Did Tupac’s Hologram at Coachella Start a Revolution?

So yesterday Queen confirmed that they are planning a live special performance and are bringing back their late front man Freddie Mercury as a hologram through the use of an optical illusion to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of their “We Will Rock You” musical, according to guitarist Brian May. The performance will take place at the Dominion Theater in London where the musical has been a hit for the past 10 years. “It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while,” says May referring to the rappers “performance” at Coachella earlier this year. As for a possible tour with Mercury, May said that the reunion could last for months. But when asked about the technology involved in the process, May commented “[The Tupac technique] is something we’ve looked at ourselves but I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week it’s not really quite practical.”

Now I for one was absolutely stunned by the performance at Coachella earlier this spring and actually got goose bumps while watching it on my laptop. I thought it was great, a true spectacle that no one had ever seen before or was expecting. But immediately after watching I thought to myself, it won’t be long until the powers that be use this technology for profit. Although Dr. Dre has stated that the Tupac hologram was strictly for Coachella, other late-great performers are being looked into. According to Sanj Surati, of Musion Systems Limited, one of the companies involved in the “resurrection” of Tupac, other stars that we may see revived soon include Kurt Cobain, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, and even Whitney Houston. Also in a recent article on CNN Money about Digital Domain, the production house responsible for the creation of the image of Tupac for Coachella, the company discussed the prospect for more virtual performers. Pointing out that tourist destination’s like Las Vegas and Broadway would be the recipe for a very lucrative endeavor.

But is this really something that we as the audience would like to see, I for one think that it is and that Tupac himself would agree. He talked about death a lot and I think being “resurrected” fits him well. However, as always there is another side to argument, is this morally ok? Maybe family members or band mates won’t feel comfortable having their loved one’s memory being exploited for financial gain while others may think that it is the ultimate homage and that it keeps their memory alive in a new and exciting way. I understand that critic’s may be appalled by this notion because of the monetary gains involved however, what if some of the money generated by the concert or tour were to be donated, for example in the case of Freddie Mercury’s “revival” some of the profits could be pledged to the AIDS Foundation. Ultimately the choice will be up to you as the audience to choose whether or not you want to pay to see these late-great performers, but these types of concerts will become commonplace in the relative future, once the methods used become refined and more ridiculously life-like it will be tough for the companies involved not to try and take advantage of the humongous demand there would be for the acts being considered.

Thanks for reading!


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