The summer after Rock Band first came out, the full band bundle was waiting for me when I got back from college. My friends and I were still really into Guitar Hero at the time, and the thought of having a full band had us giddy like schoolgirls. Already finished with our Junior year, this was one of the last summers we would have as a group, and we spent many nights rocking out into the wee hours of the morning. One night, however, stands out.
On this particular night we had a larger than average group together. A girl with whom I had recently struck up a sort of long distance relationship was visiting for the first (and, as it would turn out, only) time, and my friends were all there to meet her, play video games and generally make asses of themselves for her amusement. One of my friends decided that he was going to serenade us with an inspired vocal performance in Rock Band. Our amusement quickly turned to concern when he selected "Creep" by Radiohead. We were not prepared for what followed.
My friend started singing in a haunting monotone that was still somehow on key (he's a musician, after all). The creepy voice was bad enough, but things took a turn for the worse when he shifted his gaze away from the lyrics on the screen and instead stared at the unwilling recipient of his little performance. Only it wasn't the girl he was staring at; it was me.
Never breaking eye contact for even a second--and never faltering in his singing--he slowly slunk to the ground and started crawling toward me. Mesmerized by his unwavering gaze, I saw neither jest or any sort of human emotion; in his eyes I saw only an insatiable hunger. Unable to flee, I retreated into the girl's arms and watched in horror as my friend methodically snaked his way around the drums, inching ever closer.
As the music swelled to a crescendo, he grasped my leg and started pulling himself up onto the couch we were sitting on--all the while, his soulless eyes on the object of his misguided adoration. At the height of his madness, right as his face was mere inches from mine, the music died down, and he slowly backed down and let go of me. He finished the rest of the song sitting in a dejected slump on the ground, his eyes still firmly fixed upon mine. It was one of the most traumatic and hilarious incidents in my life.
Bonus story: When my friend (not the scary one) and I bought Rock Band 2, we started out by playing through the campaign mode. We were about to start the final song in one of our setlists when we suddenly got a prompt asking us if we wanted to abandon our last song and shoot a music video sponsored by Hot Topic instead. Without even pausing to consider the situation, I agreed and we proceeded to deliver a spirited rendition of "That's What You Get" by Paramore. At the end of the song, my friend turned to me with a concerned look and said, "Did we just sell out?" Yes, we had sold out. And it was glorious. That was the first time we had heard Paramore, and we quickly grew to love the band. A few years later, I won tickets to a Paramore concert, and we actually got to see them perform live. It would turn out to be one of the last shows they did before the Farro brothers left the band.
Happy Birthday, Rock Band.
Rock Band is the game that I have played for the longest length of time and the most hours of any other video game that is out there. Some people get addicted to MMOs like WoW. I could never get into those. But Rock Band is like my WoW. I play all instruments (standard and pro) and I'm constantly striving to get better. Rock Band has helped me discover lots of great music, both new and old. Rock Band has encouraged me to start learning how to play a real instrument (guitar).
Rock Band is easily my favorite video game franchise of all time and I've been playing games for over 20 years now. Heck, Rock Band isn't even a video game. It is its own separate hobby from "regular" gaming.
Insert signature here.
How could I, a neophyte add to this? My first ever exposure to any rhythm game was a demo system at Microcenter, a computer store on Long Island. This was like three years ago. I picked up the plastic guitar and tried it out, frowned (being honest here) and forgot about it. I was very unimpressed.
Then close to my 46th birthday this past April, I stumbled across some youtube videos that showcased how Rock Band 3 used an actual Keyboard and I was enthralled. My wife wanted to get me something special for my birthday and offered to get me an Ipad. I suggested that she get me a game console (I didn't know which one yet, just knew I would need one to play RB3) and Rock Band 3 along with a keyboard controller instead.
At first I figured I would be content with only the keyboard and the game. Then I found that calibration was an issue for me and picked up a wireless legacy guitar so that I could auto calibrate. It wasn't long before I discovered (with the help of my kids) the charm of GRYBO and even though I hardly play five lane I understand the appeal now.
One legacy guitar became two. Then a microphone, followed by portable drum pads, which evolved into a full blown pro kit for my son's birthday. I also purchased the Mustang for myself so I could relearn the guitar (which has been nothing short of AMAZING btw, thank you so much HMX for succeeding where live instructors failed!).
Thanks to a contest another PRO Mustang waits in my bedroom closet to be gifted to my daughter on her upcoming birthday. My wife will sing when coaxed (strange that she needs pushing to sing the game but will rattle the windows in the car).
In the few short months since the end of March (yes I pushed for the whole setup a bit early ), Rock Band has been a vital part of at least mine and my children's lives if not my wife's so far.
I also intend on inducting my brother and my best friend into the "lifestyle" if I can. My brother because this is just the sort of thing I believe he'd get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from if he gives it a chance and my best friend because if he can get passed his snobbery (he's a guitarist of the highest caliber and the model for the guitar player in my in game band. I have never personally known of anyone that can touch his talent on the instrument and this is saying a lot), I think we could both enjoy the game together. Something I've wanted to do since the first time I played a song on PRO keys. That is to say I've wanted to play PRO keys while he plays PRO guitar. Seems silly when I play real keys while he plays real guitar frequently doesn't it?
Anyway, that's my silly little tale. Hope it wasn't too dull.
Last edited by skyp1e; 11-16-2011 at 10:10 PM.
I went to a family get together and declared I wouldn't make a fool of myself by trying to play RB in front of people. Then, I decided well maybe just one song. That was my first time playing, and that's when I was "hooked". Actually that was my first time playing any vidio games ever. I still play everyday, have all the instruments including Pro instruments, and play them all. I have never had so much fun with music in my entire life, and I've been involved in music my entire life. Thanks HMX and HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCKBAND... ROCK ON!!!
Last edited by rkbdgurl; 11-16-2011 at 10:12 PM.
I'm a terrible writer so the following is typed out in thoughts :/
I got the Rock Band PS2 bundle when it came out. I went to a Best Buy to pick up the only copy they had of it and bumped into a girl I knew from middle school. Had I arrived at the store a minute late, the girl would have picked up the only bundle.
Bought Rock Band Unplugged for the PSP which prompted me to buy Rock Band 2 for the PS2. Last PS2 game I bought was the ACDC track pack.
I saved up enough money to buy a PS3 and repurchased all of the Rock Band games in May(?) 2010, around the time that the Juanes pack came out. Seeing that the RB1 controllers that I had were very worn out, I bought the Beatles Bundle for $80. Can't really remember the exact price.
I was old enough to know who Harmonix was when they released Amplitude/Frequency, but had no idea they made a Guitar Hero game until I came across it at Best Buy a year after its release, or so. I followed GH2 and switched over to Rock Band, knowing that I'm a Harmonix was behind the game. And knowing how Activision treated the Tony Hawk games, I knew the same was going to happen with GH.
I remember when I was playing the drums back in the RB1 days, and The Hand that Feeds by Nine Inch Nails would always murder me on Expert. At that point I had music experience to know the rhythm and syncopation, but the part that would always kill is the ride cymbal on the upbeats while the kick is on the downbeat. Fast forward to now, I can do that song blind-folded.
My music collection expanded greatly because of Rock Band. Before my exposure to Harmonix, my music collection was the catalog of the Barenaked Ladies, System of a Down, Korn, and some single albums like Audioslave, Evanescence, and Gorillaz. Because of the way Harmonix masters the tracks for gameplay, they tend to sound a lot better than the CD versions, and that turned me into an audiophile. Before Harmonix, I owned about 40 albums. Since my initial exposure to Harmonix, it has increased to 200 albums approx. And they are all physical CDs.
Unfortunately, I have yet to make friends from playing Rock Band. Here's hoping that'll change in the next four years.
Looking forward to the next four years with the supposed revamp of the Rock Band franchise.
The RB1 opening is the best one of the three.
Happy Birthday Rock Band! It's crazy how time flies. But my favorite Rock Band memory is kind of an odd one. But I remember first getting Rock Band and only playing guitar for the longest time. Then one day I tried drums, and I remember failing "Buddy Holly" by Weezer. And for whatever reason, I was hooked. Practiced nonstop for days, and was playing Enter Sandman on expert in a short period of time. I didn't even really think anything of it, but that first encounter with drumming really changed my life.
I'm sure there are lots of other people with stories like mine, but I eventually moved from the Rock Band kit to real drums. Started a crappy rock band with some friends. But we practiced a lot, wrote a few songs, covered a few songs ("When You Were Young", which I knew how to play because of Rock Band) and eventually got some gigs. It was awesome and we were all having the time of our lives. And I kept playing Rock Band.
At one gig, the music director at our school saw us and told me to join jazz band. And from there I started drumming in the school jazz band, and eventually joined our church's worship team for Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Drumming, on a real kit or in Rock Band, has become a huge part of my life, a way to deal with stress, sadness, anxiety, anger, everything. So this is just a long and drawn out way of saying thank you so much Rock Band and Harmonix. You guys have gotten me through some tough times and brought many, many memories, really changed my life. And I still play Rock Band regularly, and I plan on always doing so. So Happy Birthday again Rock Band, and here's to many more!
I started in early 06' w GH 1, but I truly fell in love with your games while playing Co-op on GH2 with my now wife. Our most fav RB memory is when we fn Roadtriped to Columbus, Ohio for the 1st RB Tour. I was the only person playing all instruments, plus singin Paranoid and Detroit Rock City while jammin, good times. The DLC is what keeps me wet and comin back, but as of lately, DLC has been dry as Sh*t!
Im extremely thankful for your every week commitment to, for the most part, great DLC, but I feel like DLC has not been on par with what HMX can actually do(not including YES, The Doors, Ozzy, Def Leppard, Coldplay, and a few others). Re-release of country track pack 2??? Nickleback, WTF?!? and Rocksmith got Jessica by Allman Brothers Band, WTF?!?! Im not a RS fan by no means, but why not "Eat a Peach" for RB? Id also like to see some more advertising for RB on the Xbox Dashboard or at least a short DLC video preview made up of just gameplay showing off your cool new DLC, cant hurt. Good times to Roll on
Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin RB
Henry, I got 3 words for ya........c'mon, C'mon, C'MON
I was originally a Guitar Hero fanatic before a Rock Band fanatic. It took me an entire year to become engrossed with Rock Band after being introduced to Guitar Hero. Strangely enough, the first game I bought was Lego Rock Band, in Dec. 2009, when it was just released. For some reason, I found the setlist more appealing, due to my limited knowledge of music. However, over the subsequent year, I learned much about good music and become fully knowledgeable to the definitions of metal and classic rock.
Nonetheless, I still didn't pick up another Rock Band game, because I was unsure that my Guitar Hero guitar would function. It wasn't until September 2010 then I learned that it was indeed compatible, and I rushed to Gamestop, purchasing both RB1 and RB2 for cheap prices. Enthralled, I quickly tried to complete the career modes. I finished Rock Band 1 quickly on Expert Guitar until I was stumped on Green Grass and High Tides. I later completed Rock Band 2. You can imagine my pride after beating Painkiller, an achievement for me at the time.
However, I didn't purchase any DLC, not yet. I was still more focused on Guitar Hero, especially since the setlist of my dreams, GH6, had just released. I was more than disappointed with Rock Band 3's revealed setlist, which postponed me from purchasing it upon release date and instead jotting it down on my Christmas wishlist. But when I got it, it was a decision I would not regret. Despite the shortcomings of the setlist (which I still enjoyed, as I found some gems in the Night Ranger and Dire Straits songs I had been unfamiliar with before), I was enthralled by the awesome new features.
After finally purchasing some DLC (the 1st Ozzy Osbourne pack and Metallica 01), I was now playing RB3 more frequently then any other rhythm game. Now I have difficulty switching to the Guitar Hero system instead of vice versa! I became a much better player throughout 2011. Beating a song on Expert Guitar had once been an accomplishment. Then 5-starring songs was the new goal. Finally, I'm capable of Gold-starring difficult songs.
While I have to credit Guitar Hero with introducing me to music for the most part, Rock Band still opened my eyes to some bands. Judas Priest especially was introduced when I played Painkiller at a friend's house, before I even owned the games. Playing Psycho Killer also changed my attitude towards New Wave from hatred to guilty pleasure.
All-in-all, I have fond memories of Rock Band. Even thought DLC for the last 4 months have been the worst in memory and I've lost all faith for anything good (for my tastes) coming in the future, I still have a relatively large catalog of music to enjoy.
Ozzy Osbourne (X)
I remember not wanting to get Rock Band at first. I was solely focused on GH3. But that was because I first got into rhythm games once GH2 came out on the 360 in early 2007, and that was most definitely an impulse buy (and the best impulse buy I've ever made FYI). So I didn't rally know that much behind the game and the developers. All I knew was that it was the most fun, addictive game that I ever played.
My brother even asked me at one point if I was gonna get Rock Band and I said no because I thought playing drums was stupid. And then came the day I vividly remember. I was on Gametrailers.com the day Rock Band came out, and one of the videos was a recording of someone playing Fortunate Son. Now I just clicked on the video without reading what game it was for, and I thought it was a GH3 video. Then I saw it was Rock Band but I watched the video anyway because I liked the song. Even though I like the song, it's no where near my favorite song of all time or anything; but once I saw that video I knew I had to have RB. As you guys may or may not remember, the RB bundles were really hard to find in stores at that time so when my mom found one at Gamestop, she bout it right away. Even though it was supposed to be a Christmas gift, I begged my mom to let me just play it then (I mean, I already knew she had it so it would have been pointless to wait). That first night I played it was one of my best video gaming memories. What made RB even better was that I knew pretty much nothing about it going in, so every single song, feature, etc. was a surprise. Maybe that's why it was so special. Because it was the first and only time I bought a video game, let alone a rhythm game, without knowing anything about it before hand. Of course, the first DLC I bought for it was Fortunate Song, and 1000 songs later it's history.
I've had so many great memories since then. There's finishing the RB career on expert guitar and drums (damn you Run to the Hills) ), the whole hype machine leading up to RB2, learning SO many new songs and artists, being completely excited about the AC/DC track pack, playing keys for the first time and today becoming what I consider a decent keyboardist who can play every song on Hard-Expert, and hopefully by the end of this year getting the pro-guitar and diving in to that.
But by far the BEST Rock Band memory was everything about TB:RB. I remember the Apple-HMX partnership being announced in October 2008. At the time I was a little annoyed because I thought of the Beatles as an "old person" band and didn't even want to give them a chance. But at the same time I knew this was a big deal. And eventually, as news got out that there wouldn't be an RB3 that year I decided to give the Beatles a chance. I downloaded the Beatles 1 album on to my iPod one day and that night I just lied down in my room alone and played the album not really knowing what to expect other than Hey Jude. I was truly one of the most unique feelings I've ever had in my life and one I will never forget, and I'm not exaggerating. Thee was just something about those songs and listening to them for the first time that was just magical. I can't explain it or why the Beatles have the power on people, but I think everyone knows that feeling I'm talking about. It's a feeling that I wish I could go back and relive.
And the hype just kept coming. There was that teaser site that HMX put u[ a few weeks before E3 that just showed Abbey Road along with some sound effects. It was so simple yet it got me so hyped. And of course there was that memorable moment watching the Microsoft E3 press conference live on tv, as it started with a video showing a cartoony skyline, slowly panning down, me wondering what game it was. And then I heard the end of Twist and Shout and immediatly knew what it was. The preceding intro trailer and first gameplay trailer for the game made me **** bricks with excitement.
I don't think ever had such an emotional connection to a game as a did with TB:RB. From almost shedding a tear the first time I was the Here Comes the Sun dreamscape to my mom hearing my play While My Guitar Gently Weeps and revealing to me how George Harrison and Billy Preston were her favorite musicians of all time. And we preceded to sit down for a few hours, just the two of us, and watch some of their youtube videos and then listen to a vinyl copy of The Concert for Bangladesh which my mom revealed to me that she had. It was just great.
And it's all thanks to HMX, so thank you so much. I've had so many great memories over the past four years thanks to RB. This past year especially has been VERY tough for me personally, having lost (or almost lost) several family members and close friends, RB has definitely helped me get through it. From The Beatles to Foo Fighters. From Jimi Hendrix to The Clash. From Stevie Wonder to Coldplay. So much great music and so many great memories. Here's to Rock Band (and Harmonix) for years to come...