Travis Scott's "Astronomical" launched into orbit within Fortnite on Thursday evening.
The 15-minute concert put on by the multiplatinum-selling rapper was more of an immersive experience set to a soundtrack of his music, with impressive visuals, and I was lucky enough to drop in to join the masses for the show.
My early concert experience was miserable. Upon finding a wonderful spot, center stage, front row, with minutes to spare before the performance, I would be eliminated by a nearby player, who clearly wasn't following proper virtual social distancing guidelines. I would then respawn, only to have to fight my way back to my spot. Users killed time by holding flaming mic stands in the air and head-banging, two of the emotes available during the concert.
Ultimately, positioning didn't matter, because soon after the experience began, a meteor-looking spherical stage cratered toward the concert floor and locked into place, launching players into the air.
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Suddenly, an immense Scott appeared, wearing seemingly the largest pair of retro Air Jordan 1s ever created, and a medley from his catalog of albums ensued, set to a stunning light show while players walked, ran, swam and flew through the journey. One second I was floating in space; another, I was swimming in the depths of the ocean; the next, my feet acted as a massive trampoline as I vaulted into the air, taking in the ever-changing scene of vibrant colorways around me.
Dancers made of lightning, then wind, then fire, moved to the music. Scott himself would change positions, either by walking or teleporting -- if you ran into him, you would pass through him, as if he were some colossal hologram, both present and out of reach.
Then, just as quickly as rollercoaster trains and track zoom past you in the scenery, we were all parachuting back into the game, the journey complete.
"It's incredible what Epic continues to do with in-game events," streamer Benjamin "DrLupo" Lupo said. "Honestly, giving in-person concerts a run for their money at this point. Insane."
Prominent streamers such as DrLupo, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Ali "Myth" Kabbani, Félix "xQc" Lengyel and Jack "CouRage" Dunlop (who was in the middle of a 12-hour coronavirus fundraising stream dubbed "CouRageous vs. Coronavirus") were livestreaming the concert on their respective channels. They, along with other prominent streamers, were also amazed by the spectacle.
"Holy s---," CouRage tweeted. "The Travis Scott concert in Fortnite was INSANE. Epic keeps outdoing themselves. Bravo."
Imane "Pokimane" Anys was also blown away by the show -- and put on a performance of her own.
"This is technologically impressive!" my wife, Jennifer, who has not played a single second of Fortnite before Thursday, told ESPN.
Scott's "Astronomical" was certainly the most immersive experience from Epic Games thus far. While we have seen in-game concerts before with Marshmello and viewer experiences such as the massive robot vs. monster fight last July, and even the Black Hole event that saw the game completely shut down for a day (with a mini game unlocked by the Konami code that made me the self-proclaimed World Champion of Fortnite), this was definitely the most complete experience to date, and it makes your imagination run wild in terms of what is possible in the game.
And that's the story of my first time attending a concert dressed up as a banana.