Freddie Mercury returns to the stage (sort of)

Hologram-like optical illusion will bring the legendary Queen frontman back for a belated encore tonight in London.

Mercury was prone to optical illusions even during his living days. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

He's been gone since 1991, but legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is preparing for a long overdue encore performance tonight in London.

Well, sort of.

Queen guitarist Brian May told the BBC that an image of Mercury will appear onstage during a special 10th-anniversary performance of the musical "We Will Rock You" at London's Dominion Theatre. May said the image will not be a hologram, referring to it instead as an "optical illusion," but hinted at similarities to the hyped Tupac hologram seen at the Coachella festival last month.

"It's a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we've been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while," May said.

It's quite likely the effect will literally involve some smoke and mirrors and a little bit of modern digital technology. An effect known as "Pepper's Ghost" uses lighting tricks to reflect an image onto glass or another two-dimensional surface. In fact, the underlying concept is so decidedly low-tech, it's been around in magic shows and the like for centuries. It's so simple, you might even call it Bohemian.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)