Roy Orbison In Dreams is not the first example of the resurrection shuffle in the concert arena. Despite passing on in 1977, Elvis Presley has been touring for a number of years with a live band synching up perfectly with concert footage from his Vegas years, while the most assuredly late rapper Tupac Shakur manifested as a 2D hologram to duet with Snoop Dogg at the 2012 Coachella Festival.
Roy Orbison In Dreams, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow ***
But this was a whole new level of technologically enabled grave-robbery with the Big O beamed up through the floor as a 3D-effect image, the fringes of his jacket fluttering in the imagined air conditioning, his transcendent voice chiming out as a pinsharp recording while members of the living and breathing Royal Philharmonic Orchestra exquisitely rendered his melodramatic masterpieces with symphonic pop precision and a
couple of backing singers cooed on cue.
There was no denying the deathless quality of the music – from the wonderfully overwrought Running Scared via the eerie In Dreams to the urgent scurrying strings of I Drove All Night – nor the novelty of witnessing such an accurate sci-fi depiction of Orbison for the first time.
There were disappointed sighs whenever the hologram took a comfort break and one wag in the crowd even ventured a request. But holograms don’t do encores and neither can they generate the rapport that comes from flesh and blood engagement – just ask the kids bedding down for the night outside the venue, hoping to be first in line for the following evening’s concert by Harry Styles.