Tupac Live at Coachella 2012

16 Apr

So if you haven’t already heard by now, Tupac’s Back…

On Sunday (15th April) night Dr. Dre brought Tupac back from the dead in the form of a hologram to entertain the 100,000+ at Coachella. The rumour had leaked a few days / weeks ago that Dre was planning the stunt, but don’t think anyone knew the worldwide hype it would receive…

The line-up without this stunt would have already been enough, with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and Warren G topping off a full day of quality acts. But this rumour added another level to the anticipation that if you weren’t there (like we weren’t) you knew you would be missing something, whether good or bad…

Now when I heard about the concept I wasn’t expecting too much, and I thought it might look like a cheesy gimmick, with everyone crowding an average 3D hologram. But I was wrong, and watching the video, those lights go down, and the Tupac hologram appears, he shouts out to Dre and Snoop, then the crowd at Coachella, it feels like you are watching him live and I can only imagine what it felt like to be there…

This was Dre’s vision and he was the head liner, so you might have expected to see California Love, but Dre doesn’t need to self promote at this stage of his career and the feelings between Tupac and Dre weren’t great before he passed away. It may have been felt performing with Dre would be going a little against the true feelings of Tupac, and so instead Dre simply sat back and watched his holographic creation, while Tupac performed Hail Mary and 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted

Some have said that Gorillaz have done this all before; but creating a cartoon is very different, it is much easier to get right and harder for people to spot what they get wrong. The cartoon characters are an unreal extensions of Albarn and the other band members, before they were holographs they were drawings, they never had actual concerts, movements, ways they walked, chains or tattoos. Simply ask any artist which one is easier for them to draw a photographic likeness of, Homer Simpson or Tupac, they will say Homer Simpson every time…

Don’t get me wrong the facial features are a little cartoon like, but from certain angles and most of the time, you feel like you are watching Tupac. But the quality of this is not necessarily the point, it’s the fact this could really be the start of something, and if it is done right (and tastefully), could be the revival of some old greats to the stage. Think Marley, Jackson, Biggie, Gaye, Elvis, Hendrix, all of the Fab Four, the list goes on…

On the other hand it could become the cheesy pastiche that I had initially thought Tupac at Coachella would be. Would a full set work; if Snoop hadn’t joined in and the line-up didn’t include the Aftermath roster. So could we be in for average holograms, labels miss using it to kick start back catalogue sales, bands not touring to stay at home? Also that lack of instinct, what happens when one drunk ‘fan’ throws a bottle, or the vibe dies, how would / could a hologram react?

We will have to see where this resurrection takes us, but right now picture him holographic. And if Dre can bring Tupac back, bring us Detox…

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