This Friday the 13th at noon Pacific Time/ eight British Standard Time, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes took to the stages for the first time in nine months for a unique live performance.
First, the band promised a set list of the fan’s choice. Second, they said they would interact with fans directly throughout the show. And thirdly, the entire set took place on Melody VR, a livestream platform enabling ticketholders to plug in their Oculus or phones, and move around the stage in virtual reality.
“We wanted to bring people to the stage. We feed off of energy. We want to see you, dancing and reacting,” Frank Carter stated in the performance introduction. “This gig is like no other gig that I’ve played, and I am so excited to see what becomes of it.”
For the first time in nearly a year, I felt as if I was in on the action. With quarantine occurring, there have been some live shows returning into the world, but differently than they used to be; and only under specific conditions. In this, a lot of the live show experience is not quite the same, even if you’re there watching in person. As great as it has been to see live music starting to make a reappearance in safe conditions, such as through drive-ins or socially distanced, the magic in them is lacking.
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes was an exception. For a moment, we could lose ourselves in the experience and forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic, all from the comfort of our living rooms. The energy of the band was contagious and reminded us much of better times; and they seemed to understand just how much their audience craved an interactive experience like this.
“I think everyone can understand how rough it’s been for everyone in every country… but we hope that for a little while that it helped you feel a little more at home,” Frank reached out to over seventy of his fans with an open arm, who were on display on the big screen. Throughout the performance, the band made time to talk with many of them, learn their names, and say hello to familiar faces. “It’s amazing to see, so many people on our big screen, who were always up in the front with us when we were last able to perform live,” he said.
The venue, Brixton Academy, held an empty arena other than the band, and lights in the seats. It was an eerie sight to see no crowd, other than those on the screen; who we all heard cheering after every song.
The band concluded the performance by gathering together on one camera, then said, “I can’t wait until 2021, where we have a vaccine, and I will be climbing all over every single one of you all summer long.”