Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thugs, Eazy-E Hologram Highlight Rock the Bells 2013

Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thugs, Eazy-E Hologram Highlight Rock the Bells 2013

How can you tell it’s 2013? Because a festival later this year will be headlined by holograms.

That’s right, the biggest names on this year’s Rock the Bells festival tour are hologram versions of the late Eazy-E and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The former will…umm…rejoin Bone Thugs N Harmony, while ODB will also be “reunited” with the Wu-Tang Clan for “original virtual performances.”

There will be other artists there in the flesh, too, including Common, Kid Cudi, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, the Creator, Talib Kweli, Black Hippy and Rakim. The traveling two-day festival will begin in San Bernardino, California on September 7-8 and then travel to Mountain View, California the following weekend, September 14-15. The event will then show the other coast some love, stopping in Washington, D.C. September 28-29 and then Rutherford, New Jersey October 4-5.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, as well as the 20th anniversary of Wu-Tang Clan. Easy-E died in March 1995 at 31, while Ol’ Dirty Bastard died in 2004. He was 35.

The hologram news comes after a projection of Tupac Shakur surprised audiences at the 2012 Coachella Festival, and various rumors have been circulating since that more holograms would be featured in performances. However, this is the first time holograms have actually been announced.

I don’t know, I get the appeal of the hologram, but is it really anything more than a novelty? Tupac’s “appearance” held a lot of weight because not only did no one expect it, most didn’t know the technology was portable and versatile enough to travel to a music festival. But after the surprise element has worn off, you’re just left with a picture and some pre-recorded music.

Is that enough to scratch the itch of nostalgia? For some I suppose it will be. But I think the bigger question is can it be anything more than that?

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Line Up 15 Date Winter Tour

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will hit the road soon as part of a continuation of the Rock the Bells tour series the group began last year.

The tour will kick off on Valentine’s Day at W.O.W. Hall in Eugene, Ore., and will continue at least through a show on March 29 at the Vogue in Indianapolis. The group will also hit Portland; Seattle; Santa Cruz, California; San Francisco; Austin; Houston; Dallas; Corpus Christi, Texas and Washington, D.C., among other cities.

“The road has been amazing ever since we started this back in August with our first Rock the Bells show,” the group posted on its Facebook wall. “Because the support has been so strong out there we have decided to keep it going.”

There likely will be further dates added to the schedule in the near future, as the group promises to announce “a dozen more shows in the next couple of days,” and says New York and Chicago shows will be among those added.

All five original members of the group will be part of the tour, and the quintet began touring last year to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

“Now that the official reunion dates have been confirmed, I really look forward to getting back out there and reaching our fans and giving them what they been wanting for a very long time, and that’s a tour with all five members,” said group member Krazyie Bone before the beginning of the tour last year. “It’s going to be historical, mark my words.”

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony became widely known in the early 1990s after being signed to Ruthless Records by Easy-E. The group is probably best known for their 1995 album E. 1999 Eternal, which is a tribute to Easy-E, who died that year. The band performed a tribute to the late artist at all shows on the initial Rock the Bells tour.