Freddie Mercury Hologram Moves Brian May To Tears

Brian May’s collaboration with a “hologram” of Freddie Mercury has been a staple of the We Will Rock You Tour since 2012, and the format of their performance remains unchanged. May, seated on a stool, initiates a solo acoustic rendition of “Love of My Life.” Towards the song’s conclusion, Mercury’s hologram appears, seamlessly taking over the vocals.

The contrast between Mercury’s dynamic delivery and May’s more subdued singing style creates a powerful emotional impact. At the end of the performance, Mercury extends his hand towards May, who reaches out as if to grasp it. Despite countless shows featuring this holographic rendition, May continues to be visibly moved, sometimes waving goodbye and occasionally shedding tears, as captured in emotional moments like the one in the video below.

Recorded a decade after May first performed alongside Mercury’s hologram, this video highlights the enduring poignancy of their collaboration, particularly in the context of the Covid-delayed global Rhapsody tour following the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic. It serves as a reminder that grief knows no expiration date, further amplified by the backstory of “Love of My Life” from Queen’s album A Night at the Opera (1975).

While many assume the ballad was penned for Mercury’s fiancée Mary Austin, Queen manager John Reid revealed it was dedicated to Mercury’s secret lover and first boyfriend, David Minns. The song’s significance became apparent during a performance in Buenos Aires in February 1981 when the massive audience passionately sang along, underscoring its resonance with fans.

Although commonly referred to as a hologram, the avatar of Freddie Mercury is technically not a true 3D projection but a 2D image that appears three-dimensional, achieved through Pepper’s Ghost, a visual illusion technique popularized in the 1860s. This method, utilizing angled glass to reflect projected images, has been utilized in various rock concerts, including the iconic projection of Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella Festival and the recent 2022 Abba show.

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