Rock Star Hologram Tours

It’s gone past simple holograms…they are now avatars (the ABBA reunion). For the sake of this post… I’ll call them holograms. This post is basically me arguing with myself and wanting some input.

I’ve thought about the subject of the dead rock star hologram tours off and on. I apologize for putting it so bluntly but that is what it is. Something in me just tells me there is something inherently wrong about this. So I hate to ask myself this…but would I want to go to a Jimi Hendrix show playing near me? Uh…yes I would and I feel bad about saying that. I would probably go and then hate the decision later. How could they capture Jimi Hendrix? I don’t see how someone could capture a performer like him…who was different every time he played.

I was surprised at my answer that I would even go. On the other hand, we have laser shows with bands’ music…so what is the big difference? We also have duets with Paul McCartney singing with John Lennon right now on Paul’s tour. When I saw The Who, there was Keith Moon singing “Bell Boy” in a film from a concert in the 70s while the current Who was playing. I also got to see Beatlemania with artists dressed up as The Beatles…somewhat different than this but is it really?

It’s something that I think will happen in the near future for different stars no matter if we like it or not. Holograms have been around for a while. In 1977 The Who presented a promotional event just for their fans with this Keith Moon hologram (with the real Keith Moon in attendance) and in another event in 2009…obviously without the real Keith in attendance.

Keith is near the end of his life in this version…you can tell it’s older with the greenwash all around. The big difference is now …the holograms sing, move, and play their instruments or rather they appear to do that. There have been shows now built around Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Elvis, Ronnie James Dio, ABBA (who are very much alive),  Whitney Houston, Tupac, Billie Holiday, Wilson Pickett, and more.

The families are in control now and will decide. I’ll ask myself again…would I want to see the Hamburg or Cavern Beatles? The 1972 Rolling Stones? the 1969 Who? The 1950’s Elvis? AC/DC with Bon Scott? 1970 Janis Joplin? The Doors?

Yes to all the questions I asked but…I’m not sure how I would feel.

What do you think? Would it be unsettling to see a long-gone performer in their prime again a few feet from you? Would you go see a show (not really a concert) of your favorite deceased performer?

Now, on the other hand, there is another angle. If Bob Dylan, who is very much alive, would announce tomorrow that a 1966 version of himself was going on tour…would I go? Oh yes, I would and I would not feel bad at all. ABBA just did this also. So why do I think I would feel different about seeing Jimi, Lennon, Janis, or someone else that has long been gone?

Before you answer…now, current bands can play in Washington and be projected as holograms in London simultaneously…so it’s taken a huge jump. See the bottom video. No traveling in stuffy vans….just play at your local pizza joint and be somewhere else also. So our band could play in my garage and be on stage at Carnegie Hall and interact with the audience. I have to wonder how far it will go?

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

38 thoughts on “Rock Star Hologram Tours”

  1. In this case I believe the good outweighs the bad. It keeps these artists memories alive and not fading into history. It will create new fans and they will pass that along to their kids down the line. Younger people today do not listen to Rock and Roll for the most part. These concerts can’t do anything but help.

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    1. I don’t know….there are a lot of younger people that listen to this music. I go to forums and youtube where MANY are Bailey’s age and a lot younger…..and the older artist I’ve seen in concert…many times 50-50 young and old….with the Who and McCartney….but like I said….I would probably go

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  2. I’m not sure sure I’m ready to give you a definitive answer. On the one hand, I feel there’s something creepy about creating a hologram of an artist and have them “perform”. It goes against everything I love about live music, which is, well, you’re looking at an actual person performing their music. You’re witnessing their actual emotions and interaction with the audience. Perhaps, you even pick up on small imperfections.

    On the other hand, I love going to tribute shows. Some people yawn when it comes to tribute acts. All I can say is I’ve seen amazing tribute shows, including for artists and bands I’ve loved for many years like Neil Young, Steely Dan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago. This list goes on and on.

    Granted, the tribute acts, if they’re legit, perform entirely live. In some cases you’re getting both the music and very similar looks. One could argue that going to a hologram show isn’t that much different than going to a tribute concert. It’s the same music. And, instead of a tribute artist who may have have a certain similarity to “your artist” you’re getting an incredibly real looking hologram.

    And yet, there’s something that makes me feel a bit uneasy about hologram shows. I think I’m more open to the idea when it’s an artist who is no longer with us like Buddy Holly or Roy Orbison. Abba on the other hand? These guys are still alive. I think I would rather see them perform live than their holograms, even if they no longer sound like they did back in the ’70s. My other “condition” for considering going to a hologram show would be that the backing band performs live. I believe that’s the case with most hologram shows.

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    1. I guess the biggest difference in a tribute band and this would be it is really the star’s voice and playing. The other players would not be the real deal but playing along….

      I think with ABBA….wasn’t it actually them? I think it was…them singing but with avatars of them singing… with them I think it was more of the way they looked more than sounded…which doesn’t bother me but I guess they wanted that image of them in their heyday to remain.

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      1. I think you’re right about ABBA. The avatars were created while they actually performed. And, yes, I also recall reading that they wanted to recreate their looks in the ‘70s.

        Still, I wouldn’t go to an ABBA avatars show. I’d be more open to consider it for artists I like who have passed.

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      2. I don’t know Christian…of course I would go but there would be some odd feelings…now for the 50s stars….I can see why their families would do it….they got ripped off left and right and never made what they should have.

        You are right though…the only difference in a tribute band would be we would hear their real voice…I would imagine they would isolate their voice from a outtake or a live concert so we wouldn’t hear the original recording…something different.

        I can’t say I wouldn’t go but I don’t know how I would feel. I would go to see tribute bands…that doesn’t bother me at all. It is interesting on how close they get. Seeing Buddy in color…I had to do a double take.

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  3. First off, I don’t think either Buddy or Roy look like the real Buddy and Roy, they look like other people made to look like them. One question I have: 1) Who makes the money from the shows? If the families of the dead stars and the living stars receive the bulk of it, I’m on board. Otherwise it feels like exploitation. I do like that they have actual living backup bands/orchestras which does make it a live performance of a sort. I don’t see that big of a difference between watching a youtube of a concert and seeing hologram of one except for scale. If they could project it in an imax theater with a great sound system, I think it would be ideal, as I can go for bathroom breaks whenever needed and wouldn’t need to spend a fortune on a concert ticket. Would it be as good as the real thing (e.g. The Beatles at the Cavern via time machine)? NO. Would it be neat to see (at IMAX)? Yes.

    One more thing, on a connected topic. I do see a day where there will be “kinesthetic holodecks” where you will not only see your dream fantasies but will feel them. I hope I live long enough to enjoy experiencing one.

    Good topic to discuss, Max.

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    1. Good questions….but from what I understand….IF the artist or family didn’t sign away their rights to their likeness… the family should be getting it.

      I remember the holodecks in Star Trek! I do hope they come true!

      After all is said and done…I would go to see some of these…I know I would.

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      1. Seems like a lot of people stream movies these days and the theaters are hurting. I think live concerts broadcast worldwide somehow (including hologram ones) cast up on the big screen could rejuvenate them. I saw one with Peter Gabriel (not his holo) a few years back at the imax and I loved it.

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      2. I am interested to see where it goes…one day…they will be able just to stream it in our living room…the Beatles playing in an open spot in our home.

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  4. Very good, intriguing question. I didn’t know it was so common a practice yet though I’d heard of Whitney’s family planning such a thing & was aware of Abba’s plans to do so. (I suppose to be crass yet realistic about it if you want to ‘see’ Abba perform, 30 year old Frida and Agnetha would be better than 70-odd year old ones…they were always aware of the powers of their charms in videos & live shows in the 1970s).
    I think bottom line is it’s not outright wrong but it seems a tad creepy to people like me. If I’m going to just hear pre-recorded music I’d just as soon listen at home or see it in a cinema as was offered with The Beatles last winter. But, let the market decide I say.

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    1. You know Dave…after I posted it I thought damn! I should have asked you if you could use it in Turntable Talk if it fit.
      Yea ABBA really performed but just with the avatars up front. I wonder where the deceased starts…where do they pull their vocals or guitar playing? From an out take, concert, or the real recording?

      You would have a live band furnishing the music…again Dave…I’m arguing with myself…not with you lol. The creepy factor does move in…now as far as new bands playing a concert and projecting them to another place…that is lazy….or is it?

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  5. Personal choice. I think I’d go see at least one, but I fear it wouldn’t be the same. I recall seeing Neil Young here in ’85- I may have mentioned this before- but when he came on stage the audience, ahem, lit up, and it was quite the warm and intoxicating atmosphere all through the show. (Yes, he DID play ‘Four Strong Winds!)

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    1. I was surprised at myself that I would think no… but yes like you I would go but no I don’t think it would be the same.

      They were wanting to do an Amy Winehouse tour but someone said no…too soon. That does seem like a factor also.

      Love those concerts…I remember you couldn’t see the “no smoking” signs because of the haze.

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  6. It’s an interesting one… If the stars are still alive and give it their blessing, or are involved in the production (like ABBA) then it’s fine… The reason ABBA did it this way I think is because they admit that the idea of performing for two hours a night and touring around the world at their age – as two divorced couples no less – probably didn’t appeal… Plus, holograms are probably the only way we’ll ever get an Oasis reunion : )

    But there is something exploitative about it when the star is dead. It’s basically the same as a movie about them, and all the innacuracies that that involves. Except most people go to a movie and expect some liberties to be taken with the truth… OK, I’m sure the hologram makers are coming at it from the right angle, and want to make it as real and as accurate as they can, but it’s still about making money in the end. I dunno… And I’m not even sure that having the families of the dead stars involved would help, as history has shown that they don’t always have their best interests at heart…

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    1. I have no problem with what ABBA is doing…I can see it ….the fans wouldn’t mind seeing them but their brand is strong and I do understand also about not wanting to be with each other that much not to mention the wear and tear.

      With the dead…yea it’s got a bit of creepiness involved….and yea money is the thing. Plus wanting to tour people like Amy Winehouse… too soon….
      I don’t know….I’m not saying I would not go…I would probably be drawn but I don’t know how I would feel.

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      1. Yeah, Amy Winehouse would just feel exploitative… Especially if her family is involved. But then is it any different to Hendrix or Whitney Houston’s holograms, given the way they died?

        I’m not sure I’d go. I’d rather see a good tribute act. It would just feel more authentic somehow.

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    1. Would you go to one with your favorite artist? I probably would just to see it. Thank you for commenting.

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  7. Hey Max. You asked my opinion, but honestly I haven’t experienced one of these shows “live” yet myselfe, and still only know the basics–I’m not even sure why projecting on Mylar makes them look 3D. My bro-in-law caught the ABBA show in London and raved about how completely real the holograms seemed. I’m not an ABBA fan, but like you I would be tempted to see the Beatles or Stones or the Who or even Sinatra in a through-the-years concert (I’ll stick with 1950s Elvis). Of course, it seems these shows are coordinated to include lived instruments and effects, which adds to the intrigue. Otherwise, it’s just life 3D music video.

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    1. Thank you Mitch for taking the time to answer. You have a good point…you or I have never witnessed one so I’m judging on heresay.

      I’ve heard the same about ABBA myself on how real they look. It would be hard for me not to go to someone I really like. I will admit the “creepy” factor may play a part at one point with dead stars but I know I would be there because I compare it to Beatlemania (the cover band show that toured)…just in Live 3D like you said.

      Sinatra…oh yes…that would be something to watch. The live music makes it more legitimate. Thank you again Mitch I really appreciate it. I hope you have a good night.

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