A murmur continued over crowded tables filled with half-price pierogies and drinks as guitarist Alex Moxon stepped onto the stage and settled into his light.
Behind him, his three band mates, Michel Delage, Jake Von Wurden and Steve Boudreau, readied their instruments for a long night of jazz.
It took only a few notes to silence the crowd as a montage of Super Mario motifs reverberated from well-placed speakers. Onlookers began bobbing to the sounds of songs, pulling them back to childhood days of afternoon marathons in front of a television, playing Nintendo with their friends.
This was how the night of Jan. 15 began for the retro video game cover band, F8-BIT, who perform most months at the House of TARG arcade and restaurant. By the end of the evening they covered other classic video game franchises such as Kirby, Zelda, Doctor Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man 2.
Mark McHale, one of the co-owners of House of TARG said that they wanted to make F8-BIT a regular thing.
“It’s kind of neat to see the reaction when they break into Tetris,” says McHale.
Sure enough, drummer Michel Delage spotted an out-of-town couple stepping up to challenge House of TARG’s own Tetris machine and the band began giving them a rousing musical accompaniment.
The woman at the machine really had to fight off dancing to the music to focus on battling endless falling squares, lines and L-shaped blocks.
“I like it because people are walking around and playing games,” said Delage of the environment. “People will say ‘Oh, I’ll go and play some pinball and this’ll be my soundtrack to this game.’”
Delage says that the age of the band members bring different eras of gaming to the playlist.
Delage grew up with a Sega so he leaned towards Sonic soundtracks. Boudreau was a Mega Man fan. Moxon drew on Super Nintendo and N64 games such as Chrono Trigger while Von Warden’s tastes were across the board.
F8-BIT will be joining Remi Royale and others at House of TARG on Feb. 14 for a Love Boat-inspired Valentine’s Day performance. The show will start at 10 p.m.
According to promotional material, there will be a trivia contest between the sexes and a promise of candy… lots of candy.