Kane Brown tested some futuristic concert tech at the iHeartRadio Music Festival this weekend, stepping into a holograph machine to perform on one side of the country while he was on the other. And the experiment worked to perfection.
The sci-fi country moment took place on Saturday (September 19), and found Brown teaming up with hiphop and R&B stars Swae Lee and Khalid for their current hit, “Be Like That.” But the three artists were separated by thousands of miles, so some special arrangements had to be made in order for them to share a stage.
Cue the PORTL company and their new hologram machine. Making its prime-time debut, it allowed Brown to sing from Nashville and appear in perfect, 3D high definition alongside his partners in Los Angeles — a trick that felt like something straight out of Star Trek.
Holograms have been used in concert before — Jason Aldean even used one on tour to “duet” with Kelly Clarkson for “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” But those projections have all been pre-recorded performances, and Brown was singing in real time. The effect was pretty impressive, and may show promise for concert touring and stars looking to meet-and-greet fans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
That wasn’t all Kane Brown had going on the iHeartRadio Music Festival. He also performed a full concert set that included tracks like “What Ifs,” “Cool Again,” “Heaven” and “Worldwide Beautiful,” while other stars appearing at the two-day event included Thomas Rhett (with Jon Pardi) and Keith Urban.