On this day in 2007, the original Rock Band was unleashed on the world. Having been anxiously awaiting for that day for quite some time, I rushed into EB Games to pick up my band set. The journey I would go on with that series is one that left an indelible imprint on my life. It’s also one that I struggle to see myself coming back to in a meaningful way.
During the height of the genre’s popularity, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and its many imitators drove the whole thing to a breaking point at a record speed. Just a few years after it started, plastic instruments were dumped off at pawn shops worldwide and the genre became irrelevant to the mainstream gaming audience.
In 2015, Harmonix tried one more time to get the band back together with Rock Band 4. Depending on who you ask, the game was either a mild success or a disaster of epic proportions. Still, for those who haven’t been following the series, Harmonix continues to truck along with weekly DLC and a major expansion released earlier this year.
I still romanticize about the good old days of jamming along with plastic instruments. With Harmonix’s continued support, there are thousands of new songs to play along with. But my motivation to actually do so is at an all-time low. For most, no one wants to touch those instruments with a 10-foot pole, as the fad died long ago. Besides my brother, getting a full band together is quite the chore.
The other is the setup. Right now, my plastic instruments are buried in a pile of other stuff. While I hate the fact that they take up space for a game I probably won’t play any time soon, I’m reluctant to let them go in case the desire to thrash along arises. As such, they sit in storage purgatory, where they may ultimately rot before I use them again.
Can’t believe 10 years has gone by so fast. Rock Band was a notable part of my life and its influence lives on today through my interest in rock music and my desire to learn how to play real instruments. Maybe someday we’ll get the band back together and shred plastic like nobody’s business.