Because the absurdities of modern life are irreversibly becoming more and more like something you’d see in Portlandia sketch, there’s now an app that allows you to attend a concert from the comfort of your own couch.
It’s called Melody VR. Dubbed the world’s first virtual reality music platform—a somewhat oxymoronic term that only really makes sense in the context of 21st century technocapitalism—it just became available now for the Oculus GO and Samsung Gear VR. (If you don’t have one of those—they’re actually surprisingly affordable—you can check it out in the near future as a comparably dainty iPhone app.)
We’re sure you’re just full of questions. So we’ll do our best to imagine what those are and answer them below...
What does virtual reality music look like? Because isn’t music something you—and correct me if I’m wrong—hear?
Yes, you do hear music. But you also see music, like, at concerts and stuff. And that’s what Melody VR does. It lets you enjoy an actual live concert or studio session—in full 360 degrees—from your own home. And if you don’t have time—or the inclination—to watch the whole thing, you can purchase the concert by individual track, ala iTunes.
Where will I be in said concert or studio session? Front row? Back row? Backstage?
The platform allows you to choose from one of several “jump spots”—so you can toggle between being in the crowd, up close, in a front row seat or on stage. Meaning: you can stand right alongside KISS while confetti rains down on your nonexistent virtual head, or snag a coveted front row seat to the London Symphony Orchestra.
So those are two such performances available. What else is available right now?
2 Chainz at the Life Is Beautiful Festival. The Who at Wembley Arena. Singrid in an exclusive session. Shows from Kygo, The Chainsmokers, Imagine Dragons...
Sorry, I’m not really into those last three. Will there be more options soon?
Yessir. As the only licensed VR music platform, they’ve secured industry-wide partnerships for more such performances in the future. In the near future, they’ll also make it possible to live stream concerts and purchase “virtual tickets” to sold out shows.
Wait, so you’re saying that by next year, it might be possible to more or less dance on stage with Beyoncé at Coachella?
That’s the idea.
But are live concerts not one of the last refuges for real communion we have left in modern society? And is putting on shows not the backbone of a music industry ravaged by exploitative streaming platforms like iTunes and Spotify?
Man. This Q&A really took a turn.