Stereophonics (in Home) ¦ The PS3 Attitude Review
The Stereophonics have been selling out capacity venues around the world for the best part of eighteen years, but their Keep Calm and Carry On world tour has seen them venture into new territories by doing their first ever virtual gig.
It’s a bit of a stretch to classify this as a gig; yes, there was a stage, an audience and some excellent lighting, but if the music isn’t live and the band isn’t present then surely it’s not a gig?
The set was played on a loop across a big screen at the back of the authentic looking stage. The set kicked off with Bartender and the Thief, an adrenaline filled rock classic from their second album. The audience responded in appreciation by doing their best rocks dance. One fan could actually be seen punching a glowing orange dumbbell into the air – try doing that at a proper gig without getting arrested.
The atmosphere was starting to get pretty hot, but a bizarre choice of second song, Have a Nice Day, brought the mood down. The upbeat sing-a-long may have been a chart hit but it takes more to please this demanding Home crowd. The gig was on the verge of becoming a disaster for the pint-sized Welshman as calls for Metallica could be read in brilliant blue speech bubbles.
By using all their experience from their years in the business, they got things back on track with a passionate rendition of Maybe Tomorrow. As couples hooked up on the dance floor to share a casual dance, Kelly Jones powered through the song with his unmistakable coarse Welsh vocals.
Things got even better with the anthemic Just Looking being rolled out, much to the delight of the crowd. If this crowd of avatars could sing they would support Kelly with every line with great endeavour.
Mr Writer kept things going strong with the crowd rolling out the rock ‘n’ roll move, but the best was saved until last with a storming performance of Dakota. The rave and disco dances could be seen everywhere, out came the bubble machines and the crowd went wild – by virtual gig standards at least.
The only disappointment was the brevity and safeness of the set. Have a Nice Day should have made way for something from their latest album Keep Calm and Carry On, but this is only a minor complaint.
The gig wasn’t the only thing keeping the crowd’s attention; clips from an interview with the band were played between songs. The light-hearted questions failed to bring about any revelations, but we did learn that Kelly Jones first joined a band at the tender age of 10 and played his first gig at 12. Keep that trivia handy for a pub quiz.
Not content with seeing the band on the big screen, you also had the opportunity to see Kelly and Richard Jones inside Home dressed as their lifelike avatars. Sadly they came in when I wasn’t around, but judging by the pictures it looked like they got into the spirit of things.
There was also merchandise on offer, including a Decade in The Sun leather jacket, and a signed collector edition disk and guitar. These could have been yours for a bargain (cough) £1.19, if you’re that way inclined.
So how does a Home gig compare to a real gig?
There were many things that felt very familiar to the real thing: men could be found hovering around girls, many people were dressed oddly and there was a lot of love being shown for the band.
There was even some perks, like not having to worry about getting home or having to be crushed up against a sweaty unhygienic person. The event was shared by weird and wonderful people from around the world, and for the most part, language differences weren’t a barrier.
Sure the music wasn’t live, loading was required between songs, the set was short and we were essentially watching a television screen on our television screen, but it was actually very fun.
So over to you Sony to bring more events like this to Home.
Full setlist below:
- Bartender and the Thief
- Have a Nice Day
- Maybe Tomorrow
- Just Looking
- Mr Writer
Many thanks to loonytoon1982 and steven_dutch over at the PlayStation community pages who are responsible for these excellent photos. Head over to see more.
On a side note, is this possibly the first ever virtual gig review?