Lil Nas X recently performed a virtual concert in Roblox, earning over 33 million viewers and surpassing Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert.
The ten minute long Roblox concert set featured three of Lil Nas X’s biggest hits, Old Town Road, Rodeo, and Panini, and as well as the first ever performance of his newest single, Holiday. Lil Nas X is known for being a witty and creative artist, who is comfortable blending genres to create a unique sound.
Lil Nas X, an artist of a generation
In many ways, Lil Nas X has managed to capture the feeling of an entire generation. It’s difficult to understate just how capable and characteristic his music and personality are to Americans of a similar age.
It’s hard to overstate just how much success Old Town Road found. At times, it really does seem like almost everyone has heard it, and it currently has the distinction of being the song with the longest time spent in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, with 19 weeks, 18 of which were for the remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.
This puts Lil Nas X above names like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Elton John, and so on. Old Town Road is important to understand, because this song ended up being what led to his discovery, catapulted his career, and expanded what the artistic landscape for country music could look like. It was during this period that Lil Nas X came out as gay, and established himself as a LGBTQ+ icon.
How did Lil Nas X’s Roblox concert come to be?
With the global pandemic making large in-person gatherings a danger to all involved, virtual concerts have been explored more and more lately as a way for performers and musicians to connect with fans. There are still some limitations in the technology, but for experimental artists like Lil Nas X, it’s a great way to try something new.
While it was reported that Lil Nas X performed live, this likely doesn’t tell the whole story. Lil Nas X did share a video of him practicing the motion capture for the Roblox concert, but he didn’t state whether or not his motion would be recorded and reused so that Lil Nas X could concentrate on singing or if he would dance and sing together.
For many reasons, it’s much more likely that Lil Nas X sang live and performed the motion capture ahead of time, but it’s not impossible for him to have done both live for the Roblox concert.
Otherwise, this Roblox concert showed some impressive technology, though still seemed somewhat limited by the Roblox engine. Compared to the Travis Scott concert in Fortnite, the textures and lighting were much flatter, and Lil Nas X’s character model was much less expressive.
Nonetheless, the venue showed that virtual concerts are worth exploring, and it will only be a matter of time before performers and programmers can use them to offer a unique and unparalleled experience to fans.Published 18 Nov 2020, 01:14 IST