Metal band Avenged Sevenfold collaborates with tech startup AmazeVR to create a unique virtual reality concert experience that combines music, live performance, and gaming elements.
In a warehouse in Culver City, the members of metal band Avenged Sevenfold don protective booties over their shoes as they rehearse in front of a floor-to-ceiling green screen. This unusual setting is a far cry from their usual fire-and-brimstone aesthetics. The band is collaborating with tech startup AmazeVR to create a virtual reality (VR) experience that will allow fans to immerse themselves in a cross between a music video, live concert, and first-person video game. This innovative project aims to bring the energy and showmanship of live events to the VR sector, which has seen significant investment in hardware but lacks engaging content.
The Rise of VR in the Music Industry
The virtual reality sector has gained traction in recent years, with major players like Meta and Sony launching headsets. However, the high prices of these devices have limited VR’s potential audience. The upcoming launch of Apple’s Vision Pro headset is expected to generate renewed interest and expand the sector’s reach. VR concert experiences are arriving at a pivotal time for the music industry, as artists seek to diversify their revenue streams and find new ways to engage with fans.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the music industry to adapt and find alternative ways to connect with audiences. With live events on hold, artists have turned to synchronized livestreams, shows within video games, and now virtual reality experiences. Avenged Sevenfold’s collaboration with AmazeVR offers a solution for reaching fans who may not be able to attend live concerts and provides an opportunity for the band to experiment with stagecraft and art direction that would be impossible in real life.
The Promise of VR Concert Experiences
While skeptics may question whether digital media can ever replace the thrill of a live music experience, Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows sees VR as a way to make music more accessible. The virtual reality experience developed by AmazeVR allows viewers to get up close to the band, seeing them perform and interact in ways that would be difficult in a traditional concert setting. AmazeVR CEO Steve Lee believes that this new type of media is not directly analogous to a concert or music video but offers a unique and immersive experience for consumers.
The Potential of VR in the Music Industry
Virtual reality concerts have the potential to democratize intimate concert experiences, making them accessible to a wider audience. Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, highlights the advantages of virtual concerts, such as providing the best seat in the house and eliminating the hassle of parking and traffic. While some experts remain skeptical about the widespread adoption of VR, others see the potential for immersive visuals and music to create spectacular experiences.
The Future of Music and VR
The future of music lies in a combination of traditional concerts, livestreams, and VR experiences. Artists like Avenged Sevenfold are willing to take risks and explore new avenues to engage with their fans. While it remains to be seen if VR will fully supplant live music, it offers a unique and exciting way for artists to connect with audiences. The collaboration between Avenged Sevenfold and AmazeVR demonstrates the band’s tech-forward approach and willingness to experiment with different mediums.
Avenged Sevenfold’s collaboration with AmazeVR represents a significant step in the evolution of virtual reality concert experiences. As the music industry continues to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing landscape of music consumption, artists are finding new ways to reach fans and diversify their revenue streams. While virtual reality may not replace the visceral experience of a live concert, it offers a compelling and immersive alternative that allows fans to engage with their favorite artists in new and exciting ways. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for VR in the music industry are boundless, and artists like Avenged Sevenfold are at the forefront of this exciting new frontier.