Rock Band is exactly the same as Real Band

I repeat, this is NOT a gaming comic. That said, here’s a comic about video games.

Josh picked up Rock Band on launch day and by 5am the following morning he was #270 on the Live leaderboard.


The following weekend I swung by to see what all the fuss was about. Josh was teeming with excitement at the chance of fulfilling his group-gaming/musical orgy fantasy. (This part is so great. Seriously, just wait for it). Let me re-emphasize his anticipation and excitement. It was palpable. So he sets up the drums and I open the mic from it’s original packaging. Guitar in hand he opens the cabinet that houses his 360 and leaves the room (for some reason). I’m holding the mic and thinking to myself, “I can scream RED RING! RED RING! or I can let events unfold naturally.” I choose the more passive path. It’s easier to drink in the ruination of a man when you know it’s coming.

A blinking red beacon, like a reverse lighthouse to hell steered Josh towards his impending anguish. The Red Ring of Death. The timing was poetic. Waves of sadness rippled in concentric rings through the floor boards at his feet. I just cracked a smile. I wouldn’t be playing Rock Band this day, but it’s not that often you get to watch someone’s spirits get deconstructed. I was sufficiently entertained.

He still blames the whole affair on me. As if my mere presence shaped the outcome of events. I contend that his “Launch Day” 360 was on borrowed time as it was and possessed its own warped sense of humor. The absolute best part was his attempt to save the situation. He runs to the bathroom and comes back producing a towel and wrapping, nay, swaddling his ailing Xbox in it. “Does it have to get its ass to Mars?” I asked.

We eventually got together and rocked out (on Josh’s NEW Xbox). The above panels are more historical record than clever conjecture. The drums particularly frustrated Eli, an actual drummer, in that the game requested beats that would be incorrect were they played on real drums.

I play both guitar and (some)drums in real life but I’m for shit when it comes to either controller in Rock Band. However, I found the whole vocal experience to be excellent. It was just an outstanding amount of fun. Being able to correct your pitch in real time with on screen feedback made it a perfect vocal tutor. I managed to pull off a 94% or so on “Welcome Home” but the Xbox actually threw beer bottles at us when we tried “Tom Sawyer.” It looked disappointed.

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  1. This is just about the best representation of what I experience when I play rock band at my friends apartment. Just add a few bottles of tequila, a torn down Eagles poster, and a dead hobo and its spot on.

  2. uh, what beats in the game are “incorrect”? the hi-hat and snare are switched in terms of positioning, yeah, but i see no songs in the game that when played on expert difficulty, have incorrect beats being thrown at you that didn’t exist in the song, etc.

  3. @Abe
    The whole thing reminded me of being in a highschool band. We argued about which Bush song to play for 45 minutes, tried it once then yelled at the guy that sucked the hardest for another 45 min. It was a very nostalgic experience. I wept.

    Theres the kicker (no pun intended). “Expert” is the key. For a first timer we suggested he start on medium and he realized on several songs the beats just followed the vocals or the main melody. We tried Tom Sawyer as a band on expert. It was tragic.

  4. I can’t believe you stooped so low to take joy in the deconstruction of a friends dream. Oh, wait, yeah I can. I’d do the same thing.

  5. Yeah, Rockband is pretty much real. I mean, emotionally speaking, anyways. 😛

    I just like bashing the guys who sucks the most. It’s enjoyable.

    Red Ring this late. Wow. I’m actually surprised. There’s this one guy at my college that is all so crazy for the PS3 and everyone keeps telling him to shut up, and then it retorts back about the 360 and the Red Ring. Of course, someone shut him down by telling him at least that the 360 isn’t a big brown brick of shit. XD

    There’s my story for today.

  6. @Jeff
    Jeff if you were new to HE I would (almost) believe that. Im sure you know better by now.

    He might have had the only Launch Day 360 left in circulation. Since the return process takes a couple of months with MS he just bought a new one. I thought the Zune was a brown brick of shit?

  7. God Rock Band is like Karaoke Revolution for the guys who always sat at our parties complaining they were too manly to get up and sing Britney Spears with us.

    I’d probably buy it, except for the part where the only experience I’d really be missing would be the simulated drums, and it’s probably only a matter of time before someone comes out with a Drum equivalent of Guitar Hero. And that would be cheaper than selling my soul.

  8. @Varis
    I dont know. Theres something alltogether different about 4 people playing the same rock song in a video game. I would certainly give it a try, though its crazy expensive.

    It seems like everyone that plays the game seems to go through the same thing.

  9. I rented this with my wife. Just the DVD, not the intruments. So, we rocked out with our GHIII controller and xbox mic. Not quite the best way to play, but we had fun. Then, later, I decided to try singing and playing guitar at the same time by putting the headset from the other controller on (so it counted me as two people). That was hard. I’m no musician in real life, and singing while playing is HARD. Good thing I played a song I knew the words to already, so I didn’t have to look at the top AND bottom. Either way, it was fun, but I think I’m sticking with GHIII.

  10. Same thing happened over here, except for the fact that nobody sang, for fear of looking like an asshat.

    I’m sure your bastardization of Geddy Lee’s voice would’ve turned gold if it wound up on Youtube.

  11. @Chad
    If you measured singing talent on a scale of 1-10, Im about a 6.5. I can sing in key with or without accompaniment but I have pitch problems. I considered doing Geddy at least an octave lower than he sings (hes like a high pitched robot alarm) but when it came time to perform I went for the gusto. As high as I could go without getting into falsetto.



    Rock Band was not having any of that nonsense. Luckily we all failed at around the same time so we could share the shame.

  12. As a wise man once said, “It is far better to SOUND like Geddy Lee than to LOOK like Geddy Lee.
    This also applies to Ronnie James Dio.

    P.S. Please consider installing the subscribe to comments plugin on this site, yo. Then, folks can get emails whenever a thread is updated. It’s pretty darn friendly of ya if you do.

  13. @Honest Ape
    Geddy Lee is a 70 year old woman who may also be a cat, and Dio is a 4 ft tall wood nymph…possibly a fawn. Have you checked for hooves and a pan pipe?

    I will check out the plugin. Sounds cool. And thanks for all the great feedback today. You win the most comments in 24 hours award.

  14. Red ring…

    I was sure my X Box was one of the few pure-strain ones that would survive till the ends of time. I’ve even accidentally axe kicked it before, and it endured.

    I had even just finished pimping out my rock band guitarist to look like a post apocalyptic survivalist guy, that also hunted mutated dinosaurs.

    At first it was denial. “C’mon buddy, I know you’re just effing with me. Snap out of it, those sections of red are just a joke. Funny joke, heh…?”

    Then came sadness and abandonment. “Why? WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME! *sob*”


    No more rock band for two or three months, and I was lying to it when I said I’d buy a new video card.

    What will I do for entertainment?! Learn to play a real instrument…? Reread the Bounty Hunter trilogy? Build a time machine?

    How will I survive without my beloved Rock Band?! What will I do?!!!

  15. for the record if i really tried on Rush…i could have finished it but honestly….i was much happier watching you two idiots struggle without a drumset playing

  16. joel-
    It’s not a hard award to win. I love running my mouth almost as much as forcing people to read what I have to say.

    It was because of your site that I joined cocomment, so it would track all of my comments here. Until you get that there plugin, that is.

  17. I had a first gen 360, think I got it December 2005…grandparents basically paid for it since I was only 12 (hell what am I saying, I still use their Christmas/Birthday/just cause they love me money to buy consoles and such). The day I heard about the Red Rings I must've started subconsciously started praying to Bill Gates or something…cause my 360 never got the Red Rings…course I did have one of those third party (Pelican or something) cooling system things so yeah. I recently gave said 360 to a kid at my church, cause I already had another XBox…the slim or whatever, the one with built in wifi. I just hope it stays as reliable to him as it did to me lol.
    On another note when it finally came time for my class (as Seniors) to be in charge of Octoberfest (it was basically an alternative to Halloween, I went to a Christian (specifically SDA) highschool, so we didn't have a Halloween thing…or Prom…well, we basically had Prom, but no dancing cause apparently all the girls would be pregnant the next day if we let the evils of dance take hold or something lol) There was one booth I was really interested in, it was in basically the supply closet for the Gym…it had 2 360s, one had Rock Band…2 I think…and the other had I think Halo 3. I wanted to play it so bad cause I had never played Rock Band, but I got stuck watching the bouncy house for the entire freakin thing…still haven't played Rock Band yet…but I have played Guitar Hero at least lol.

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