Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

12.6.2020 Pain: 360° live VR Concert Stream @ Abyss Studio, Ludvika, Sweden

What would the world of streaming concerts be, without some creative ideas on how to make a bad situation as optimal as possible? We’ve had more intimate streams, we’ve had just plain old rock ‘n’ roll playing a concert streams, acoustic streams, and now we also have the very first 360° live VR concert stream. The initiative came from the industrial metal act PAIN, who held their show on 12 June 2020 at Abyss Studio in Sweden.

PAIN kicked off their concert with the energetic “Dancing with the Dead.” With the VR set-up, you could choose your own angle for the concert, focus on one band member, or browse around the room with the unique view of the ceiling also being a possibility. It’s a great idea since it makes the concert a little bit more interactive. After the song, founder and mastermind, Peter Tägtgren, spoke to the audience and talked about how weird it was for them to play in front of seven cameras.

Video still of concert stream.

The cure for any awkward or weird situation is obviously a beer and after a sip or two, the band continued with the heavy “Money Business.” Trying to shift angles once in a while, the whole band seemed to consistently headbang throughout the song on its heavy-ass riffs and pounding drums and I started to feel obligated to do the same. Of course, Tägtgren appeared to be the most interesting, as he tried to play a little bit with the imaginary audience and was standing a little bit closer to the cameras.

“Out of shape, out of air, out of line,” Tägtgren continued while introducing the next track, “Dirty Woman.” The song started off a little bit more rock ‘n’ roll, but after the initial intro ended, its heavy riffs excited fans all over the world in the chatbox, as a lot of dance emojis appeared. It’s inevitable not to sing along with its catchy chorus and after having a small party moment behind my laptop screen, they continued with the bombastic “Suicide Machine,” making me want to instantly trash the whole room around me due to the lack of a moshpit. Tägtgren mentioned that, at the end of the song, you can hear the heartbeat of his son, Sebastian (who wasn’t in his usual place behind the drumkit during this show).

© Laureline Tilkin Photography – Pain at Virgin Oil co. (2018)

The setlist was overall filled with a lot of gems from PAIN‘s extensive repertoire, so a song like “The Great Pretender,” was a welcome addition; while introducing it, Tägtgren explained that he doesn’t give a shit about what everyone thinks and you shouldn’t either. The inspirational message was soon followed with angry riffs and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The more mellow and relaxed, “Just Hate Me,” followed and provided a little bit of a break after all the dynamic songs. Tägtgren wanted to go a little bit more Gothic with the next track and thus introduced “Zombie Slam.” Even though he was wondering whether he still had any Gothic left in him, the groovy and deep vocal melodies confirmed that he does. In the middle of the song, Tägtgren shouted at the audience to get off their sofas and it seemed like most people gladly obeyed.

“End of the Line” had an engaging intro and has always been an excellent live track to bang your head to and is clearly an excellent addition to the already very diverse setlist. “Coming Home,” the title track of their latest album, was next and provided a well-deserved break after the heavier tracks by providing a nice rendition of the powerful ballad.

© Laureline Tilkin Photography – Pain at Virgin Oil co. (2018)

“You Only Live Twice” is about getting a second chance in life to do something, which especially seems relevant today. The song, once again, is a heavy burst of energy with strong riffs, great keyboard melodies, and pumping bass lines. Luckily, the show didn’t end there – the mandatory last track of the night would be, “Shut Your Mouth,” probably PAIN‘s most iconic song, thus also the biggest highlight and most-anticipated track of the evening, ensuring a great ending to a wonderful show.

All-in-all the band ensured an energetic performance with a great setlist of 12 diverse tracks taken from PAIN‘s whole discography. The additional 360° VR experience was a unique angle [ed: pun not intended!] on streaming concerts that provided fans with an immersive experience, which is also what is lacking a little bit in some of these shows. After an epic concert, the band took the time to answer fan questions live for about 40 minutes, making for an unforgettable experience for their audience. It’s shows like these that metalheads need to keep the spirit of live music alive and PAIN did an excellent job in creating an intimate experience by including the fans in both the live experience and the Q&A.

Written by Laureline Tilkin

Setlist

  1. Dancing with the Dead
  2. Monkey Business
  3. Dirty Woman
  4. Suicide Machine
  5. The Great Pretender
  6. Just Hate Me
  7. Zombie Slam
  8. End of the Line
  9. Coming Home
  10. You Only Live Twice
  11. Shut Your Mouth

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