Fortnite's Rift Tour event, starring pop icon Ariana Grande, kicked off this Friday. We attended the show just in case any of you Arianators missed out. Don't worry, you'll have another chance to attend the concert throughout the week. Check out the Rift Tour schedule here.
But enough about that. You want to know if Ariana Grande turned into a giant kaiju. Well, she sort of did. Much like last year's Travis Scott concert, players were warped into several alternate dimensions to listen to some of Ariana's greatest hits, including “Seven Rings,” “Positions,” “Be Alright,” and more. Much more, actually. Some songs weren't even hers, weirdly.
Check out the video below for a look, or read on for our take.
The concert kicked off with a strange journey through a portal, where a giant Ariana beckoned us into her adoring grasp. In a strange turn of events, players were transported to what I can only describe as SSX Goopy, snowboarding down a river of multicolored slime, collecting orbs, and getting tricky.
After that, we were transported to a giant forest of pink trees that looked like the tips of paintbrushes. Like some sort of Willy Wonka fever dream, players bounced around while the head of a giant Cuddle Commander appeared on the horizon.
Then players were transported to a dark realm inhabited by the Storm King, a giant demon responsible for that weird force field that eventually kills you in battle royale matches. Players hopped on planes and unloaded countless bullets into him and his zombie cronies, racking up points. I scored third, which is better than last, so at least there's that. Strangely, it seemed to be set to a Wolfmother song, or at least something similar. Remember Wolfmother?
Next up, players were treated to a weirdly touching scene wherein we all revived one another, just like in regular matches. I'd like to imagine we were lending our spirit bomb energy to Ari.
Finally, Ariana appeared and performed Seven Rings, her remix of the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein banger “My Favorite Things.”
Next up was “Be Alright,” as players floated through the sky on bubbles and Ariana flew through the sky.
Players then moved over to riding tiny little llama unicorns while Ariana sang R.E.M. Then in one of the weirder segments, Ariana transported us to a realm that appeared to be inspired by M.C. Escher, odd staircases and all.
The show wrapped up with “Positions,” as Ariana emerged from a giant schism in the cosmos, wielding a hammer and dressed in crystal wings. Finally, she slammed her hammer into the ground, transporting us all back to the cold, Ariana-less reality we inhabit.
All in all, it's easy to feel the same sense of wonder we did during the Travis Scott concert. Witnessing a giant kaiju version of our favorite pop stars probably won't ever get old, and call it commercial, but it's cool to see these artists perform in odd fantasy realms.
The only gripe you can really have with it is that two sections (the goop snowboarding and Storm King fight) had pretty much nothing to do with Ariana or her music. They were much more like the end-of-season events we've become accustomed to, with some sort of narrative push-along to get us to the next battle pass. We already knew the Storm King would play a role in the show, but I just figured I'd get to shoot turrets alongside Ms. Grande.
It makes one wonder how huge the investment is for big shows like this, especially since they're really only happening for one or two evenings. Regardless of your feelings on Fortnite as a game, Epic shows no signs of slowing down its whole “metaverse” project, aiming to make Fortnite a place where one group of folks can appreciate it from the front row, while the rest appreciate it from a safe, giantess-free distance.