Virtual Concerts: Hit or Miss?

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Music fans can support their favorite musicians in so many ways, whether it be streaming their new music on Spotify the day it’s released, buying their merchandise from their website, or interacting with their posts on social media. Prior to COVID-19, many fans would show their support by attending concerts. Musicians have adapted to this change with the rise in virtual live performances for their fans.  This year after their comeback announcement, PrettyMuch reentered the music scene in December 2019 with their new EP and a virtual album release party.

“Smackables” (Deluxe Edition) and The “Smackables” EP Release Party

After its initial release of the “Smackables” EP with three songs, the band released a deluxe edition at the end of February with a total of six songs. It is unlike their previous mini albums with the incorporation of more synthesized sounds and the hints of actual instrument usage.

The EP begins with PrettyMuch’s first single of the year, “Stars.” The lead single steps out of the band’s comfort zone with a more synthesized sound, making it stand out from the rest of the EP and their previous works.

In the initial release, “Parking Spot” and “Free” are the second and third tracks on the EP. “Parking Spot” provides a more hip-hop sound with a hint of rap from the group’s Zion Kuwonu which makes the track stand out. “Free” is one of the slower tracks on the EP but speeds back up near the end of the track, which is a PrettyMuch signature in the majority of their slow tracks.

The release of the deluxe edition included three new songs, “Lonely,” “Corpus Christi,” and “Smackables.” “Lonely” starts off simple with soft guitar-strumming in the first few seconds of the song, then shifts to heavy drumming in the middle of the track, and eventually drops low by the end of the song. “Corpus Christi” has a combination of pop and R&B and works as one of the upbeat synthesized tracks in the deluxe release. Lastly, “Smackables” concludes the deluxe edition of the EP, continuing to work on this theme of synthesization by varying the vocal ranges from low to high.

Following the deluxe edition release, PrettyMuch held the “Smackables” release party available for stream on March 4 on the platform, Moment House. For me, this was one of the many first virtual music events I’d attended, and the event was worth what I paid. At the start of the event, the band answered questions from individuals who sent questions in and would play one of their songs off of their new EP in between questions. In the middle of the event, there was a short skit that the band pulled together before surprising the audience with a live performance of the rest of the songs off the EP. It was truly a great experience, but I knew it would’ve been much better in person.

The event concluded with a sneak peek of the band’s new music video for their new song “Corpus Christi”, and both the song and video were the highlights of the events that night with the performance of the band coming in at a hard second.

The event can be seen on YouTube with the courtesy of the YouTube user, Valentina.

So, Virtual Concerts? Hit or Miss?

Concerts were all the rave prior to COVID-19, and DePauw students love planning to go see their favorite artists in person. Recently, with the pandemic, students were asked if they had attended a virtual concert, and if they had not, who would be the first artist they would love to see in person in concert.

First-year Niesha Lewis said, “I have not been to an actual concert nor have I been to a virtual concert because I feel as though it’s not the same. I think I’d enjoy the vibe of being around other people screaming the lyrics of their favorite songs together better than sitting behind the computer screen. Once everything goes back to normal, I am definitely going to a concert, and the first person I’d like to see is SZA.”

Sophomore Nanami Mezaki said, “I haven’t been to a virtual concert since the pandemic started, but when the pandemic is over, I would like to see Harry Styles or Bruno Mars in concert.”