A guy walked into our old office on Sunset Boulevard about 25 years ago and told me “live music in clubs will soon be dead”. At the time, musicians already had new alcohol and anti-smoking laws to contend with, as well as karaoke, DJs, and TV screens, so I asked why he thought that live music would end. He told me that soon the public would be able to see their favorite big name artists right onstage in front of them at their local hangout.
Huh? He proceeded to tell me that a hologram company was currently making holograms of all the famous groups and artists so that soon the public would be able to actually SEE and hear their favorite artists, current or old, alive or dead, performing on the venue stage in front of their eyes. I thought what a clever idea this was, but also worried how this might affect the live music scene. Was this the next phase coming around the bend for bands to deal with?
Now, 25 years later, with all of our technological advances, shouldn’t it be a lot EASIER to perfect this idea? I don’t know whatever became of the particular company he mentioned, but just recently I saw an ad for “Hologram USA: Billie Holiday Alive” at the Hologram USA Theater in Los Angeles. Now we can experience a Billie Holiday performance with hi tech projections and sound editing, all digitally resurrected on stage. Billie can even interact with the audience! Apparently this company also “presented” Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Awards, and Tupac Shakur materialized at Coachella alongside the real Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
I guess the good news for musicians is that apparently it involves 26 cameras to effectively present a successful hologram, so since this is much too expensive and complicated for the majority of average club owners, most live bands should be safe for now. At least until someone figures out how to do it more affordably…………