By Zachary Swickey
It’s been weeks since Tupac Shakur was brought back to life in video form via a hologram at this year’s Coachella Music Festival, and the eye-popping technology has brought out both enthusiasts and detractors of the idea. Queen fall firmly in the latter category and want to make it clear that you won’t be seeing a digital Freddie Mercury on stage with the legendary band anytime soon.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor says the group will never be performing alongside a holographic image of Mercury, and instead prefer a flesh-and-blood frontman. The group recently brought in “American Idol”-alum Adam Lambert to provide vocals for a new tour this summer.
Questioned by Billboard, Taylor said the idea of a Mercury hologram “did not sit well” with him and that you’ll never see him onstage appearing alongside one.
“I don’t think I want to. It just doesn’t sit well with me,” he told Billboard. “I don’t want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It’s the real one or no hologram for me.”
He added: “I think it’s an amazing effect when used properly, obviously in darkness. Were somebody [else] to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection.”
While Queen and Roger Taylor aren’t nuts about the prospect of using a hologram, many band are looking into the technology as a viable option or “solution.” Take TLC, for example. They just announced their plans to resurrect the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in digital holographic form for a world tour.
Additionally, the remaining Jackson family obviously liked what they saw at Coachella and now they are hoping to bring out a hologram form of the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, on what would be the world’s creepiest reunion tour ever for the Jackson Five.
Taking the idea to its extreme, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian was talking about getting into the hologram game back in ’08 due to rising touring costs and the pollution tours can cause, telling Rolling Stone, “I think we could reduce our need to travel if we could project ourselves into meetings and concerts. We have the technology, and we’re not using it right now.
“It would open up a whole new world for touring. There would be no travel costs, so bands with very little money could play shows, and tickets would cost less,” he continued while also stressing that the fans wouldn’t mind seeing a hologram perform live as “it’s not like the audience can touch me, anyway.”
Why anyone would pay anything to watch a hologram image sing when they could just watch a performance online or on television is another question entirely. Half the fun of a concert is being there with your idol and catching something that is, despite setlists and rehearsals, unique in some way each time. It doesn’t matter that you can’t touch them – they were there doing what they do best and you were there to witness it.