What do the late Tupac Shakur and Swedish pop group ABBA have in common? Seems like not much. But thanks to virtual reality, that's changing.
The group also announced the release of the first new material since 1982. It seems like plans for the virtual tour inspired them to record a couple of new tracks on top of it.
The future of live concerts promises to be vastly different than what we're used to. Soon, holograms and giant screens will replace live performers, making you wonder why you got a ticket in the first place.
On Instagram, the band muses: "it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!"
But it's not their physical Scandinavian faces that will grace the stage at the NBC and BBC co-produced production that will be broadcasting in December — it will be their "digital selves."
It's not yet clear, however, what kind of digital entities we're talking about. Will it be giant disembodied heads floating around on stage, or a projection-based affair a la Gorillaz? Even a projection of Michael Jackson performed at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, except that he was... well, already gone.
ABBA, on the contrary, is still kicking around, and by the sound of it, they are willing to record music together, too. So what's stopping them from showing up on stage, themselves?
It's pretty much because they don't want to. Since it broke up in 1982, the band has refused many requests to reunite on stage IRL.
The December broadcast is being put together by Simon Fuller, the guy you have to thank for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. According to a 2016 post on ABBA's Facebook page, the event will feature "the very latest in digital and virtual reality technology." Except that that was two years ago, and no further details have emerged, except for this announcement of new material.
But let's have ABBA Take A Chance on this new venture. Appearing in a virtual tour is quite the gamble — reception seems to be pretty mixed, when it comes to virtual concert appearances. But in the end, the winner takes it all.