Though they died years ago, rock ’n’ roll icons Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly will take the stage of the Granada Theatre on Sept. 26, as holograms.
During the Rock ’n’ Roll Dream Tour, created by Los Angeles-based company BASE Hologram, holographic recreations of the late rockstars will front a live rock ’n’ roll band in a performance featuring newly remastered versions of both artists’ hit songs.
According to BASE Hologram CEO and co-founder Bob Ringe, the show’s holograms are created completely “from scratch,” not utilizing any old video footage.
Working in conjunction with the Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly estates, BASE Hologram determines which period of each artist’s history the hologram should reflect.
Orbison’s hologram will depict the shades-bedecked signer somewhere between his late 30s and early 40s. Because Holly’s musical career was far briefer than Orbison’s, cut short by a deadly plane crash in 1959, his recreation will depict him in his early 20s, as he was in his mid-50s heyday.
Mr. Ringe added that this show will be the first time anybody has seen Buddy Holly in color, aside from those old enough to have seen the singer in person when he was alive. Though existing footage of Mr. Holly is in black and white, the creators at BASE Hologram worked closely with his widow Maria Elena Holly to replicate details like the exact color of his jacket and clothes. Seeing the late singer in this way, Mr. Ringe said, will be quite the sight to behold.
“It is extremely magnificent. When the audience sees it they’re going to be blown away because nobody has ever seen Buddy Holly in color,” he stated.
While the creators at BASE Hologram enjoy making their holograms move across the stage to demonstrate what the technology is capable of, the show’s highest priority is to authentically recreate the artists’ performances. Whereas Buddy Holly was an animated performer who ran about the stage, Roy Orbison didn’t move during his live performances, a detail his estate adamantly wanted honored in the holographic recreation.
“We want to make sure we curate these legacy artists exactly as they would be if they were still with us,” Mr. Ringe said.
Still, both holograms will interact with the six-piece rock ’n’ roll band backing them. The band and its backup singers will perform live along with the remastered vocals of Holly and Orbison and the show will also feature a few costume changes to match the period detail appropriate for each singer.
This is the second Roy Orbison hologram tour. The first had the re-animated singer backed by an orchestra of more than 30 people. When Holly’s hologram was added to the show, the creative team at BASE Hologram thought stripping the onstage personnel down to a rock ’n’ roll group was apt.
“We felt that having a live rock band would be effective for the overall musical content,” Mr. Ringe said.
According to Mr. Ringe, holograms are becoming more “mainstream” and “more and more acceptable by the general public.” Thus, for the next seven years, BASE Hologram aims to create two new productions annually.
Starting in January of 2020, the company will launch “An Evening With Whitney,” a holographic concert tour of late singer Whitney Houston.
Despite the cost, time, and effort necessary to create a convincing hologram show, allowing audiences to once again experience these legendary musical acts makes it all worth it, Mr. Ringe said.
“These hologram productions are very expensive and take nine to 12 months to create, and are very difficult but very rewarding to create.”Those interested in attending the Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly Rock ’n’ Roll Dream concert on Sept. 26 can purchase tickets online at the Granada Theatre website, www.granadasb.org. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Granada is at 1214 State St.