My palms are sweaty. From the discomfort of my own bedroom, thousands of concert-goers are staring me dead in the face and will either pounce or cheer me on. My bandmates are counting on me with earnest looks on their faces to nail this set and all I can think is, “Which button do I press?”
This is the swift stream of consciousness in my head as I swing my faux black and gold guitar for Activision’s latest release, Guitar Hero Live. Last month, VIBE previewed the rock star game at its homebase in the U.K. Harping on the nostalgia of its predecessor, this sleeker, sexier version of G.H. turned any gathering (or solo feat) into a fun-filled jam session.
For the actual game, I slithered my way through SoundDial and Rock The Block Festivals, even whipping my hair as I rigorously pressed and whammy’d my way through memorable cuts like Pearl Jam’s “Mind Your Manners” to more surprising notes a la Eminem’s “Berzerk” and Rihanna’s “California King Bed.” It took several days to master the sets from all the fictitious bands, who, for the record, should get label contracts for really playing their parts.
While the game could be a buzzkill when fans in the crowd hold large “YOU ARE THE PITS” posters during a less than glamorous show, it’s conversely an insane adrenaline rush when you’re hitting 50 to 100-note streaks. Nothing brings me more joy these days then seeing an electric blue lightning bolt, signaling my Hero Power strength. One of the best sets would be Broken Tide at RTB Fest. If you’ve killed the first two songs, you crowdsurf.
The party doesn’t stop after you’ve pulled the curtain on both festivals. Once you switch to the 24-hour music network Guitar Hero TV, you can rack up points and money for exclusive concert footage from real-life bands or customized highways while playing to rock ‘n roll (and sometimes rap) classics. Also to note, even if your performance would let Beyonce down, the song continues to play ’till the last note. Like real life, there is no “pause” button (See: Lenny Kravitz and James Franco in the LOL-worthy G.H. commercial).
For those with zero patience, the band intros can feel a little longwinded when you replay sets but once you hit play, there’s no turning back. Luckily, becoming a rock star in Guitar Hero never feels like a day job.
To cop Guitar Hero, click here.