“Noah’s gonna play Megaman 2 for ya, real good.” This is the decree at the start of Nintendo cover band Bit Brigade’s set at MAGFest, a combination gaming and music festival, and Noah delivers. Sitting at the front of the stage, playing on a TV that looks like it came with the original NES, Noah McCarthy blisters through Megaman 2 almost flawlessly. This in and of itself is fun to watch, but on the stage behind him, the rest of Bit Brigade launches into the soundtrack to the game.
Anyone who came of age in the ’80s knows there is an inherent beauty to the soundtrack of most NES games, and Megaman 2 has a particularly gnarly soundtrack. Bit Brigade turns it into incredible mathrock. At first, this seems a little silly, but by the time level 1 is complete you may find a goofy grin on your face and you may find yourself continuing to watch. The timing is amazing. The intro leads to the level which flows into the boss music and finally to the victory music, over and over, with McCarthy making video game dominance look like child’s play (although what would you expect from a guy with a Triforce tattooed on his forearm). The entire concert is in the video below, and watching it from the start is worthwhile, but highlights are the song at 26 minutes, and the finale starting around the 39 minute mark. Check it out, then see if your old system works and try to beat McCarthy’s time.