Sophia Henry | A&E Editor
During the past weekend of September 18th and 19th gave fans of the dynamic pop duo, Twenty One Pilots, an interesting opportunity. For a limited time, fans could log-on to the gaming website, ROBLOX, where between Friday, September 17th at 7pm ET and Sunday, September 19th: they could be part of the action as their own customizable avatar.
The “Twenty One Pilots Concert Experience” was put together by Roblox Arena Events, in collaboration with Twenty One Pilots, to create an interactive concert where players could participate in games while iconic music from the band was aired in the background. The band members, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, were motion captured and digitally processed to create life-like character models which performed in the midst of various settings. The tracks included in the setlist were Car Radio (Vessel, 2013), Stressed Out (Blurryface, 2015), Heathens (Heathens, 2016), Saturday, and The Outside (Scaled and Icy, 2021). Despite the event being dubbed a “Concert Experience,” the music that aired was not performed live. The band instead opted to use the original audio files for each song, occasionally dropping in live voice lines about being paid in “Robux,” ROBLOX’s primary currency for microtransactions, and other adlibs that were used to heighten the partnered experience.
While this virtual concert experience aimed to promote the band’s latest album, Scaled and Icy, the medium they chose to do so in was also well complemented. Scaled and Icy is a shortened verse for “scaled back and isolated,” which describes the songs of the album as well as the environment they were developed in. During the world-wide pandemic of COVID-19, many individuals were isolated in their homes. The members of Twenty One Pilots were no different, which resulted in less elaborate songs than fans may typically expect. Pairing this mentality with a gaming website whose mission is “to bring the world together through play” (corp.roblox.com), the band, along with Roblox Arena Events, were able to create an experience which was “scaled back” from a fully fledged concert and accessible even when “isolated.”