EDM is no stranger to live performances. DJs and Producers entertain the bulk of the crowd with flashy lasers, fog machines, chasing lights, and bursts of thumping bass as a concert isn’t a concert without high tech industrial effects that borderline on seizure inducing. However, on April 15, 2012 the rap game officially topped the EDM industry, in terms of live shows, when a holographic Tupac took the stage and performed for five minutes at Coachella. That’s right, you heard me. Tupac. Machiavelli. The Messiah of Rap. The Don Juan of everything righteous and poetic. The same man who died at age 25, 15 years ago.
Instead of relying on sensory overload Dr. Dre and the media company that made “HoloPac” decided to target emotions. To many people Tupac was a historic icon that changed the way we listen to music. His hard hitting lyrics that targeted everything from teen pregnancy to gang violence opened the door for conscious hip-hop. Even adults that despise rap music are said to have had a deep respect for the young man who lived in the inner cities of Baltimore and Oakland. In essence, when “HoloPac” appeared on stage he completely captivated the audience.
You didn’t need a million LCD screens, a giant fan, or a mouse head. All it took was one replica of a man who captured the hearts of millions the world over. Can you imagine the kind of reaction the EDM industry would have if Aphex Twin, Tangerine Dream, and others appeared on hologram…in their teens or twenties? What about bringing back Captain Jack, the Navy Captain of great dance music? The possibilities here are endless!
While making holograms isn’t exactly cheap it would be something that the fans would love if it could appeal to some deep emotions. EDM’s biggest draw is the live shows. It’s not like rap where listeners just pop it on at the bus stop or during exercise to get pumped up. EDM is used to bring people together in order to weave life changing experiences. For many, they associate great live acts with sleeping under the stars, testing out glow sticks for the first time, and decorating their faces for their favorite DJs. To breathe new life into a genre that has become crusty with the same faces, in the same line-up with the same effects, would be awe inspiring.
The main thing to remember here is the emotional aspect. People get bored with stunning entertainment if it becomes the norm in everyday life. We cried during Hunger Games when Rue died, we cheered when Kentucky bested Kansas. Movies and basketball are nothing new but our hearts couldn’t help but feel. Feeling is what’s missing in today’s live performances. Appeal to the ethos in people and no crowd shall go unmoved.