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Video: Tech brings Roy Orbison back to life on stage you have to see to believe it

Roy Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. That same year, he was honored by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1989 he landed in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Known for his booming voice, wide vocal range and passionate singing style, he is arguably most famous for his song “Pretty Woman,” but has plenty of other recognizable hits. In summary, he was great.

As you may know, Orbison passed away due to a heart attack on Dec. 6, 1988. He was just 52 years old and at that point, you would have thought his touring days were over.

You can still see him perform

That’s right, Orbison has begun a national tour that will take him to 28 stops across the United States. Called the “In Dreams” tour, it is being put on by Base Hologram and will have the look of an Orbison show, albeit without the late musician.

Fans will get to see him on the stage with a red Gibson guitar, dark sunglasses and a grey suit through the magic of technology, and more specifically holograms. He will be backed up by a live orchestra as concert-goers will get to enjoy a medley of his greatest hits.

The tour began in Europe, where 38,000 tickets were sold across 15 locations. It is in the United States now, with Los Angeles having been the first stop.

It’s not the same as seeing Orbison perform live, but it’s of course the best anyone is going to get today. The price of tickets varies based on where you are seeing the show, and if you are interested in checking it out, here are the remaining dates:

Oct. 9 – Edmonton, AB @ Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Oct. 10 – Calgary, AB @ Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Oct. 13 – Grand Forks, ND @ Chester Fritz Auditorium
Oct. 16 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
Oct. 18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
Oct. 20 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
Oct. 21 – Waukegan, IL @ Genesee Theatre
Oct. 23 – Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
Oct. 24 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
Oct. 26 – Houston, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
Oct. 29 – Washington DC  @ MGM National Harbor
Nov. 2 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
Nov. 3 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
Nov. 4 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Nov. 7 – Orono, ME @ Collins Center for the Arts
Nov. 9 – Bensalem, PA @ Xcite Center @ Parx Casino
Nov. 10 – Brookville, NY @ Tilles Center For The Performing Arts
Nov. 12 – Morristown, NJ @ Mayo Performing Center
Nov. 14 – Greenville, SC @ Peace Concert Hall
Nov. 15 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
Nov. 16 – Orlando, FL @ Walt Disney Theatre
Nov. 17 – Fort Myers, FL @ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
Nov. 18 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Parker Playhouse (Early)
Nov. 18 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Parker Playhouse (Later)
Nov. 19 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall

As you can see from the video, the hologram looks really good — almost as if Roy is actually on the stage performing. Base Hologram hired a model to mimic Orbison’s actions, with computer animation taking care of the digital representation of him that is cast onto the stage.

Base Hologram says unlike other, similar technologies, their celebrities are projected onto the stage with just one machine and without using a screen or previous concert footage. And through this technology, they are able to introduce some very popular, influential musicians to an audience that would otherwise never have a chance to see them.

Similar technology has been used before

The idea of using a hologram to allow a deceased entertainer to “perform” first made waves in 2012, when Tupac Shakur “appeared” on stage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In that case, his image was projected onto a Mylar screen, which then reflected the image onto the stage.

That was not technically a hologram, however, as it was not a three-dimensional image beamed from a laser. Other stars such as Michael Jackson have been brought back to life via similar means, and as the technology continues to improve, we will likely see more of our favorites brought back to the stage.

In fact, Base Hologram plans on having another hologram-based tour this year, featuring opera singer Maria Callas. Callas passed away in 1977.

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