Last week, Nintendo pulled out all the stops for the introduction of its latest game console, the Switch. A stage show was broadcast from Tokyo on Thursday outlining all the details, followed by daylong events for press and fans in cities around the world. In addition to getting their hands on the new system, lucky attendees at the Tokyo showcase were treated to two rousing concerts where live bands reimagined some classic and contemporary Nintendo tunes.
In one, the Nintendo Special Big Band, which has another performance you can catch on YouTube, jazzed up a whole hour of tracks from across several Nintendo series. The set kicked off with “Jungle Japes” from Donkey Kong 64, pretty much the closest thing to a jazz standard in Nintendo’s musical history, and blazed through medleys of Kirby, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Pokémon (including an absolutely raucous Dixieland cover of the Pokémon Center them). The finale saw the band swing through Mario history, from the iconic NES themes to a stirring rendition of Mario Galaxy’s “Gusty Gardens Galaxy” and the brilliant big-band-ready credits theme from Super Mario 3D World.
The second concert featured a five-piece rock band and mostly focused on recreating Splatoon’s wacky squid-punk soundtrack, including some live vocal manipulation. The group also tackled songs Mario Kart 8 and Xenoblade Chronicles before finishing up with “Inkcoming!,” the theme song for the newly announced Splatoon 2.