Would you be down with holograms of your favorite rock artists going on tour?

hatsunemikuIn an article published last week, Daily Beast writer Moldy Gold paints an odd picture of what the future of live music could look like.

Gold points out that older songs have been outselling new ones, something that we have pointed out here in the past. But Gold takes it one step further and looks at the slowly growing trend of holograms performing live shows.

One of the most popular hologram acts in the world is Hatsune Miku, a Japanese animated character (or Vocaloid) whose songs draw hundreds of thousands if not millions of views on YouTube.

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(I actually kind of dig this song though…)

Holograms have also found their way into Western music, notably hologram versions of Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson. Are holograms a sign of the future? See what Gold has to say:

What happens when these old-timers all die? Strange to say, they will still give concerts and sell tickets. We are in the early days of holograms performing in front of live audiences, but the situation is evolving rapidly. Many fans dismiss the whole idea is a stunt or a sci-fi concept, and certainly not a significant threat to musicians who depend upon live gigs to pay their bills. But the skeptics need to think again.

Just a few days ago, a Japanese hologram Hatsune Miku sold out two performances in New York. She’s not a person; she’s a digital construct. We’ve already seen zombie Tupac Shakur (at Coachella) and a resurrected Michael Jackson (at the Billboard Music Awards). More dead artists will soon strut the stage.

A planned collaboration between Christina Aguilera and the late Whitney Houston, planned for NBC’s The Voice, was recently vetoed by the dead singer’s estate. But this is only a delay—due to the poor quality of the hologram enactment. Once the quality improves, dead Whitney Houston will go on tour.

Did Elvis die before you were born? No worries, my friend. He might be headlining at a Las Vegas casino in the not-so-distant future. Do you want to see a Beatles reunion? I once thought I’d have to get to heaven for that concert, but that’s not true anymore.

And what happens when the cost of this technology starts to drop? Elvis won’t just be singing on the Las Vegas strip, but maybe at your local bar and grill. Why hire an Elvis impersonator, if you can get the real thing—well, at least as real as a hologram can be—for a small capital investment?

Here’s my prediction: within ten years, dead musicians will generate more total revenues than living ones.

Gold’s view of the future leads to some interesting questions that we’ll throw out there for discussion. First, do you like the idea of holograms? If so, to what capacity do you like them? Would you rather they stay in the form of an animated character like Hatsune Miku? Or do you like the idea of deceased artists being brought back to the stage via hologram?

Now, picture your favorite artist of all time, alive or dead. Would you consider buying a ticket to see a live show featuring that artist in hologram form? Or is that a scenario that just doesn’t feel right?

A concert scene overrun with holograms seems hard to imagine, despite what we’ve seen so far. In the world of music, however, you never know. Regardless of how you might feel about holograms though, it’s still a good idea to get out and see some of the great living artists while you still can. Memories of seeing the real thing are always worth gaining.

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One comment to “Would you be down with holograms of your favorite rock artists going on tour?”
  1. I think this could actually make concerts better… No more drunken drummers, singers with pneumonia, fans hitting artists with cups. Plus, imagine all the cameos and cool things they could do that their human counterparts couldn’t!

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