Last night, on the final day of Coachella 2012, hip-hop star Tupac Shakur, who was killed in 1996, joined Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre on stage…as a hologram. Yup, you read that right. Through the amazing advances in technology we can now bring dead artists “back to life”. The late rapper joined Snoop and Dre for Come With Me, Hail Mary, and Gangsta Party. You can check out video of “Tupac” below.
Does anyone else have an issue with this? I’m actually quite uncomfortable with the prospect of deceased artists suddenly appearing before me at a concert. That’s not something that I could want to see. Wanna use holograms to create astonishing creatures and light shows? Totally cool with it. Hell, I’d pay an extra $10 per ticket to see that because it would probably be unbelievably awesome.
But this is something else entirely. After all, think about it: Tupac died in 1996. Coachella started in 1999. How then, I must ask, did Tupac ever say, “What the fuck is up Coachella!” So now we can not only bring back deceased artists, but we can put words in their mouths?
Imagine going to a Nickelback concert (I know, it’s not easy) and, suddenly, during their performance of Side Of A Bullet, Dimebag Darrell appeared and played the guitar solo. Not all that cool in my book.
Oh, let’s take it a step further. Say Live Nation decides they want to do a Guns N Roses reunion tour. Axl has cleared it and so has Slash (a cold day in Hell, right?). But what they actually agreed to is that their likenesses can be used as holograms. They don’t actually have to ever appear next to each other or even leave their own home. They collect royalty checks for a completely hologram concert. Would you pay $70 per ticket for that? I know I wouldn’t. I pay to SEE the artists perform their art. I give them my money because I support them actually going out and working on a daily basis. I’m not going to pay these guys for going into a motion-capture studio to record a few moves that will then be recycled on a daily basis for a “tour”.
Like I said before, I’m all for technological advances that make the concert experience that much more amazing. After all, I think live touring needs to do what it can in order to make things interesting and keep people coming back for more. But this is taking things too far. I don’t trust artists or promoters to use this technology with any sense of compassion or respect yet. Until that day, I’ll be quite happy with some pyrotechnics and perhaps some lasers.
Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonny B.? Shoot him a message on Twitter!
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