I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not too excited for this year’s E3. Why? Well, for starters, no SEGA press show. Of course, there has been no SEGA press show for many years so that’s an old complaint. But as the years have passed, it feels like SEGA has done less and less in terms of spectacle at E3. No press shows, as mentioned, no big reveals and most importantly: no awesome floor shows. That’s why this week’s Monday Memories article exists, to take you back to 2000 when SEGA had a floor show worthy of Disneyland.
E3 2000 was an awesome year for SEGA. The Dreamcast was less than a year old in the USA, and a number of AAA games were on the way. Shenmue, Space Channel 5 and Jet Grind Radio were all on show. Soak that in. Can you imagine all three awesome titles from the Dreamcast era at one show and ready to be played at a nearby demo kiosk? Not to mention a number of big third party titles including Power Stone 2, which I actually have a promo shirt of from E3 2000. Probably one of my earliest ebay buys.
You’re probably thinking the above screens are in-game footage, and if you are thinking that then you are an idiot. These are actually live floor shows that went on daily at SEGA’s E3 booth. Each show kicked off with a Jet Grind Radio routine followed by Ulala leading a Space Channel 5 show. Jet Grind Radio’s show featured mock posters advertising a “one night only” show featuring the GG’s. In a clever use of video projection, a rudie takes the stage and pretends to paint the JGR logo on a wall. Let Mom Sleep kicks in and a number of actors dressed as characters from the game skate about on roller blades and pull off tricks for the cheering audience.
My favorite bit is when Gum, Bisu and Cube do a dance to Sweet Soul Brother. Following that, more stunts ensue as some music plays that I can’t pick out. It definitely isn’t from the game. Towards the end of the Jet Grind Radio portion of the show, the police arrive via flashing lights and Rob Zombie’s Dragula is played. Finally, Let Mom Sleep returns and the GG’s take a bow. My favorite bit of the entire performance is the actress playing Gum making a very well timed point to the audience just as the song ends. You can see that epic point, as well as the full Jet Grind Radio performance below.
Wait! We’re not done yet! Now the main event. Following Jet Grind Radio, the Dreamcast logo fills the video screen and the SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show theme song plays. Guess SEGA were huge fans of SEGAbits back in 2000. Sexy space ladies strut out and dance to Mexican Flyer. Gotta love their 60’s inspired outfits. Suddenly, the music changes and… oh shit!
It’s Ulala! Or at least, a woman dressed as Ulala. Putting Lady Miss Kier to shame, Ulala has a good time dancing on stage until some asshole in a Teletubbies costume crashes the party. Maybe the person playing the Moralien is actually Lady Miss Kier doing some court appointed public service work to pay off the $600k she owed SEGA.
Don’t worry, Ulala shoots the intruding alien down (hey, just like how SEGA shut Lady Miss Kier down!) and the show continues. More crazy costumes, more great dance moves. However, I wish Coco Tapioca appeared played by a 400 pound man. Check out the full Space Channel 5 show below.
Were both video performances not enough for you? Then check out the video below of both shows back to back from an audience perspective.