When Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died earlier this year, he was warmly reappraised as the sort of irreplaceable talent who could take over your band without a hitch, but it’d be near impossible to think about soldiering on without him, at least, so soon after his passing. The surviving members of Linkin Park are on the same page, organizing a benefit concert for the late singer, while leaving things open about the future of the band.
Founding member and de facto spokesman Mike Shinoda recently hosted an Instagram live session, fielding questions from fans about Bennington and the band’s future plans. For whatever reason, some alleged fans are open to the idea of a Bennington hologram tour, just five months after his death, and it came up during the live session with Shinoda. He, quite reasonably, wasn’t too keen on the idea (via Alternative Nation):
“Can we not do a holographic Chester? I can’t even wrap my head around the idea of a holographic Chester. I’ve actually heard other people outside the band suggest that, and there’s absolutely no way. I cannot fuck with that,” he said. “I can’t do a hologram Chester you guys, that would be the worst. For any of you guys who have lost a loved one, best friend, family member, can you imagine having a hologram of them? Awful. I can’t do it. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ll figure it out eventually.”
The hologram phenomenon hasn’t really caught on in the way I thought it would; maybe our seemingly boundless collective nostalgia has its limits. In the case of Bennington, it’s an insensitive gesture to even suggest that Linkin Park move on with a digitized version this early. Aside from the Ronnie James Dio hologram, which is plotting a world tour, the much-maligned Tupac not-quite hologram at Coachella in 2012, and Celine Dion’s ongoing obsession with holograms, their impact feels slightly exaggerated.
In the case of Linkin Park and Shinoda, it is without a doubt too soon for this kind of joke or earnest speculation—it’s hard to say what the fan’s intention was based on Shinoda’s quotes. But the loss is understandably weighing on Shindoa, to the point where Bennington’s voice is still hard to hear.
Holograms feel like more of an imagined threat at this point than a trend that will catch on beyond gauche Las Vegas spectacles and shameless cash-ins from a select few musician estates. Bands who value the alchemy of their original lineups and don’t want to be performing next to an estimation of their old friends and colleagues know that holograms are a bad idea, and most fans do, too. As the technology improves, it may grow harder to resist—especially for artists who died before our lifetime—but it’s best to let the past remain.