Game Awards | Feature

10-Year Concert | Logo

If there is one takeaway from The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks this past Sunday, it is this: Geoff Keighley knows how to pull off a well-oiled show that fits within a time limit. There was very little downtime during the two-hour concert, it was clear that the concert was incredibly well-rehearsed, and I loved every moment of this celebration of 10 years for The Game Awards.

First, The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks could not have picked a better venue than the Hollywood Bowl. I viewed the concert in the pool circle, but I purposefully walked up to the very back of the venue before and after the show and I found that it was a great view no matter where you were. The acoustics from where I was up front was admittedly very great, and you can see the iconic Hollywood sign in the background from the very top of the bowl. It is the spot in Los Angeles to see a concert outside of possibly the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A., and it is certainly the most iconic place to be.

10-Year Concert | Geoff Keighley Presenting
Geoff Keighley (seen here) was the host for The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks, and he did an admirable job keeping the concert moving. (Image by author).

The producer and host of The Game Awards and The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks, Geoff Keighley, opened the concert by saying that this was “[s]uch a special night for me”. You could feel a real, honest, charisma radiating from him as he introduced each upcoming musical selection in an extremely-well rehearsed and scripted bit of dialogue. Amazingly, Mr. Keighley pulled off the tricky balancing act of not overstaying his welcome at any given point while also setting up the next suite or single to be performed or guest to be welcomed to the stage, and he did not overshadow the various guest appearances or the Los Angeles Philharmonic itself.

10-Year Concert | Elden Ring
During the Elden Ring “Final Battle” performance, confetti shaped like leaves fell from the top of the Hollywood Bowl. (Photo by author).

There were 15 different suites and singles performed during The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks, and almost all of them were from recent titles such as God of War: Ragnarök, Elden Ring, Hogwarts Legacy, and just-released titles such as FINAL FANTASY XVI and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.  The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks even flexed the strength of its popularity and success by playing music from two un-released games: a debut suite from Starfield and the main title track from Spider-Man 2. There were only a handful of older games  represented at the show: Diablo II and Diablo III as part of the Diablo IV suite, and a suite from The Last of Us. If you played video games at all, chances are there was something that you recognized being played during the concert.

10-Year Concert | Eivør performing for God of War: Ragnarök.
Eivør performing a suite from God of War: Ragnarök with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. (Photo by author).

No matter what game The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks wanted to present music from, the concert made sure to have the defining version of that music played. For example, Hades had the vocal track In the Blood, and the concert had Darren Korb and Ashley Barrett, who sang the original track, perform live. Eivør, a vocalist from God of War: Ragnarök, sang as part of that game’s suite. Finally, Gustavo Santaolalla himself came onto the stage to perform part of the melody (and a solo!) for the music he composed from The Last of Us. Every moment performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic honestly felt a bit like magic, and they really showed off just how much the music in video games are art.

10-Year Concert | Hades Performance
Darren Korb and Ashley Barrett sang In the Blood from Hades (above) and Gustavo Santaolalla performed part of the music he composed for The Last of Us (below) at The 10-Year Game Awards Concert with Fireworks. (Photos by author).

10-Year Concert | Last of Us Performance

The most intriguing part of the show, for me, was the video accompaniments for each of the 15 of the 15 pieces performed, as the Ten-Year Theme for The Game Awards had fireworks to view overhead instead. Mr. Keighley informed the audience throughout the show that the studios were the ones who came up with the suites, and it was intriguing to see how each studio approached the video accompaniment. On one end, Riot Games created a League of Legends and Arcane suite with an accompanying video that contained plot content from Arcane mashed up with videos from LoL competitions and video game cutscenes. On the far other side of things, Naughty Dog’s suite for The Last of Us was only accompanied by panoramas of various locations in the game that gave nothing away if you haven’t played the series. Having attended a wide variety of video game concerts over the years, I found myself loving how each studio created its own ‘voice’ in how to set up the video musical accompaniment. The wide variety of styles also ensured that I would never get bored or know quite what to expect when a new game was about to be performed.

10-Year Concert | League of Legends
Riot Games had one of the most interesting video accompaniments for their League of Legends/Arcane suite by using various clips from Arcane and LoL tournaments. (Photos by author).

10-Year Concert | League of Legends

Of course, then there is Jack Black and Tenacious D. I have never seen Tenacious D perform before, but the first half of the The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks was capped off by Tenacious D coming on stage and performing their new-single Video Games. Tenacious D absolutely owned every bit of that stage they were on. I had never heard the song before, but it definitely was a lot of fun to listen to. The real shock of the night, for me, was when Jack Black returned at the very end of the show to perform the single Peaches from The Super Mario Bros. Movie. This song, which peaked at number 56 on the US Billboard Hot 100, had Jack Black performing in a full Bowser outfit and singing his absolute heart out with a grand piano accompanying him. It was amazing, it was ridiculous, and it was literally everything I wanted to see at The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks.

10-Year Concert | Tenacious D performing.
Jack Black and Tenacious D were two very unexpected, but widely well-received, parts of The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks. (Photos by author).

10-Year Concert | Peaches performance.

It was also, unfortunately, the only musical representation that Nintendo-exclusive titles had at the show. All of the various pieces performed came from games that were exclusive to or cross-platform on the PlayStation, Xbox, or PC platforms. While some games such as Hades are available to play on the Nintendo Switch, I was quite surprised that there were no suites from Nintendo-exclusives such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or Super Mario Odyssey that were played. I do not know if this was Nintendo simply refusing to permit scores from their games being played or if this was a decision by The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks to not include Nintendo-exclusive music, but their absence was definitely felt by me until Peaches was performed by Jack Black and it felt like Nintendo was finally represented in some way at the very end of the show.

10-Year Concert | Starfield Suite
This concert was the premiere of various musical compositions for games that haven’t even been released yet such as Starfield (above), or the world premiere of a live version of a song, such as To Sail Forbidden Seas from FINAL FANTASY XVI (below). (Images by author).

10-Year Concert | FINAL FANTASY XVI

As Geoff Keighley said right before the Ten-Year Theme was performed, “[t]his has been so incredible.” And honestly? He wasn’t wrong. The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks is one of my favorite video game concerts that I have ever been to, and I cannot wait to see what The Game Awards has planned next. If there was just more Nintendo-exclusive content, this concert would have been an easy perfect score. However, it is due to the amount of high-quality games and performances present, plus the conclusive performance of Peaches, that it almost completely makes up for it.

If you did not get to go, then you truly missed out on something special. Personally, I want some version of The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks to become a yearly thing, as I would definitely attend again, and I encourage anyone who can to attend whenever another show is hopefully put on.

10-Year Concert | Fireworks
The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks had, unsurprisingly, fireworks that went off during the premiere of the new theme song for The Game Awards. (Photo by author).

The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks Set List
(All Music Were Suites Unless Otherwise Notated)

1) League of Legends
2) God of War: Ragnarök
3) Hogwarts Legacy
4) Diablo IV (with music from Diablo II and Diablo III)
5) The Last of Us
6) Elden Ring (“Final Battle”)
7) “Video Games” by Tenacious D

20 Minute Intermission

8) Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
9) FINAL FANTASY XVI (“To Sail Forbidden Seas”)
10) Hades (“In the Blood”)
11) Starfield
12) Spider-Man/Spider-Man: Miles Morales
13) Spider-Man 2 (“Main Title”)
14) Ten Year Game Awards Theme
15) “Peaches” (Jack Black) 

Review Score

Were you able to attend The Game Awards 10-Year Concert with Fireworks? What was your favorite performance?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.