When the Coachella 2012 lineup was announced, I couldn’t deny that I was impressed. With such a solid collection of artists, I was even considering trying to make it down this year. Adding a second weekend with the exact same lineup seemed confusing and, in all honesty, a stretch. How much was that gonna cost them? What artists are going to be willing to kick it in the general area for another week just to perform to a second crowd of people that will likely already know what to expect? Radiohead was smart and booked a couple of Mexico City dates during the week to continue on their tour with Other Lives. The festival did manage to reel in the big names that the kids these days seem to love and plenty of them: The Black Keys, The Shins, Bon Iver, M83, etc. Most of those bands are or will be on tour, regardless, and the rest of them slowly popped up on the bill of various other festivals – Bon Iver, The Shins, Beirut, Santigold, Wild Flag, Childish Gambino, Beats Antique, The Head and the Heart, tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, and Feist will all be at the Sasquatch! Festival this year. After the reality that I was going to stay home with my lady and my infant child became more and more of a reality and the initial hype wore off, there were only a few acts that I was really disappointed about missing by not attending Coachella; most of which weren’t getting very high billing. Death Grips and Company flow were at the top of the acts that I personally have been wishing would make their way up here to the Pacific North West, but haven’t shown any plan to fulfill that dream. fIREHOSE subsequently posted their full tour and already came through here last week. Amon Tobin would appear with his ridiculously amazing and mindblowing ISAM tour, which is still going strong, and, although it’s definitely worth witnessing again, I already caught it last year. I would have checked out the Mazzy Star and Cat Power sets, but it’s not like I’m gonna slit my throat over missing them. The only real big name act that I was disappointed about not seeing was Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg together. It turns out that I had good reason for such disappointment, as their set included a hologram of a resurrected and rapping Tupac Shakur; a visual effect that easily rivaled that of Tobin’s groundbreaking live show.
Upon seeing this, I immediately knew who was behind the technology. We’ve actually posted about the UK-based Musion Systems before; the same people behind the Gorillaz 2005 holographic performance at the MTV Europe awards. Using their patented “Eyeliner” projection system, the company is able to transmit hyper-realistic, quality 3-D holographic images from anywhere around the globe. The basis for the Eyeliner technology stems from the same light and mirror-based Pepper’s Ghost illusion, which was first popularized way back in the 1860s -most famously utilized within the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Apparently, this particular Tupac projection was provided by one of Musion‘s North American licensees; a San Diego-based company called AV Concepts. [To find out more about MUSION, their technology, and watch a video of a DJ and drum duo performing by triggering sound-emitting holographic images of the head of internationally renowned beatboxer, Beardyman (also appearing at Sasquatch!), read our last post by clicking HERE.]
The 2PAC appearance is unarguably impressive and has got to be one of the greatest highlights of the entire festival. For those who remember hearing about the 7 day theory in the 1990s, which claimed that Shakur was going to return from a “faked” death, there’s more than a little bit of nostalgia involved with seeing this. There was even the appearance by Pac in the Scarface video and endless statements like, “How’d that motherfucker pop up in that footage when he’s wearing shoes that came out after he died?!” and “I heard that nigga’s living in South America! He ain’t even dead!” Endless tracks continued to flow out after he past spawning a handful of releases. The best part of this Coachella thing for me -beyond hearing “Hail Mary” and one of the greatest rap collabs ever, “2 of Amerikas Most Wanted– is that it’s going to, undoubtedly, rehydrate those old dried up theories and give birth to new ones: “Tupac wanted to perform with them, but still didn’t want to have to show his face, so they just paid to have those hologram fools in Britain do that shit for Coachella. I know a dude who was telling me that he’d heard about it when they were putting the whole thing together.” Or perhaps, even more unlikely claims with begin to surface like, “I hear that Detox is coming out soon!”
Now, one major questions remains for Coachella as a whole, “What is gonna be so exciting about next week?” Honestly, if they dropped this shit last night and everyone already performed, how played-out is everything gonna be for the follow up week? Did everyone blow their load, performance-wise, the first time around or are they holding out? I was going to apply for press credentials if I went, but is the press gonna have anything to write about if they are approved for the second run of shows that have already been covered? Especially, with so many younger acts that have a limited amount of material that they could even perform, what’s the point? Keep in mind, the entire festival has been live-streaming via youtube all weekend. [I actually planned to watch the Snoop and Dre performance last night, but I was watching the series finale of Eastbound and Down (pretty amazing) and the debut of Girls (fairly promising) on HBO instead.]
As for the rest of Dre and Snoop‘s performance, it was essentially a cast of all-star’s performing their hits. Eminem came out to unload his Dre-produced classics, as did 50-cent. Kendrick Lamar appeared with the former NWA superstar, as well, while Wiz Khalifa joined Snoop for a track and Tha Dogg Pound took the stage to knock out some cuts from Doggystyle. Both Dre and Snoop independently performed some solo work, while merging on cuts like “California Love” to excite the crowd. When I first read the lineup, however, I was apparently mistaken in thinking that the two were supposed to perform “the Chronic” in it’s entirety. For many others, I’m sure that seeing 50-Cent and Eminem take the stage was a dream come true, but for me, I really couldn’t give a fuck; I’d much rather see the listed duo crack out one of the greatest and most influential rap albums ever to be produced. Surprisingly, it seemed like any tracks from that particular album were completely absent. Hopefully, the they have plans to revisit that entire groundbreaking release from start-to-finish next week, because things are feeling a bit suspicious otherwise. Then again, the original rumors were that Nate Dogg was supposed to be the one projected onto the stage, so maybe that’s what we have in store this next time around.
For the rest of you who completely missed the live stream last night and are interested in checking it out, here’s the entire performance posted below. The 2pac highlight appears about halfway through, at around the 33 minute mark.