JAM: Top 5 Artists to See As Holograms

by Mark Jacobo

It seems as though everyone is talking about Tupac Shakur’s hologram performance at the Coachella Music Festival this Sunday. It’s a pretty amazing theatrical performance—given the rapper’s been dead for 15 years—and there’s been a lot of discussion about setting tour dates for hologram Tupac, who I like to call 2.0 Pac.

These holograms aren’t new—several years ago I was flabbergasted by the same technology being used at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, as well as the Indiana Jones ride. But the Coachella performance was so successful that I wouldn’t be surprised if the suits in the music industry were considering bringing the dead back to life in the name of, er, “music”. There’s even been a mock line up poster for next year’s Coachella Music Festival posted online, featuring bands with one or more members who are now deceased.

Since paying for hologram concerts might be a big part of our entertainment in the future, I’ve compiled a Top 5 list of unforgettable performers worth paying for to see in hologram form.

5. Bob Marley

One of the most influential musicians in reggae–scratch that, the most influential act in reggae, Bob Marley sold out everywhere he performed, his biggest tour being the European Uprising Tour in 1980. Marley performed for 120,000 people at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, which is still considered the biggest music event in the country.


4. Elvis Presley

Multiple inductions into multiple halls of fame, 14 Grammy nominations, and being labeled the best selling solo-artist in the history of popular music, Elvis Aaron Presley was born to be born again in hologram form. A music professor I had my sophomore told me he played trombone on a posthumous Elvis Presley tour, in which the King was projected onto a big screen with an ensemble band performing in the background. He’s already halfway towards a hologram tour.


3. Michael Jackson

Probably one of the best performers of all time, Michael Jackson has been an on-stage favorite since his days with the Jackson 5. As a kid Jackson tried to imitate James Brown’s moves before eventually making a name for himself by coming up with the dance moves to hit songs off of Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, and many more, inspiring countless dancers, choreographers, and flash-mobs everywhere.


2. The Beatles

I know, I know—Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still alive! But the remaining Beatles rarely perform with each other, and you know as much as I do it’s not the same without good ol’ John and George. The Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, and their final rooftop performance—I would pay ALL the money to see the Fab Four perform together.


1. Jimi Hendrix

Ah, Hendrix. Taken from us while you were very young, and while you had so much to teach us about dry humping amplifiers and setting guitars on fire. Surely, his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival back in 1968 can be considered one of the most counter-culture performances in American history, along with Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival.