Call of Duty XP L.A. opened with a rousing performance by Dropkick Murphys on Friday night and ended with a live concert from Kanye West.
Located in an adjacent empty hanger, Kanye West came on stage after the $1 Million Tournament to a fairly packed house.
I was sort of amazed that the same enthusiasts who were walking around playing COD:MW3 and getting their t-shirts customized with their clan names were the same ones to finish Kanye’s lyrics to “Love Lock Down”.
It wasn’t that Kanye lip-synced a token set either. He performed around 15 songs with 2 encores. West’s setlist “Hey Mamma”, “Love Lock Down”, “Through the Wire”, “Swagger Like Us”, “All of the Lights”, “Good Life”, “Monster”, “Gold Digger”, “Say You Will”, “Touch the Sky”, and a few others I can’t remember. Kanye had incredible energy and stage presence, but the acoustics towards the back of the hanger was just crap. It was loud, but it didn’t sound that great.
For an inaugural event, the Call of Duty XP L.A. 2011 had huge potential. The location and access to the masses in Los Angeles was generally good – even if there was a struggle to find good (free) parking. But the lines were out of control. At $150 a ticket, it’s great that Activision allowed the participants to come to both days of the XP event, but I’m not sure about waiting for an hour-and-a-half to try out a zip line (sorry Nate).
The Paintball line was even longer. In fact, the queues for each of the Hands-on-activities outside were at least an hour long. Even the long goodie bag line ended up anti-climactic. I really think Activision could have done better than just a can of soda, a discount coupon for Gunnar shades, and a poster for their bags. Yes, I know that there was a voucher for a free copy of Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition, but with the whole RFID tagging thing, you would think they could just send us that via e-mail so people could skip the 40-minute wait in line.
For me the highlights were easily the $1 million COD challenge and the Pros vs. G.I. Joes competition. We put a “walk through” video together that you can check out below.
Probably the best thing about the Call of Duty XP weekend in Los Angeles
was that Activision Publishing, donated 100% of the sales from the
event to The Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit that seeks to help
returning soldiers transition back to civilian life, find work and