this summer is a whole different music. From Abba to The Weeknd here’s how digital stars perform

By June 17, 2022The Sandbox
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The future of live music? Look to the past.

In spite of the blockbuster tours of the pop-rock greats, come on Rolling Stones (expected in Italy on 21 June at the San Siro Stadium in Milan) ai Kiss (the farewell tour will touch our country on 11 July, with the show at the Arena di Verona), the concert destined to be talked about throughout the summer is that of Abba. Who return to the stage forty years after the last time, but without even a wrinkle on the face. How is it possible? Thanks to the holograms that producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson – already alongside Bowie, Beyoncé and Jay-Z – made to revive on stage Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus, now all over seventy, exactly. as the public remembered them, before the quartet stopped making public appearances. To create them, the four Swedish musicians wore special motion-capture suits for over a month, singing in front of 160 cameras that captured their movements, reproduced via 3D images projected through a laser. It is not the first time that an artist has been recreated as a hologram: virtual versions of Tupac, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson and others were made before Abba. All missing artists. Benny, Agnetha, Anni-Frid and Björn, on the other hand, are all still alive, albeit with some ailments (Anni-Frid, 76, moves leaning on a stick).


It was Ulvaeus himself who admitted that he was impressed, seeing his virtual alter-ego interact with those of his bandmates from the stalls of the Abba Arena in London, a three thousand-seat space built to host at least until the summer of 2023. the “Abba Voyage” shows: 368 events scheduled to recover production costs, equal to 176 million dollars. In short, there are those who perform in the Metaverse – like Travis Scott, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, that on November 18 presented his new album “Justice” with an immersive online experience made with the company Wave, a pioneer of the convergence between the physical, digital and virtual world – and whoever brings the metaverse into the real world, one might say. Speaking of metaverse: Warner Music Group, one of the three majors of the discography, is working on a virtual world with a musical theme that will be hosted by the gaming platform The Sandbox and has already purchased a space in the virtual world to be transformed into a venue for concerts. Pure dystopia? Hear what Oana Ruxandra, the record company’s chief digital officer of business development, says: “Warner has secured the equivalent of a beachfront property in the metaverse.”


The definition that Binance – a cryptocurrency exchange platform founded in 2017 by Chinese entrepreneur Changpeng Zhao – has given of the new world tour does not sound less dystopian. The Weeknd: “It will be crypto-powered.” What does it mean? Binance, partner of the voice of “Blinding lights”, has announced that the tour will be the first to use the Web3, an innovative technology developed by a group of techno-utopians and built on blockchain technology, in which the contents and services do not reside on servers and platforms of the web giants but are distributed over the entire network, thus freeing the content produced by users from the ownership and control of the platforms. Those who attend the concerts of The Weeknd tour – the Italian ones scheduled in Milan on October 31 and November 1 have been canceled – will receive a virtual coupon through which they can unlock NFT designed as a souvenir of the evening. Forget the fake cable ties.


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