If you’ve heard about Kraftwerk, the German electronica group, you’ll know that their sound is bordering on extra-terrestrial communication and has many musical themes about space. Someone might have taken this too literally and invited an actual astronaut in orbit to join a live show.
At the band’s recent gig in Stuttgart, Germany, Kraftwerk invited German astronaut Alexander Gerst to tune in live for their on-stage performance at the Jazz Open Festival on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz via a satellite feed from the International Space Station (ISS).
The video, posted by the European Space Agency, has already accumulated over 100,000 views, and features Gerst saying hello to the band and their audience from low-earth orbit. AKA 400km above sea level, AKA space.
Gerst entertained the audience by playing Kraftwerk’s 1978 hit song ‘Spacelab’ (fitting, no?) on a tablet with a virtual synthesiser, seemingly without any lag (if we didn’t know better, we’d think they were using 5G).
This isn’t the first time an astronaut has serenaded a live audience from space. While stationed at ISS, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield played a duet with the Barenaked Ladies in 2013.
Maybe we’ll see an all-astronaut ISS cover band in the near future, but in the meantime, the duets will have to do.