Whether you think the Roy Orbison hologram tour is a celebration of a long-lost legend or a ghoulish cash-grab, reanimated shows beaming dead pop stars are just about to take off now the genie is out of the bottle.
The reviews are in for the first few shows in the Roy Orbison: In Dreams tour, with the general consensus that the hologram is freakishly good – solid-looking with a genuine presence, with tassles on its (his?) suit jacket even twirling. It’s the little things. But besides the little things, there’s a very big death-shaped elephant in the room, even if the project was approved by Roy’s estate.
The rap world – never slow to wring out a few extra dollars – jumpstarted the live hologram thing in 2012 with ‘Tupac’ appearing at Coachella with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, and Eazy-E Ol’ Dirty Bastard are two other notables. But In Dreams is the first blockbuster arena tour, and with a Michael Jackson show already planned, expect an endless parade of virtual dead legends over the next few years.
If you’re not getting bogged down in ethics, In Dreams is simply a tribute to one of rock’n’roll’s great voices and guitarists, with a live band of amazing session musicians and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for added heft. And with hall of fame songs like Pretty Woman, I Drove All Night, You Got It and Dreams, the obsession with trying to see through the projection might just dissipate as the show goes on.
- Published in Irish Daily Star