British five-piece band easy life took to Fortnite at 8:30pm GMT on 24th June for a unique live music experience. Forward-thinking, ground-breaking, or just downright bizarre? Gemma Cockrell put her gaming headset on and delved into the chaos.
Artists such as Marshmello and Travis Scott have performed in-game gigs on Fortnite before, but this was the first time that a band had done so in the game’s creative mode. Fortnite itself is a platform encompasses three modes: ‘Battle Royale’, ‘Save the World’, and ‘Creative’ – the latter of which, rather than the multiplayer shooter, allows for the Minecraft-esque construction of a player’s own island. Using this, Fortnite designed a virtual O2 Arena in which the gig took place, resulting in one of the most immersive online live music experiences yet. Players could join the gig by entering a portal in the Welcome Hub or by entering the Creative Island code 2500-3882-9781.
The setlist, which lasted roughly twenty minutes, consisted primarily of songs from easy life’s recent debut album life’s a beach. The members of the band could be seen performing and playing their instruments on-screen, almost like an extended pre-recorded music video. Players enter the arena using their on-screen avatars, and dance along to the music using the notoriously infamous Fortnite dances.
However, the interior of the virtual O2 Arena was very different its real-life London counterpart. The visuals were creative, unpredictable and everchanging throughout the performance - the most bonkers of which was during the song ocean view, seeing players spawned inside the body of a fish. Perhaps the most interactive and entertaining section of the gig occurred during the band's performance of skeletons, when players could explore a virtual city on a hoverboard. Meanwhile, the most experimental moment sonically was during the performance of nightmares, as the sound became muffled when players dived underwater.
This virtual live experience will have served to heighten fan’s anticipation for the band’s upcoming tour dates, with record-store shows in July and an arena tour in September. More generally, the gig cements easy life as a band who are completely unafraid to experiment with the unknown – and above all, a band who know exactly how to have fun.
‘This leaves one question unanswered: are Fortnite gigs the future of live music?’
The gig is available to stream on Fortnite (for free!) until 11pm GMT on 27th June, so if you are a fan of easy life, or merely just curious about what the experience of attending a gig on one of the most popular games of the past decade is really like, it is definitely worth a watch. This leaves one question unanswered: are Fortnite gigs the future of live music? Since real-life gigs are set to return this summer, the answer is probably not. But as a one-off experience, easy life’s Fortnite gig was undeniably a great success.
Written by: Gemma Cockrell
Edited by: Louise Dugan