Fatboy Slim's "Eat Sleep VR Repeat" concert was like a psychedelic trip

Fatboy Slim's

Fatboy Slim's "Eat Sleep VR Repeat" was an immersive extravaganza you'd have to experience to fully understand.

When I clicked Attend in the Engage VR app on my Quest, I expected a fun trip down memory lane, watching Fatboy Slim perform some of his classics and introduce some newer songs, but it was much more than that, almost like a psychedelic trip. The Fatboy Slim VR concert was free and took place on March 30 and 31, 2023.

Engage billed it as an "Immersive Metaverse Concert, " which is as good of a description as possible in three words. The concert was available on the Meta Quest 2, Quest Pro, and Pico headsets.

A slow build-up before it goes wild

I was in a large group of fellow Fatboy Slim fans, all appearing as custom avatars. I could roam freely around a beautiful nighttime desert scene at a drive-in diner. Teleporting allowed me to quickly cover a wide area, and there was plenty to see.

There were motorcycles (choppers, to be more specific) that I could take for a spin around the space, and someone managed to take a jump and hop off, leaving the bike suspended in the air. Exploring this space revealed an NPC dancing with aliens to the left of the diner.

Behind, there was a glowing portal in the ground, and diving in transported me to the rooftop. You can't get hurt in virtual reality, so I just jumped off the roof to move closer to the screen as it counted down to the beginning of the concert.

Fatboy Slim VR concert started in a traditional format.

The Fatboy Slim VR concert started in a traditional format. | Image: Mixed

Fatboy Slim appeared thinner than ever as a flat hologram, waving, dancing, and singing "Eat, sleep, rave, repeat" as the music pulsed and built. So far, it was just what I'd expected. An interesting VR stage for a fairly traditional concert with a big screen, the performer, and a large crowd. Then it suddenly became more interesting.

A Fatbot Slim VR theme park

Zeppelins flew in, dropping smiley face bombs and bubbles you could push around. Giant eyeball creatures walked in on legs while some slightly smaller eyes bounced up and down among the crowd like superballs.

Eyeballs rain down or walk in behind Fatboy Slim.

Eyeballs rain down or walk in behind Fatboy Slim. | Image: Mixed

It was gloriously insane-looking, and everything was synced to the beat. I was completely sober for the event, but I felt like I was tripping.

There was a sudden change at a crescendo, and everyone was jammed together into a party bus. Quickly the sides unfolded, making more room, and I could move around and even teleport to other vehicles in the Fatboy Slim caravan.


Fatboy Slim rides a party bus in a VR caravan.

Fatboy Slim rides a party bus in a VR caravan. | Image: Mixed

One of the scenes transported everyone into a free fall as parachuting NPCs drifted by and jets shot across the sky. A Fatboy Slim avatar joined in riding a bomb, then began scratching records after the bomb dropped from sight. Everyone circled around as the music kept pumping.

VR concerts can be more than 360 video

If you've ever been to Disneyland, that might give you a taste of what Fatbot Slim's VR concert was like. There was literally a roller coaster within one of the locations, and I could ride around on a giant spinning record as the music spun out.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with recreating a traditional concert with VR180 or 360 cameras. There have been several great virtual reality concerts with live action, but VR can offer much more than that.

We revisited the diner, but either we'd been shrunken to a few inches tall, or the diner became super-sized because I looked up at towering 3D models of Fatboy Slim, a grill cook, a server on roller skates, and what appeared to be Christopher Walken (who starred in Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice music video).

A giant 3D Fatboy Slim stands behind the tiny 2D singer.

A giant 3D Fatboy Slim stands behind the tiny 2D singer. | Image: Mixed

Each new song brought a change of scenery, with more places to explore and things to do. I could hear other concert-goers laughing and exclaiming when I passed near, but I was enjoying the immersive environment so much that I kept moving and exploring.

In the finale, we were in a Mount Rushmore-like setting with Fatboy Slim's face carved into the mountainside. Praise You blasted as people danced with Yetis or rode on their backs.

Greta Thunberg calls for action Right Here, Right Now.

Greta Thunberg calls for action Right Here, Right Now. | Image: Mixed

Greta Thunberg appeared on two big screens as a clip of her impassioned speech to the UN began to merge with the music and synced up on her words, imploring that action was needed "Right Here, Right Now," adding new meaning to the song.

As with any VR experience, sharing it on a flat screen can't convey what it's like. In my opinion, we need more VR concerts like this. Just as music videos were an art of their own, adding a new dimension to the sound, VR takes that a step further and can make you a part of the experience. Let's make VR concerts immersive.

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