Are “hologram” performances here to stay? Are “hologram” performances here to stay?
Music artists have always looked to new technology in efforts to dazzle fans while on tour. Back in November 2011 pop icon Mariah Carey... Are “hologram” performances here to stay?

Music artists have always looked to new technology in efforts to dazzle fans while on tour. Back in November 2011 pop icon Mariah Carey shocked the world with a “holographic” performance for Deutsche Telekom’s “Life is for sharing” campaign that was displayed simultaneously in five countries. Mariah’s lifelike projection looked so authentic it caught many fans by surprise when her image vanished into thin air.

While Mariah’s concert was a joy, this projection technology really exploded when the music industry “resurrected” an icon from the dead. Rapper and producer Dr. Dre shocked the world when rap legend Tupac Shakur, who was killed in 1996, showed up for a performance at the Coachella Music Festival. Shakur appeared on stage, in what some have described as a hologram but was in fact a 2-D projection from AV Concepts, alongside fellow Death Row label mates Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

Dr. Dre teamed up with chief creative officer Ed Ulbrich of Digital Domain to bring the idea to life. On stage the lifelike version of Tupac rapped with Snoop Dogg and interacted with fans. Digital Domain won’t reveal how they got the projection to interact with fans and say new words never uttered by Tupac in real life, but it’s reported to have cost between $100,000 and $400,000.

Digital Domain’s high-tech version of Tupac Shakur’s “Gangsta Party” at Coachella was a booming success as video of the performance went viral and was viewed by millions. The success of the projection led to Digital Domain experiencing the largest one-day percentage increase ever for their stock, which saw shares rise 17 percent.

Rumors quickly began to circulate about the lifelike Shakur projection going on tour. In a message to fans Dr. Dre stated that the projection was created “strictly for Coachella” but didn’t rule out a tour saying “This was not done for a tour. If a tour happens, we’ll see.” Dr. Dre also spoke with TMZ mentioning possible 2-D projections of Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye in the future.

In addition TLC, a hip-hop trio which gained notoriety from their 1994 CrazySexyCool album, announced a reunion tour for later this year, with five major cities already booked. The April 25 announcement led to speculation of a “hologram” being used to unite late band member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, however, a TLC rep told SPIN earlier reports were “exaggerated” and that the band would use old vocals and footage in the past as they’ve done in previous performances.

The remaining members of the Jackson 5 who recently announced their Unity Tour 2012, a 27-city summer concert tour, were asked in an E! Online interview about the possibility of a Michael Jackson projection — Jackie Jackson supported the idea, suggesting it could become a part of the group’s scheduled 2013 tour.

Following Tupac’s Coachella performance many websites have begun creating lists of the artists they would like to see brought back in a “hologram” performance. Entertainment Weekly listed memorable artists including Jim Morrison (The Doors), Freddie Mercury(Queen), John Lennon and George Harrison (Beatles), and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana).

With the technology available it will be interesting to see how many more, if any, of these late artists are “resurrected” for performances or even tours and if fans will be willing to spend top dollar to see them.