Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is known for its superb music, with jazz-inspired tracks that have captivated players for hours on end. Now, imagine experiencing this music with a live jazz band – a truly immersive and unique experience that takes the game to a whole new level.

Mario Kart 8 Live, a five-piece band based in Oklahoma City, has taken this idea and run with it. They have been hosting Mario Kart tournaments paired with live music, providing participants with both sound effects and the game’s backing tracks. The band has been diligently learning every track from the game, ensuring that players can enjoy a fully immersive experience.

Participants in the tournaments can compete in various cups, including the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, Star Cup, Special Cup, Shell Cup, Banana Cup, Leaf Cup, and Lightning Cup. The band supplies four Pro Controllers during the tournaments, making it easy for everyone to join in the fun. Moreover, Mario Kart 8 Live is hosting an all-ages event on March 30, 2024, ensuring that even younger players can take part in this unique gaming experience.

Drummer Ethan Neel, in an interview with The Guardian, highlighted that Mario Kart 8 Live might be the first instance in the US of a live band providing music for the latest game in the franchise. He mentioned that while live music with Mario Kart has been done before, they wanted to focus on the newest version of the game. Neel emphasized that pairing live music with Mario Kart felt natural, as the game has produced some quintessential songs that players love and remember.

Mario Kart 8 Live’s innovative approach to combining live music with gaming is truly commendable. While the events may be limited to Oklahoma City for now, the idea of experiencing Mario Kart with a live jazz band is undoubtedly appealing. The band’s creativity and dedication to providing a unique and enjoyable experience for players are evident in their approach. Mario Kart 8 Live has brought something fresh and exciting to the gaming community, and we can only hope that more bands take inspiration from their idea.


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