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Holograms offer new experience for fans

By Levi Pascher COPY EDITOR
On April 25, 2012

Whether you're a fan of hip-hop or traditional rock, odds are you could easily list a handful of artists you wished to see before they faded out or passed away. We've all had those conversations with our peers that go something like, "Damn, what I would give to have seen them live back in the day."

Although seeing an artist back in their prime will probably not happen until some Trekkie invents time travel, the ability to see them as a walking and moving light display is surprisingly close to becoming reality.

At the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Tupac Shakur was resurrected as a hologram image to play two songs with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in front of a live audience. The hologram of the rapper, who was killed in Las Vegas in 1996, performed "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" and "Hail Mary" before exploding into a remarkable light display at the conclusion.  

According to an article by Claire Suddath in Bloomberg Businessweek, the hologram performance happened after four months of collaboration between Dr. Dre's productions company, James Cameron's Digital Domain, and two hologram-imaging companies, AV Concepts and Musion Systems.

While the cost of the hologram has yet to be specified, it's estimated it ranged somewhere in the area of $100,000 to $400,000. While that price seems high at first, it's considerably lower than what an actual breathing Tupac would have demanded to make such an appearance. This leads me to point out that this is a technology many other companies should embrace and attempt more often.

Think about it - if the company could make a set of some of an artist's biggest hits and put that technology on a nationwide tour, it would easily make a profit. Not to mention the demand to see legendary artists would be in the millions. Even if the company didn't want to send the technology across the nation, something like this could easily be a featured act in Las Vegas or New York City.

While there are several other loop holes the company would have to jump through to gain exclusive right to use an artist image and songs, the potential is practically limitless.

Say Elvis were to be the next headlining act in Vegas. That would easily become one of the hottest-selling tickets on the strip.

Sure, the performance by a computer-animated hologram doesn't touch how impressive the actual artists were in their prime, but it's an opportunity many never dreamed of seeing.

If Pink Floyd light shows still sell tickets to this day, I'm willing to bet thousands of fans would be willing to pay the cash to see their idols who've been gone for decades.

I know many will say if holograms begin to become the norm of live performances, it will diminish the art. But I have to disagree. Sure, the voice will never fade and the moves will be identical from one show to the next, but fans won't forget they're watching computer programming at its best and not their actual idol. They'll be there for that "what it could have been like" factor.

Unfortunately, no one has found a way to immortality, but this technology allows us to experience what thousands of us have always dreamed of. This technology could touch any genre and any fan seeking a chance to see legends walk the stage, as they did in the past.

Fans enjoy seeing and buying live DVDs even though the voices and instruments are enhanced to sound better. So, where's the harm in embracing this hologram technology?

Whether you're a fan of bands or individuals, this is something that will truly raise eyebrows to what the next possibility is. Too often, artists are taken before their time, and so many fans come around  later who weren't even alive when these artists were making their rounds around the nation. So this type of performance would knock down the walls for every fan who ever asked, "What if?"

While live performances are always  better, a replication of those who can no longer do it themselves is something many people should support.

The potential is limitless, and the list of artists who could "come back to life" would be huge. It's time for people to embrace this technology and hope that their late dream artist is next on the list to take the stage.

Pascher's Playlist



These artists were spectacular during their prime and should be strongly considered as the next hologram performer, when and if the technology and right-holders allow it. Artists are in no specific order.


Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970)


Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977)


Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994)


The Notorious B.I.G. (1972 - 1997)


Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009)


Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003)


Jim Morrison (1943 - 1970)


Bob Marley (1945 - 1981)


Janis Joplin (1943 - 1970)


Jerry Garcia (1942 - 1995)


Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998)


Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984)


Buddy Holly (1936 - 1959)


Dimebag Darrell (1966 - 2004)



Follow Pascher on Twitter @Levipasc

By Levi

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