So, we’ve finally come to the point of our living futuristic lives where holograms of dead musicians go on tour. Take a moment to soak it all in, people. We’re through the looking glass here. We now live in the future.
For an awkward saurus like me, concerts are not really the scene where you’d find a socially phobic misanthrope. Too much invasion of personal space and frankly, for what? So a person whose album I’ve bought and listened to can prove in person that they are indeed the individual behind the microphone. Very few musicians can muster this kind of reaction from me, in spite of very nice studio work.
I would like to think that a majority of acts that I pay to see live are indeed showing up to perform, there is an inherent expectation that the performance will be live, performed by the artist, and without any technological interference with the exception of a backing track to stay on pitch or in rhythm. In the few scenarios where an artist, due to need to perform an elaborate dance number or be shot out of a cannon (none of which I have ever personally witnessed at a concert, I might add), there is some degree of slack given to the artist by the audience, because who can really maintain perfect pitch while doing triple back-flips?
Still, to see a hologram of Tupac being toted as this new innovative technology is really demonstrating two things: First, that music today sucks so bad, we can present a computer generated likeness of a deceased artist and no one got mad. Essentially, the opportunity to present a legit warm-bodied human got bumped for a glorified screen saver.
The second thing, which was less obvious to most, was that the whole idea of going to see a concert is now fading even further into the gray area of exercises in futility. I mean, really, what does it mean to pay for a ticket, drive to the venue, pay for parking, fight through the crowds to stake out a spot to see a projection of an artist whose albeit untimely death now makes for his youtube video collection to tour the countryside like Lenin’s mummy? What do you say to each other on the way back to the car? “Wow, that holographic reproduction of Tupac looks way better in Cleveland than it did in Vancouver?”
I feel bad for the people who were able to see Tupac in a real live concert before he passed away. Those folks probably put themselves in a potentially dangerous scenario, I can only assume because I’ve never been to a Hip Hop concert, to see an act they love. And, after he died, they had a badge of honor, a bit of ye olde street cred for having been there in an opportunity that would never happen again. Now, that’s being tainted like putting an asterisk after someone’s home-run record in the hall of fame.
One wonders if the level of danger would decrease at said events. Does anyone get shot at a Tupac hologram concert, or do you simply run the risk of retinal burnout by looking directly into the projection device? If they suck, can the back up band still be pelted with water bottles or are they a holographic representation as well? Which makes me wonder, how dignified is your music career if you’re now a touring musician for a hologram?
I suppose there are advantages. At least in this scenario, there’s no worrying if the hologram is passed out in the dressing room or taking his sweet time with the road tail. One wonders, if the concert’s headliner is still delayed as a living person would be, for that oh-so-cool impression of going on stage “fashionably late” or if everyone backstage kinda shrugs at one another, wondering if the futility of the entire exercise has been laid out for all to see, and just starts the damn show at 9:30 like it’s scheduled.
I feel like this kind of phenomenon will probably take off, beginning a series of concerts that people may initially flock to as a curiosity. There are many acts that would be great as part of the touring hologram concert series. I’d love to see mash-ups, maybe John Lennon can cage fight Andy Kaufman. You know, thinking outside the box. Jimmi Hendricks and Janis Joplin can tour with Lady Gaga and she can make her next outfit out of them. Still, after all these creative solutions have puttered out, the awkward saurus will be waiting for the iPad upgrade so I can watch them in 3D in the comfort of my own home.