After more than fifteen years in the grave, rapper Tupac Shakur joined Snoop Dogg on the Coachella stage to perform “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” And he did it via hologram.
Sadly, Tupac is actually dead. Still, reanimated from previous concert footage and with some creative effort on the part of effects powerhouse Digital Domain and AV Concepts, the image of Tupac was unmistakable. It had the Tupac swagger, it had the Tupac face and it even sported the classic Tupac tattoos.
Almost immediately, photos and videos from the concert went viral.
Networks like Twitter and Facebook blew up. Some users referred to the hologram as “creepy” or “too real.” Andrew Alejandre, a linguistics junior who posted a video of the concert on Facebook, wrote, “He kinda’ glides when he walks, like he is on skates, or ice or something, but that is pretty freaking real looking!”
One fan even responded by creating a Hologram Tupac Twitter page. Overnight, the Twitter page attracted upwards of 3,500 followers. In response to a fan’s question about why he isn’t following anyone on Twitter, Hologram Tupac tweeted, “Hologram Tupac don’t follow nobody.”
According to MTV.com, Dr. Dre was the main brain of this project. However, officials at AV Concepts, the company behind the actual projection, refused to discuss the mechanics and technology behind it with the Daily Wildcat and other news organizations.
After seeing such a realistic image, some students think that the holographic concert could become a thing of the future. “That’d be so sick to be in a restaurant and just pay a couple dollars (to see a long-dead band),” said Joe Putrelo, a pre-journalism freshman. He also said that he would be willing to pay $50 or $60 to see a holographic concert.
But the Tupac show wasn’t the first of its kind. Fictional band Gorillaz played with Madonna on a holographic stage at the 2006 Grammy Awards show, and Black Eyed Peas also incorporated holograms into their concerts.
Not only do the images wow viewers, but this technology could allow an artist to perform at multiple venues simultaneously.
Even though Tupac can only live through fancy new equipment, Hollywood’s ability to wow audiences with something new is alive and well. And who knows? Maybe we can see all four Beatles playing together in the near future.