Participating in digital gigs now ︎

What about the pandemic era? Who could have imagined that loading up on beer with your friends in a noisy pub with bands playing on Friday night has suddenly become a luxury that you cannot pay for? Who could have imagined that the virus could break up the groups and drive the crowd away entirely in such a short period of time? It seems that society has never relied on online communication as much as it does now. The same goes for the music industry and community.

The online livestream is reshaping the delivery of music and the connections between people during the epidemic. As a metalhead who heavily needs gigs for casual entertainment, the lockdown alters the way I fill my spare time and the way in which I support my favorite bands. I will never forget how excited I was when I first entered Mysthyrming’s (one of my favorite metal bands) online live room accidentally. I was casually scrolling through my Facebook page and the next moment, I was ready to climb on the front railing and jump straight into the crowd from the stage.

The scenario might look ridiculous, but it was what happened in my flat: in my bedroom, projecting the concert whilst headbanging, one woman in her living room mosh pit with flip-flops and underwear. I even couldn’t help but raise horns up (which usually happens in metal gigs) towards my digital equipment! Did I have applause for the artists? Definitely! I hit my keyboard as quickly and loudly as possible just as I joined the virtual applause in the chatting room with thousands of metalheads all around the world to fill the awkward silence between the songs. At this moment, I did feel like I was standing with the global metalhead community even though I had no idea where they were exactly. I touched the boiling hot core of this fascinating subculture.

That might be some sort of ‘modern’ scenario of participating in a digital gig and might be a part of our ‘new normal’ in the pandemic era.