The band are widely known for pushing boundaries, and they did exactly that at Melbourne's Soundwave festival on Friday night. A glowing laptop sat on the otherwise typical rock stage, and captured the entire show via webcam and streamed it to various users via Chatroulette. The Chatroulette sessions were then streamed onto the big screen, so that punters, if bored with the music, could watch the numerous people that would pop up along with their reactions, sometimes hilarious.
In Chatroulette, one webcam user is randomly connected with another webcam user who could be anyone from anywhere. Once one user disconnects, you are then instantly transferred to another random user, and so on. There were a number interesting characters that popped up last night, most notably a man and his son who bobbed along to the music and did devil horns with their hands. No-one else seemed to appreciate the effort, most users disconnected within 5 seconds when they saw a sea of 1000 raised fists and bright lights, instead of someone to talk to. There were young girls, half naked guys, and a grandpa playing guitar. It was a true demonstration of the program's diversity, and versatility.
The use of the technology, whilst very cool, did prove a little distracting both for the audience and the band itself. Bassist Billy Gould spent a couple of songs waving into the camera and bobbing his head, as well as typing to a few lucky Chatrouletters. Lead singer Mike Patton watched the big screen at certain points, making fun of the many users who disconnected straight away. The whole experience was definitely very bizarre and amuzing, although I doubt it'll become mainstream in the future, at least in concert.