Keith Richards has considered the possibility of a hologram show featuring the Rolling Stones and believes it is inevitable.
During an interview with Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1, Wilkinson inquired about the possibility of watching holographic performances of the Stones in the future. Richards acknowledged that it could potentially happen and stated that he personally may not be around to witness it. However, the decision would not be up to him.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mick Jagger mentioned the advancements in technology but did not confirm if The Rolling Stones would utilize it. He stated, “Nowadays, you can have a business even after death. You can even have a tour after death. The technology has improved significantly since the Abba situation.”
Jagger mentioned the popular production, Abba Voyage, currently being shown at the specially-made Abba Arena in eastern London. The show includes replicas of the Swedish music icons and was created by Industrial Light & Magic using motion capture technology to make them appear younger for the virtual performance. The group performs alongside a live band. In a glowing five-star review from June 2022, the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis described Voyage as a major success that will likely be imitated many times over.
Last month, Director Baillie Walsh mentioned to Variety that other artists, whose identities are not disclosed, have expressed interest in doing similar shows. However, one must be a highly renowned band to even consider it.
The production, which had a budget of $175 million, has consistently sold out and is currently scheduled through November 2024. In an interview with Variety, producer Svana Gisla expressed uncertainty about reaching the break-even point, stating, “The cost of this show is quite audacious – it was a bit crazy. But we’ll get there.”
The Abba Voyage shows do not utilize three-dimensional holograms. Instead, the band was recorded and edited in a way that appears realistic when projected on a large high-definition screen in 2D. This technology offers more flexibility and visual effects compared to traditional holograms, which have also been incorporated into live performances, such as a tribute to the late Roy Orbison at UK arenas in 2018.
Other acts have shared in Richards’ wariness at recreating themselves on stage in one form or another. In 2022 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin said the band had been approached to do “that sort of thing”, referring to Abba Voyage, but that the former band members couldn’t agree on the approach. In 2021, Christopher Dalston of booking agency Creative Artists Agency said he had been approached with the concept of resurrecting late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott as a hologram. “You have to be careful what you do there – AC/DC is still a very current band with Brian Johnson singing,” he said.
Last week, The Rolling Stones made a comeback to live performances with a special show in New York. The show was a promotion for their latest album, Hackney Diamonds. They played at Racket NYC, which can hold 650 people, and performed a total of seven songs, four of which were new. One of their recent singles, Sweet Sounds of Heaven, featured a guest vocal from Lady Gaga.
Their most recent tour took place during the summer of 2022, featuring 14 shows in honor of the band’s 60th anniversary. While there is currently no information about a tour for Hackney Diamonds, Richards has suggested that there may be one in the works. In an interview with Matt Wilkinson, he mentioned that the next step for the album is to bring it on tour and perform the songs live. He also shared that they are currently in the planning stages and he is eagerly awaiting updates.
The speaker mentioned that their new drummer, Steve Jordan, joined the band in 2021 after the passing of Charlie Watts. They praised Jordan’s ability to imitate Watts’s style, stating that sometimes they even mistake him for Watts during performances. Despite being diagnosed with arthritis, Richards continues to play and explains that while it may be concerning, it does not cause any pain. He simply notices some joint stiffness.
Richards also paid tribute to the bond the band still have. “When you’re playing together with a certain bunch of guys, there’s a sort of therapy that goes on between you. You get a little sense of togetherness you don’t get in normal life – which is why we do it.”