Queen is getting into the digital resurrection game, but the band insists it won’t be using a hologram to bring Freddie Mercury back on stage. Instead, Brian May described the effect as an “optical illusion.” “People will come out saying, ‘did we actually see Freddie?'” he said.
May revealed that the band had been bearing this idea in mind for quite some time. “It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while,” the guitarist said.
For sure, May meant the late rapper’s “performance” at Coachella, where the “Holler If You Hear Me” artist appeared on the stage alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.
The teams behind the Tupac show used a projection technique which became commonly referred to as a “hologram,” though it was actually a 2-D image, writes The Huff Post.
The Tupac “hologram” had become a huge hit, with many fans and celebrities taking to social networks to express their exitement. Rumors of a Tupac tour quickly surfaced, though Dre would later throw some cold water on the reports.
“It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while,” May said.
“[That technique] is something we’ve looked at ourselves but I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week it’s not really quite practical.”
As BBC reports, the special performance, on 14 May, will celebrate 10 years of the hit musical at London’s Dominion Theatre.
The list of star guests to make an appearance also includes Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, who is one of the show’s producers.
“There is a certain person who’s coming that’s intimately associated with getting the production on in the first place – our friend Bob from Los Angeles,” May confirmed. “We call him Bob so we don’t get too overcome with his stardom.”
However, Queen drummer Roger Taylor previously announced that he had no desire to perform alongside a holographic image of the late frontman.
When asked whether a concert with a holographic Mercury is a possibility, Taylor said: “I don’t think I want to. It just doesn’t sit too well with me. I don’t want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It’s the real one or no hologram for me.”
Nonetheless, the drummer added that he has no objections to holograms of past artists featuring on stage: “It’s the real one or no hologram for me. But I think it’s an amazing effect when used properly – obviously in darkness,” Taylor said at the time.
By the way, Queen have re-scheduled a UK performance with singer Adam Lambert after their headline slot at Sonisphere was cancelled. “Adam has an extraordinary voice – no two ways about it,” said May. “So we’ll be exploring new ways to do things. So it will be exciting!”