Tina Guo @ Round Chapel, London, UK – 1 November 2017

Posted by Gig Junkies on Wednesday Nov 1, 2017 Under Classical

Review and photography by Jeremy Carron.

Tina Guo is a cellist, whose work can be heard across many scores of films and video games. Most recently, her electric cello can be heard on the main theme for Wonder Woman. Having recently toured with Hans Zimmer on his live shows, Tina is in the UK for a brief tour to support her new album, Game On! Tonight brings that tour to an end, as Tina and her band take the stage, at the Round Chapel in London.

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The set started off with the band playing Chrono Trigger, the first of many tracks from her album, Game On! Tina’s energetic performance on the electric cello, immediately grabbed the audience’s attention. A medley of music from Final Fantasy VII followed and was well received by the fans. Starting off slow, then going on a wave of energy, sound and emotion, the track definitely took the crowd on a journey. For those who didn’t know what to expect of an electric cello gig, they certainly had a good idea after an amazing introduction!

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Tina addressed the audience for the first time afterwards and thanked everyone for coming. Seeing as the music featured on her new album, consists mostly of video game covers, Tina then went on to ask how many people in the crowd were gamers. The deafening cheer was a good enough answer!

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Picking up a different instrument for the next song, Uncharted, Tina gave a short story about how she was asked by the composer of the song, if she could play the erhu for a concert? Being a firm believer in saying yes, no matter what, she agreed to play, despite never having played the instrument and learnt the piece in a week! Tina played the erhu during the song, with ease; clearly showing her talent knows no bounds. Music from Skyrim followed afterwards.

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For the next song, Tina gave a brief history on how it was the first time she had recorded cello for a video game score, before performing Journey. Music from World of Warcraftwas up next, followed by the Game of Thrones theme song, showcasing her own cello metal take on it! A story about Tina’s previous electric cello ensued, as she mentioned how she named it “Jon Snow”, after the TV show character and around the same time the character died, so too did her cello, as it had stopped working! Tina dedicated the next piece of music, also from Game of Thrones, to anyone who had a wedding coming up. A joke much appreciated by all the fans of the show, as she played The Rains of Castamere.

Up next was music from The Witcher 3, before Tina introduced the next song, as one from her favourite animated film, Kung Fu Panda, with a performance of Oogway Ascends. Speaking to the crowd afterwards, Tina said the next track was from a recent film called, Wonder Woman. The audience cheered in excitement, before Tina and her band started playing the Tetris theme song instead! This quickly came to an abrupt end, as Tina exclaimed, “Just kidding!” An energetic and ferocious performance of the Wonder Womantheme ensued.

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Throughout the set, Tina Guo has the ability to go from being a soft spoken person, in-between songs, to then transform on stage into the cello artist she is, with performances full of energy and passion.  It is a remarkable sight, especially when her performances are full of hair flicks throughout!

Following a short intermission, Tina and her band returned to the stage, with a rendition of Time, from the film, Inception. A moving performance, the audience were rapt throughout the piece of music. Tina introduced the next song; by saying it was the first ever video game she played, as she performed music from The Legend of Zelda, which was then followed by music from the film, Gladiator.  A cover of Halo’s theme was up next, complete with an additional cello metal segment. Unfortunately, just as the song finished, Tina’s electric cello had stopped working. She took the opportunity to introduce the band and the bassist took centre stage with an impressive solo, whilst the technical issues were worked out.

It wasn’t long until the show was in full swing once again, with a cover of a piece of music from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, next in the set. Performances of the Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon themes ensued and they went down really well with the crowd, with many fans clearly taking a trip down memory lane.

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Tina and her band proceeded to perform a cover of the main theme from The Last of the Mohicans. Another moment of nostalgia was to come, when a medley of music from Super Mario Bros. was performed! The infusion of cello metal made it an electrifying performance and it was a personal highlight for me. The theme song from Tetris brought the main set to an end, with another great performance.

The band returned to the stage shortly afterwards, for one last encore song. Tina introduced the final song, Queen Bee, by describing it as a very fast and very loud piece of music. The performance definitely delivered on that description, as Tina’s unique take on Flight of the Bumblebee was as intense, as it was loud. It was another impressive display of Tina Guo’s talent and was a wonderful way to end the show.  As Tina Guo’s first solo tour came to an end, it was clear to see from the crowd’s reaction that the show was a great success! Hopefully Tina and her band will be back in the UK for more shows, in the not too distant future!


Setlist:
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy VII
Uncharted: Nate’s Theme
Skyrim
Journey
World of Warcraft
Game of Thrones
The Rains of Castamere
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Oogway Ascends
Wonder Woman
Time
The Legend of Zelda
Gladiator
Halo
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Main Titles)
Metal Gear Solid
Pokémon
Last of the Mohicans
Super Mario Bros.
Tetris

Encore:
Queen Bee

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