When Tupac swaggered his way on stage into a duet with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at this year’s Coachella Festival in front of tens of thousands courtesy of advanced hologram technology; it unwittingly opened a pandora’s box. The eyes of concert promoters and opportunists alike quickly glazed over with dollar signs at the possibilities.
While most of the rumours of bringing stars back from the dead have been international (Jim Morrison, Freddi Mercury, Hendrix and even Amy Winehouse), according to The Music Network, the next hologram star will be an Australian rock legend.
The Aztec’s iconic leader, Billy Thorpe – who passed away in February 2007 – will be revived via the equally spooky and impressive technology for the upcoming 10th Anniversary Long Way To The Top Tour.
Confirming the initial rumours that suggested a Billy Thorpe hologram was in the works, the retro-fied tour’s Director Ted Robinson – who previously worked with the deceased rock performer – told The Music Network that: “having to create the ‘moment’ in the show now for him is a bittersweet experience but I’m honoured to undertake it.”
“Knowing the audience miss him as much as all the participants within the show, we had to get as close to having him ‘in the room’ as possible,” said Robinson. “The technology available now is remarkable to achieve this and the Musion (hologram) system is very exciting to work with. To my knowledge this is the first time anyone has undertaken this sort of exercise with a music icon of Billy’s stature in Australia.”
It was in fact Thorpe that came up with the initial idea for the Long Way To The Top tour to begin with, a touring show based on the hit ABC TV series of the same name that featured a smorgasboard of Australia’s historical rock acts, with the first 2002 incarnation featuring acts and bands from their 70s heyday.
For this year’s iteration, that’s been extended to feature the 80s, with some of the decade’s biggest Australian bands to feature, including Dragon, Noiseworks and Mi-Sex. Australia’s most successful promoter Michael Chugg, said that Thorpe’s influence as a producer – as well as his musical legacy, was a key part to launching the 10th Anniversary tour.
“Billy Thorpe was an icon, a freakishly talented bloke who had a huge impact on music history in this country,” says Chugg. “We miss him terribly and this reunion tour of A Long Way to the Top was a good opportunity to recognise the man, the musician and our mate. We’ve brought Ian Moss on board to perform this special part of the show. How we are going to re-create ‘Billy in the room’ is a moment not to be missed.”
The other acts that will feature alongside the Cold Chisel singer/guitarist, include Axiom, Brian Cadd, Marcia Hines, Col Joye, Masters Apprentices’ Jim Keays and many more. But it will no doubt be the vision of Billy Thorpe performing via hologram that will steal the show.
If it’s as eerily realistic as Tupac Shakur’s Coachella appearance, you can expect tickets for the show – which already on sale – to get snapped up quickly.
Full dates and details available at: www.longwaytothetop2012.com
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