Paul McCartney performed alongside statues of John Lennon

McCartney duets with images of Lennon.

For about a decade, we’ve seen dead celebrities come back to life as holographic artists. There was, most famously and creepily, that Tupac hologram at Coachella in 2012. And, spurred on by that show’s remarkable strangeness, there have been attempts to revive Freddie MercurySelenaAmy Winehouseand Marilyn Monroe like techno ghosts. At best, these holograms were a somewhat disturbing tribute to the departed. At worst, it is blasphemy of nature that gleamingly permits corporate exploitation of the dead from beyond the grave.

With the latter in mind, we now report that Paul McCartney performed last night with his late Beatles bandmate John Lennon. But, by using plain old video footage and isolated audio instead of a hologram it somehow, unbelievably, wasn’t that scary actually.

On last night’s Spokane Arena show — the first date of McCartney’s current US tour — the musician played a number of Beatles songs, from “Blackbird” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” to “You Never Give Me Your Money.” “Getting Better,” “She Came Through the Bathroom Window,” and “Hey Jude.” (Full setlist and a few additional phone-recorded videos are available) Bee stereo gum

To kick off the encore, which consists entirely of late Beatles songs, McCartney performed “I’ve Got A Feeling.” Halfway through, the giant screen behind him changed from a swirl of colors to images of John Lennon playing the song at The Beatles’ Apple rooftop concert in 1969. There was also aAn isolated vocal track that McCartney had to sing with his late bandmate.

It’s certainly strange to watch and listen to the performance, but much less than a hologram version of Lennon would have been. And if nothing else, McCartney explained how it all came about with a sort of nonchalance that suggests he found the concept more interesting than morbid.

“So, Peter Jackson, the director of… the Come back movie, he’ll text me one day,” McCartney said after the number ended. And he says, ‘We can remove John’s voice. He can sing with you live.’”

Rather than being put off by the idea, McCartney shrugs and ends his story by saying that he responded to Jackson by simply saying, “And I thought, well…”

[via Stereogum]

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