One of the coolest things about our games is the way they bring people together. Here is one short story of extreme fandom that brought together four folks from different cities/states under the banner of Rock. Forum-rocker Juliefoo originally posted this story in the Rock Band forums. HMXThrasher followed up with Ms. Julie to get the full scoop along with some photos about their meet-up. Julie's story, as told to HMXThrasher:
Thanks to Rock Band, I've met some pretty amazing people. Late 2008 I ran into a random bassist (Ebeve198819, aka Calvin) online who I played with pretty often. He's a lot of fun, and we'd randomly jam together whenever. Calvin eventually introduced me to guitarist Intemidator aka Decker and their drummer, Gloraver3619 aka Matt. When Calvin lost his band data, the guys asked if I’d be the official singer. I couldn't turn them down! And so we formed a new band, Rock Band 3 Kids. We consider ourselves a casual band – we get together online a few times a week to jam and have fun sightreading the songs we haven't played.
So after over a year, lots of money, and quite a bit of rock star antics, we decided it was time to meet up for an in-person get together to do the Endless Setlist (aka the ESL)! I live in Ohio, Matt's in Indiana, and Decker and Calvin are in Illinois, so we weren't that far from each other. I took the bus to meet up with Matt, and Decker picked us up and we drove over to Calvin's, near Chicago. After playing online for over a year with these guys, I got to know them pretty well and they were exactly the same in person as they are online - completely awesome! With Calvin’s place as home base we spent Friday night to Monday afternoon jamming, bowling, and having fun in his fancy Rock Band decked out basement. Picture this – a weekend full of Ions, ESLs, random jam sessions, stocked bar and snacks, ScoreDuels,* bowling and lots of espresso. Oh, my!
So we were practicing before the ESL, playing random songs, and landed on “Hysteria.” Tough on bass, right? I'm singing, minding my own business, when I hear "CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK" so fast and loud that I can't hear myself! I look over and Calvin is down strumming EVERY NOTE in the song!
I looked over and said, "Um… they're hammer-ons, Calvin." and he replied "Hammer whats?"I immediately stopped the song and the whole band started flipping out. Calvin can pass “Hysteria” with a 97% on bass, downstrumming every note, and not knowing about hammer-ons?! He can pass “Thrasher,” too and just about EVERY song in the game and he doesn't know about hammer-ons?!
We sat him down and had a talk. And made him go through ALL the tutorials. Afterwards he said, "Ooooohh! That DOES make it easier!"
Our ESL run was amazing! We ended up staying on our main instruments through the whole thing. We started the ESL at about 11pm. We didn't keep track of our scores, our FCs, or our Gold Stars either. We were having so much fun, and really getting into the experience (jumping around, dancing, spilling drinks, and singing along, occasionally muting the TV for full songs), I don’t think we could have tracked anything.
I do remember the first non-Gold Star we got was “Girl’s Not Grey.” By that time I believe it was 3am, and we were all falling asleep. We played a few more songs and then decided to get some rest before picking the setlist back up in the morning around 11.
We sat down and got through the rest of the set list without any major breaks (other than, you know, “nature calls” breaks). During “Visions” Calvin failed out right at the beginning. Since it was a talky song, I handed him the mic and grabbed the bass from him. Decker saved me and we beat the song without failing out! We got through the last two with no problems at all with Calvin back on bass.
In my opinion, we had an excellent run! We got 410 out of 420 stars, and earned platinum for Calvin, who had never done the ESL before.
Following our amazing ESL run we decided to escape the television set for awhile and went off to a nearby bowling alley for some proper celebrating. The alley was AMAZING! Along with bowling, there was a full sized bar, huge arcade, and a laser tag arena attached. The bar had a rhythm game setup going on – and after we played a few rounds, the district manager offered us a gig to get a full time Rock Band night started there!
So, we went from playing online together, to meeting in person, to teaching Calvin hammer-ons, to the ESL, and now on to an actual gig playing Rock Band! What’s next?
I want to say THANK YOU to Harmonix and Rock Band for creating such a fun and entertaining game, and thank you for the online play, and bringing such great friends my way.
Photo credit: JulieFoo
*Vox Scoreduels in person = AMAZING, btw.