Normally, I wouldn’t post about an event I attended more than a week ago, but when the event is for a good cause, I’ll make an exception. Just before I took some time off of work, my wife and I attended the Ümloud! fundraiser in San Francisco. Held Dec. 9, the event let donors team up and play “Rock Band 2″ on a real stage, in front of a real cheering audience. The money donated by the bands, plus donations paid at the door by the bulk of Ümloud! attendees, went to benefit Child’s Play, the gamer-oriented charity that buys video games for sick kids to play at a number of children’s hospitals in six countries.
In short, the event was a blast. While any foursome could cough up $35 to play on-stage, the real stars of the night were the ultimate bands, groups who’d paid $120 for a custom introduction and dedicated time slot. A lot of the groups devised crazy names and clever costumes for the event. The two best-looking outfits we saw were Ironheade, a group of rockers dressed up like characters from “Brütal Legend,” and a real-life Lego rock band, called Hambrose Burnside (video below).
Yes, that’s a freakin’ dinosaur on drums.
The event, which was put on by a handful of Bay Area games industry folks, with the aid of countless sponsors and volunteers, was a lot of fun. I went with the expectation of hearing fellow nerds absolutely mangle some classic tunes. But the night featured a few surprising stars, such as a group of Destructoid.com Community folks fronted by a guy who gave the night’s best performance on Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.”
For the most part, everyone gave it their best shot. Because it was for a good cause, I, not normally the most demonstrative fan at concerts, cheered louder for the bands at Ümloud! than I have for any real-life collection of rockers. I’d gladly do it again next year.