The Travis Scott x Fortnite 'live performance' will be remembered as this generation's Coachella
People have mixed emotions about rapper Travis Scott. Some good, most bad.
The latter usually comes from people over the age of 35. It doesn't sound like the music they're used to. The auto-tune is redundant. Where's the talent?
But after his "live performance" on the popular video game Fortnite crushed all expectations of what digital shows can be, the cries of haters are a lot less potent this morning. Last night Travis Scott altered the course of music distribution possibly forever.
While most artists met the inevitable COVID lockdown with choppy live feeds or privileged breakdowns on Instagram, Scott and his team began working immediately on the "what's next" portion of entertainment. Along with a small group of developers at Epic Games, the two parties threw together one of the most impressive feats of the digital generation yet. His performance, even for the old school crowd, was vastly more impressive than whatever else is being delivered right now.
And according to the game's official Twitter account, over 12.3 million people attended, live, at the same time, together, as one — a number that swallows any festival attendance number ever recorded.
Over 12.3 million concurrent players participated live in Travis Scott's Astronomical, an all-time record!— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) April 24, 2020
Catch an encore performance before the tour ends: https://t.co/D7cfd2Vxcc
And sure, it's digital. It's pretty easy to just sign in if you're a gamer and watch from the comfort of your own living room. No traffic. No convenience fees. And since no one can go out, the likelihood of someone wanting to tune in for the simple act of killing time multiplies exponentially. Marshmello tried this same thing months ago, it didn't hit the same.
But Scott delivered. Watch any of the YouTube reaction videos and you'll see exactly that. In the age of discontent and anonymous trolling, there were few negative reactions about the concert if any at all. Going off comment threads alone, the event has one of the most positive sentiments in recent memory. That means something in 2020.
"I'm truly impressed. Years of gaming, little events and in-game concerts. I've never seen anything like this in a game. Here's to the future!" said Wokies ASMR.
"After being a gamer for about 25 years, I've never seen anything like this done before in a videogame. I'm very impressed," added hammertoe00.
"Interactive music videos is never something I thought I needed until now," replied Simon Reed.
Even Forbes got excited about it. Erik Kain, the outlet's Senior Contributor had this to say: "There’s just something special about these big live Fortnite events. Millions of people around the globe all watching together live."
The performance wasn't without purpose, however. Scott dropped a new song of his called "Astronomical" all while millions of gamers trounced around magical worlds to catch a glimpse of the rapper's massive avatar. Who else in the industry gets their songs out to 12 million people immediately like that? Hint: no one.
So there you have it folks, the future of releases. After Scott finishes his five scheduled performances and with most of the world still locked down likely for months to come, anyone thinking Epic Games won't be chasing this fanfare in the future with other artists is shortsighted.
There's no reason not to at this point. According to the new documentary "Coachella: 20 Years In The Desert" that was the whole purpose of the massive festival too. Grab the attention of millions of music fans around the world and throw a party to introduce them to new artists. For decades it worked. But now it's onto something new.
The party has moved to the living room.
So sign on and enjoy. Boomer. What else are you gonna do?