As others have noted, Rockband isn’t truly meant to be played alone. When you’re doing a solo singing tour, it can be a bit of a chore. And singing karaoke isn’t quite as fun without the social awkwardness. So you will be pleased to know that my new band “Nonisothermal Domination” has started their world tour and may soon be coming to a city near you.
Rockband becomes something different when you have two or three friends over playing with you. The experience feels like a simplified role playing game. You and your party members are assuming the roles of musicians. It has classes (drums, mic, guitar, and bass), levels/dungeons (gigs), experience points and gold (fans/stars and cash), inventory management (purchasing outfits and changing your character’s appearance), NPCs (managers and roadies), death/rebirth (failure and being saved), and even special abilities that are slightly different for the different classes (overdrive modes). When I play Rockband alone, I feel like I’m sitting at home reading the D&D Player Character guide to learn the mechanics, rather than playing the actual game with friends. Having people in the room with me makes it feel like we’re going on an adventure together.
Besides the somewhat stretched analogy to a game from my past, Rockband is just really fun an intuitive. Not to mention that I laugh out loud whenever I see someone play the drums. After Bads played at my house yesterday, he told me that it was an “ultimate gaming moment” when he saw the first drum fill section of his first song and knew what to do without anyone explaining it. I completely agree.
Of course, if anyone in the band hears about this D&D to Rockband analogy, they’ll probably kick me out and stick the paparazzi on me, so let’s keep this between us.