The North Country — an indie-pop group featuring University of Maryland alumni Andrew Grossman and Kirk Kubicek — performed live at a tripped-out “multi-sensory meltdown” Friday at Culture House DC, where attendees could experience the band’s new music video in virtual reality.

The show — which was opened by synth-pop artist ViRG — took the audience through a series of experiences that showcased how the band intertwines their art with technology. First, the audience experienced the VR music video, created by university alum and Immersive Media Design faculty member Ian McDermott.

McDermott had experimented with volumetric video cameras, which can shoot in 3D, when he approached the band with the idea for making a VR music video for their song “Inside Outside.”

The final product featured impressionist painting-like representations of the band members performing the song.

“It’s all been a very experimental process, but it’s really come together, especially in the past half year,” McDermott said.

The intimate venue provided only a few feet of space between the band and audience. The North Country’s influences ranged from synth-driven pop numbers to rock songs with powerful drum beats and guitar lines. The laser production from laser artist Zak Forrest and artistically-inclined venue complemented this surprising blend.

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The live show lived up to the band’s mission statement to “make you think while you dance,” and combined groovy instrumentals breaks with contemplative lyrics. Each member brought a unique energy, from their stage presence to the frequent audience interactions.

The North Country seamlessly mixed their vibrancy with boundary-pushing technology to create a night of spectacles that drew in fans and kept them entertained. The technology has become a focus of the band, and an interesting path into the future.

The band has always been interested in incorporating visual elements, including the VR McDermott provided and the lasers from Forrest.

“I have just always appreciated these other elements as a way to be expressive,” Grossman said. “Currently we’re as deep as we’ve ever been in that realm, and I’m also interested in going deeper.”

The band’s music is a ranges thematically from thoughtful introspection to, as their website describes, “blistering political commentary aimed squarely at the one percent,” the latter of which is the subject of the band’s show-closer “The Invisible Hand,” a fusion of jazzy synths and sharp vocals.

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Grossman and Kubicek’s musical journey dates back to their time in this university’s Arts Scholars program. They played in bands together throughout college, including one called Back to Save the Universe — a reference to Radiohead’s “Airbag,” — and another called Hovercraft.

After graduation, both moved on to other ventures before Grossman started The North Country in 2011, with a solidified lineup in 2018. Grossman is on vocals, guitar, and synth with Kubicek on drums. Other members include background vocalists Margot MacDonald and Laurel Halsey — who also play keyboard — bassist Austin Blanton and guitarist Jon Harmon.

In college, Grossman and Kubicek did shows at WMUC, which gave them the confidence to host house shows off-campus. After graduating, Grossman became involved in Washington D.C.’s house show music scene, where he met The North Country’s other members.

Grossman said there is a huge potential for technologies to intersect with art in valuable, memorable ways.

“The future is a choice,” he said. “We can use these new technologies to make art and better ourselves and understand ourselves and each other better, or we can use it to completely disrupt people’s lives and destroy ourselves.”