the game. I think that’s a great idea and I’m all for it (even with the inclusion of some of the Harmonix staff who are in bands like Freezepop and Bang Camaro!).
The song list is impressive. Just looking through the set list, there are some standout tracks that would be fun to sing and play along to like “Ballroom Blitz”, “Creep”, “Dani California”, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, “Foreplay/Longtime”, “Tom Sawyer” and a few others.
It was announced at one point that Steven Van Zandt, a.k.a. Little Steven (Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band) was going to “head up the board as the chairman with a select group of celebrity musicians and industry experts to select songs.” I’m not sure who was responsible for the band Boston being included, but it’s funny to see, considering Rock Band was created by a Boston based company.
I can imagine there will be many people out there wondering why certain bands and artists aren’t included yet. Like, where’s Jimi Hendrix? I know that Experience Hendrix (Janie who handles his estate) can be strict with his music but if anything, this would be a great platform for his music. Better than having his image printed on golf balls, but I digress.
The song list is also lacking in female singers. Heart (“Barracuda” would be a rockin’ number to sing) and Pat Benatar would be fun additions, but maybe they’ll add more in time. Little Steven certainly has his hands full, and I’m sure will be getting requests for bands on a daily basis.
When or if I do end up playing Rock Band, I’ll be sure to include a full review of my experience with the game here on Band Weblogs.
Watch the Rock Band video demo review by IGN:
Rock Band Song List:
(In alphabetical order)
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
Ballroom Blitz – Sweet
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
Celebrity Skin – Hole
Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins
Creep – Radiohead
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dead on Arrival – Fall Out Boy
Detroit Rock City – Kiss
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
The Electric Version – The New Pornographers
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Epic – Faith No More
Flirtin’ with Disaster – Molly Hatchet
Foreplay/Long Time – Boston
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
Go with the Flow – Queens of the Stone Age
Green Grass and High Tides – The Outlaws
The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
Here It Goes Again – OK Go
Highway Star – Deep Purple
I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
In Bloom – Nirvana
Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters
Main Offender – The Hives
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mississippi Queen – Mountain
Next to You – The Police
Orange Crush – R.E.M.
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Reptilia – The Strokes
Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
Suffragette City – David Bowie
Tom Sawyer – Rush
Train Kept A-Rollin’ – Aerosmith
Vasoline – Stone Temple Pilots
Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi
Wave of Mutilation – Pixies
Welcome Home – Coheed and Cambria
When You Were Young – The Killers
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
13 bonus tracks by established bands and independent artists that can be unlocked as you play the game:
29 Fingers – The Konks
Blood Doll – Anarchy Club
Brainpower – Freezepop
Can’t Let Go – Death of the Cool
Day Late, Dollar Short – The Acro-Brats
I Get By – Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
I’m So Sick – Flyleaf
Nightmare – Crooked X
Outside – Tribe
Pleasure (Pleasure) – Bang Camaro
Seven – Vagiant
Time We Had – The Mother Hips
Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld – Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld
Downloadable song packs will also be available.
Rock Band is currently available for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles. PS2 in December 2007.
Rock Band on amazon.com
For more information, go to:
By: Jenny May – Band Weblogs