The final night's event boasted an enormous crowd that well outstripped the seating that Blizzard had set up. Thousands and thousands packed into this area, many sitting on the floor, in the aisles, or standing on the far sides of the seating area just to watch.
Surprisingly enough, it didn't take incredibly long to set up the stage for the evening's events. I was impressed at how smoothly it was taken care of.
The first opening comedian of the evening was <a href="http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=2171201">Kyle Kinane</a>. His cracks about how his alarm starts his day with "BOO" "BOO" "BOO" and fun things to do with rotisserie chickens and volcanoes had the crowd giggling.
Or should we say it's <a href="http://www.pattonoswalt.com/">Patton Oswalt</a>, who did the voice of Remy in the Ratatouille movie. However, this was most definitely not a kiddie set of comedy; the opening bit about chapping the tip of his *ahem* and "Uncle Touchy's Naked Puzzle Basement" pretty well solidified <em>that</em>.
While he admitted he's not a gamer (having previously succumbed to epic sessions of Sonic the Hedgehog) he still fits in with the geek crowd. Overall, a great choice of comedians for BlizzCon, I thought. <br /><br />Oh, and if you weren't able to make BlizzCon yourself but would like to hear Kinane and Oswalt's comedy bits, you can <a href="http://www.joystiq.com/2008/10/12/blizzcon-2008-the-comedy-of-the-closing-ceremony/#comments">head over to Joystiq</a>. Kevin was awesome enough to record it (and the appropriate photos of the visual gags) and put it up for your listening pleasure there. Of course, as the above bits about "Uncle Touchy" should point out, this is definitely some NSFW (or kids) comedy.
Next up was the crowd favorite, Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftan! (Or "Death Knight" as their t-shirts said at BlizzCon.) From the moment they hit the stage, the hall erupted in a cacophony of cheers and applause.
On Bass guitar, <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Michael_Morhaime">Mike Morhaime</a>, President and co-founder of Blizzard. In game, Mike's L80ETC personae is the Troll with the moves, <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Mai%27Kyl">Mai'Kyl</a>.
Mike and Dave jam out. We bet they're awesome Guitar Hero players too.
On Rhythm Guitar, <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Dave_Berggren">Dave Berggren</a>, who is a 15+ year veteran senior artist at Blizzard. In game he's represented by <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Bergrisst">Bergrisst</a>, the Forsaken lead guitarist who loves to jump around and thrash a lot.
On the drums we have Alan Dabiri, who is often listed as a "Dunsel Specialist" in Blizzard credits. While I'm not entirely sure what that is, I do know he plays a wicked mean set of drums. In game he's represented as <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Chief_Thunder-Skins">Chief Thunder-Skins</a>, the Tauren drummer for L80ETC who likes to play the drums with two enormous looking maces.
On lead guitar is <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Chris_Sigaty">Chris Sigaty</a>, Lead Producer on Starcraft II. In game, he's the Blood Elf in L80ETC, <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Sig_Nicious">Sig Nicious</a>. His family was up front with the photographers, and I can assure you his child is absolutely adorable -- and obviously a huge fan of Dad!
Last, but certainly not least, is the wild-eyed and charismatic front-man for L80ETC, <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Samwise_Didier">Samwise Didier</a>, who is the Art Director at Blizzard. In game he's represented by the Orc <a href="http://www.wowwiki.com/Samuro">Samuro</a>.<br /><br />I'd bet good money that his notebooks in school were covered in awesome-looking doodles and names of metal bands.
To answer all the naysayers who said that the Diablo III color scheme was too bright and cheerful, the Diablo devs were wearing a t-shirt with this logo around all weekend. Samwise was cracking about adding in an epic PEGACORN for people to battle, too.<br /><br /> I was just bummed that they didn't put this shirt in the store. I'd have bought one.
The guys of L80ETC did an awesome set, including favorites like "<a href="http://media.wow-europe.com/wow-europe/contests/l70etc/l70etc-mp3.zip">Rogues Do It From Behind</a>" and "<a href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/movies.html#h3jl7">I Am Murloc</a>." The energy from both the band and the crowd was epic. <br /><br />They also debuted a new song called "Knightfall" (or "Nightfall" but we're betting it had the K on it) that was about the new Death Knight class. Hopefully they'll put that song out somewhere for us to download and enjoy soon.
Just so you don't strain your eyes trying to read it blurry and in reverse, the achievement reads "Made 100,000,000 people gurgle like murlocs."<br /><br /> 100,000,000 people? That's a lot of mrgling!
The VGL orchestra took the stage after L80ETC, under the baton of <a href="http://www.jackwall.net/">Jack Wall</a> and proceeded to take the audience on an audio tour of the Blizzard universe.
While the Video Games Live orchestra played through the music of StarCraft and Diablo with a host of excellent guest musicians, the crowd went nuts during the World of Warcraft portions of the show.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.tallarico.com/index.php?s=home">Tommy Tallarico</a> came out to address the crowd and surprise the fans with a special arrangement...
Of course, the Mario theme isn't the only thing he's known for, but it is perhaps his most immediately recognized viral. Martin Leung, aka the Video Game Pianist, was on-scene to perform a special arrangement of the Warcraft music for the fans at BlizzCon. <br /><br />I tried getting a picture of him playing, but his hands were giant blurs, as you can well imagine considering how fast he plays. Awesome.
The Video Games Live set also included a guest performance by several groups of Blizzard's in-house musicians, like the group that do the tavern music in-game. It was tremendous to hear them perform that music while the screens showed which taverns each piece was from.
This beautiful woman is the voice of the <em>Lament of the Highborne</em>, which gave me goosebumps.<br /><br /> All in all, a fantastic ending to an awesome night -- and weekend. I can't wait to see what they do next time!