A video making the rounds on social media shows what appears to be one of the world’s first “vertical concerts.” The clip comes from a show by Ukrainian rock group O.Torvald, where they played on a rooftop opposite the Bratislava Hotel in Kiev, Ukraine. The audience was comprised of people on the balconies of the Bratislava Hotel guest rooms. As audiences in the United States become more and more consigned to live streams and the gradual move to drive-in concerts, it appears that promoters in Eastern Europe may have just found the next big craze.
The vertical concert by O.Torvald, which took place this past Saturday, was the third installment in the hotel’s vertical concert initiative. On June 7th, Green Grey was the first act to attempt such a feat, followed by hip-hop outfit TNMK on July 4th. Now, with another successful innovative concert in the books, the Bratislava Hotel has two more shows on the horizon with Pianoboy on August 8th and Scriaban on the 15th.
At the hotel, fans were required to check in at the front desk and receive room keys, just like a regular stay. The bands then took the stage on the rooftop of a building facing the balconies filled with excited fans. Fortunately, the building where the stage is located is short enough to allow visibility to roughly nine stories of rooms, each with 14 separate balconies running along the length of the building.
Prior to the show, O.Torvald held a press conference where frontman Zhenya Halych expressed excitement for the band’s first live concert in months, stating that online concerts are “like sex with a rubber girl.”
“We’ve been looking forward to this concert,” Halych said. “You can finally look into the eyes of who you’re performing for. Not in the screens of monitors and cameras, but to see and feel this crazy energy from the people in front of you. It’s hard to put into words when you perform. in front of the hotel, and people from all balconies sing your songs in chorus, shine lanterns and make ‘snow’ from napkins. Pure buzz.”
The vertical concert idea has yet to present itself in the United States, but all it takes is some fortuitous architecture and relaxed city noise ordinances. Unfortunately for American music fans looking to catch a show in Ukraine, the U.S.’s continuing outbreak of new COVID-19 cases may prove prohibitive to international travel.
Scroll down to see what could prove to be the next fad in socially distant concerts.