Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is known for its superb music, with jazz-inspired tracks that players often find themselves bopping their heads along to. However, imagine being able to experience this music in a whole new way – with a live jazz band! Mario Kart 8 Live, a five-piece band based in Oklahoma City, has been hosting Mario Kart tournaments accompanied by live music. This unique combination allows participants to not only hear the sound effects of the game but also enjoy the games’ backing tracks in a live setting.

Mario Kart 8 Live is dedicated to learning every track from the game, ensuring that participants can fully immerse themselves in the experience. Currently, the band offers tournaments featuring tracks from the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, Special Cup, Shell Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup, and Lightning Cup. The band provides four Pro Controllers during the tournaments, making it easy for players to jump right in. Additionally, Mario Kart 8 Live is hosting an all-ages event on 30 March, 2024, welcoming players of all ages to join in the fun.

Drummer Ethan Neel of Mario Kart 8 Live believes that their band may be the first in the US to provide live music for the latest game in the Mario Kart franchise. Neel expressed, “Everybody has licks they remember from Mario Kart. Some really quintessential songs have come out of it. Live music played with Mario Kart has been done before, but we wanted to do the newest version of the game and, as far as we could see, no one had done that, at least not in the US. Pairing the two seemed really natural. At the end of the day, everybody loves Mario Kart. It’s always a great time.” This innovative approach to combining live music and gaming showcases the band’s creativity and commitment to providing a unique and enjoyable experience for players.

While Mario Kart 8 Live’s events are currently limited to Oklahoma City, the concept of live music paired with gaming has the potential to attract players from across the country. The band’s initiative in organizing these events demonstrates a new way to engage with gaming culture and music, creating a memorable and exciting experience for participants. Mario Kart 8 Live Jazz Band offers a fresh and innovative perspective on the intersection of music and gaming, setting a new standard for live gaming experiences.


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