Avenged Sevenfold and Next Gen VR Concerts

From the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special to Stop Making Sense to Taylor Swift: the Eras Tour, musical concert films have long been a way for artists to reach new and existing audiences in a compelling, immersive way. Now that VR has taken hold of concert broadcasting and delivered inspired shows from the likes of Foo Fighters, Doja Cat, and, most recently, Avenged Sevenfold.

Los Angeles-based AmazeVR has produced a 26-minute Avenged Sevenfold VR concert experience featuring the band’s songs Mattel, Hail to the King, Interlude – (D)eath, Nightmare, and Nobody. ‘Looking Inside’ promises to bring fans as close as possible to the band, the performance, and the songs while also adding VR elements that surpass any real-world special stage effects. Described by vocalist M. Shadows as “simply a new experience… one of which we have never seen like this before,” ‘Looking Inside’ sees the band perform among virtual landscapes and 3D light shows as directed by AmazeVR’s Lance Drake. 

Avenged Sevenfold VR concert
Avenged Sevenfold perform in their VR concert film ‘Looking Inside.’ [Image: AmazeVR / Avenged Sevenfold]

Ups and Downs

As VR concerts become more enticing to audiences and as audiences become increasingly well equipped with hardware allowing them to experience VR concerts, a few concerns need to be addressed. Technology will eventually evolve to the point where a VR device can be worn for hours on end. Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro are too hefty to be worn for long periods, one of the reasons ‘Looking Inside’ and similar VR concerts are limited to 20-30-minute runtimes.

3D Concert Film Goers
3D concert films have already proven popular. Will VR concerts take their place? [Image: Pexels / Tima Miroshnichenko]

On the upside, staging music concerts in VR, especially those usually utilizing huge on-stage audio rigs, pyrotechnics, or demanding light shows and projections, makes enormous environmental and logistical sense. The spatial audio capabilities of VR are perfect for a concert experience and can easily replicate (and even surpass) the audio experience of being at a real-world concert. Perhaps even more important, however, is the viewer’s new ability to get incredibly intimate views of their favorite performers, doing exactly what has made them fans in the first place.

It would not be surprising to find major concert tours being simulcast in VR as they happen in the real world. As technology evolves and devices offer longer battery charges and become lighter and more comfortable, VR concerts will be a commonly enjoyed means of experiencing live music.