M.I.A. and Janelle Monae performed two live duets last night – even though they were playing on opposite coasts. Aided by futuristic (and, let’s face it, terrifying) technology, hologram images of Monae (in Los Angeles) and M.I.A. (in New York) were beamed onto each other’s respective stages for a show-closing collab, set up by the folks at Audi as part their new A3 launch.
Now, thanks to a 30-second fan-shot video of the duo tackling M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” it’s clear the performance wasn’t some kind of sci-fi dream. The brief clip shows M.I.A. joined by Monae’s energetic hologram, which bounces around the stage and spits some hard-edged rhymes. According to a press release, the event marked “the first hologram performance with integrated video mapping” and utilized “3D projection mapping to add layered depth of field perception with animated graphic content.”
Of course, this isn’t the first concert hologram experience: Coachella 2012 saw the technological resurrection of Tupac, and last summer’s Rock the Bells tour found Wu-Tang Clan performing with deceased crew member Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony collaborating with their fallen colaborator Eazy-E.
In other Monae news, the innovative singer recently premiered a cover of David Bowie’s iconic “Heroes,” which she reimagined as a New Wave track with hard-hitting drums. “Bowie is part of my musical DNA in so many ways,” Monae said. “And ‘Heroes’ is one of my favorite Bowie songs. . . I thought, ‘If this song was in my dream, how would it get from our dream to my reality?’”