Fatboy Slim has said lockdown has made people appreciate the importance of “connecting through music” more as he delivered a landmark holographic performance in London.
A 50-metre hologram of the British DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, was projected across the capital’s skyline above Alexandra Palace on Thursday night.
Billed as the “world’s biggest holographic performance”, the special gig created by EE saw the DJ play some of his biggest hits including Praise You, Right Here, Right Now and The Rockafeller Skank.
Ahead of the performance, Fatboy Slim said: “Doing this gig was exciting because I’ve been going a long time in this business and I never knew on my bucket list there was being a 50-metre-high hologram projected over London and as soon as I heard that it instantly went to number one on my bucket list.”
The holographic stage was created using the latest visual technology, which projected live footage of Fatboy Slim onto a 50-metre tall and 30-metre wide holo-gauze, suspended from the ground by two cranes.
The “porous” material was able to catch elements of the projection while allowing some of the light beams to pass through it, creating a hologram effect across the backdrop of London’s skyline.
The event was witnessed by fans in the crowd and was live-streamed by EE.
Reflecting on the importance of coming together for gigs, the DJ said: “I think during lockdown when we couldn’t congregate together to dance, I think a lot of us realised just how important that is.
“As human beings, we’re social animals, and we like to commune and communicate and connect through music and doing it on Zoom just wasn’t working.”
“So I think a lot of people, including myself, we just cherish the opportunity to do that and we value it more.
“Whereas before we took it for granted but now I think having not done it you appreciate it more just how much we like to be together. It becomes this big, affirming organism where people are all united by a cliff drop.”
The performance also featured dance routines by fans who had submitted videos on social media over the last week.
The DJ said the competition was a “really fun” way of connecting with the audience, joking that he might steal a couple of their moves for his shows.
He added: “I get a real kick out of watching people having fun, watching people just escape from reality for a couple of hours, lose themselves in dance and music and bright lights.
“It’s a very powerful and emotive thing to be part of and to be there and be the ringleader of all of it is a privilege.
“I get energy from the crowd, and I get the love of the music that I play.”
Hologram performances have become more popular with Abba pioneering the way with their Voyage digital concert show which features “Abba-tar” versions of the Swedish band.
Fatboy Slim, who rose to prominence when he released a string of club hits in the 1990s, said he did not think he would be able to perform a holographic concert due to the expense so he feels Thursday’s gig was a “dream come true”.
He explained that the technology is possible for a stationary show but that it is “still too expensive and too difficult” to take a holographic show on tour.
“It’s weird because the hologram, that illusion is as old as Houdini, they’ve been doing it for years and no one’s ever bettered it”, he added.
“But I’m sure maybe technology might be able to do a more portable, LED-based version of it.
“It’s a real treat to be able to do this because normally, we just haven’t got the facilities and the budget to do it.”