For an event billed the “heaviest metal there is,” sponsor General Electric (GE) has tapped German robot band Compressorhead to play a one-day concert in Union Square, Brilliant Machines Rock, on November 12.
GE says the event will celebrate New York’s “rocking power” with the so-called heaviest metal robot rock band. Compressorhead includes three five-foot-tall humanoids: Stickboy on drums, Bones on bass and Fingers as lead/rhythm. They are built out of scrap metal, with movement made possible by electro pneumatics and music controlled via Midi, GE says.
The show goes from approximately 1 PM to about 7:30 or 8 PM. It will start with 15-minute sets and build up to 30-minute sets as the day goes on, says Andy Goldberg, global creative director at GE. Artists covered include the Ramones, Joan Jett and Led Zeppelin.
As the free concert targets a mix of younger influencers and tech enthusiasts — “I hate to say Millennial,” Goldberg adds — it will also include charging stations for attendees’ devices and WiFi to power connectivity, GE says.
During the concert, GE says it will also “allow people all over the city to keep rocking” through a livestream that will run on Spotify.
“We have a lot of interplay with Spotify to bring the program to life as well as a stream on Google+,” Goldberg says.
Additionally, the partnership with Spotify will “encourage and reward online users to contribute to a curated playlist of 40+ robotcentric songs,” GE says.
As of November 8, the playlist was not yet live.
What’s more, in the weeks leading up to the concert, New York neighborhoods including the East Village and SoHo as well as the borough of Brooklyn have been covered in interactive posters designed by ad agency BBDO NY and creative agency Bose Collins, which give pedestrians the ability to plug in their headphones to “get a musical taste of the show to come.”
That includes two songs and a message about the concert, Goldberg says.
“This is about having fun and creating an experience for people,” he adds.
The concert is part of GE’s year-long Brilliant Machines campaign, which the brand says is “a series of interactive programming that engages consumers on the story of the Industrial Internet [and] how software and hardware are increasingly coming together to create a more brilliant future.”
Goldberg says GE was looking for an idea that related to the Industrial Internet to tell a story about power.
“For me, I think this is the epitome of how to merge the story of the Industrial Internet in a fun, engaging way that is new and different,” Goldberg says. “Robots that put on a concert are kind of cool. It does tell our story and is a fun way to connect with GE.”
GE will be pushing Foursquare check-ins for the event and has created teaser videos on YouTube about the show.
Afterward, GE will post a video with a longer storytelling piece on the robots, which it will push out through Facebook and Twitter, Goldberg says.
GE has 1 million likes and 168,000 followers.
GE says it helps power the brilliant machines that run New York City (NYC), such as those at the Ravenswood plant in Queens, which produces one-fifth of the power needed to run the city.
“NYC, in turn, becomes a grid powering everything from our computers to the music at our favorite concert,” GE adds.
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