What do you get when you have some good friends come over and you turn on your “Rockband” video game? Usually a great time albeit a slightly competitive game-playing atmosphere.

Not the case here. This was a party! Thrown by my friends Steve and Terri who have long been fans of the home video game “Rockband” and who are expert players, this event was held in the community center at their condo complex and it had awesome acoustics! They brought in two home-made movie screens, two projectors, a self-made platform for the drummer, and all the necessary Rockband instruments. Oh, and they invited a bunch of their friends who, it turns out. love to ROCK! Three microphones on stands were in constant use throughout the evening.

The name “Rockband Party” almost sounds like a promotional event for the product, yet no one was getting any money from Sony. This was a bunch of people just enjoying a fun toy and taking it to a level of use that Sony probably never considered.

I got my feet wet with The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” That’s fun to perform because it gives you the sensation you’re rocking a stadium. We then ran through a bunch of Classic Rock fare till younger people arrived and we proceeded on from the 90’s to the present.

If you decide to throw your own Rockband or Guitar Hero party, remember that most people when they arrive will be “in their shells” and feeling too shy to perform. Alcohol, of course, gets some people going, but one of the biggest motivators is watching others perform. “If they can do it I can do it!”

One of the objects of the game is not to play so badly that your band gets booed off the stage.  Well, with a party that consists of so many different levels of expertise, it’s best to do what Steve did and set the game to “no fail” so you can play so badly and never stop the game.  Of course, the game will drop all drums from the audio mix if the drummer is not playing right.  This happens with any of the other instruments so you might end up with a song that doesn’t quite sound like the original.

My wife and I both played, though she doesn’t like singing.  She does a great job on bass or guitar, however, and in the next photo you see her on the far left wearing a Boston concert shirt I bought back in 1986 on their “Third Stage” tour.  It was my first concert.

By the end of the evening everybody was singing!  All ages, all generations, all genders, all everyone! 
Mike Matthews hosts a podcast called THE LAST PLACE ON EARTH and writes a blog that can be found at MikeTalks.blog.com