In 2012, Coachella famously resurrected hip-hop legends Tupac and Nate Dogg as holograms. For Coachella 2018, organizers are again tapping into hologram technology to bring back late X Japan band members Hideto “Hide” Matsumoto and Taiji Sawada for what’s sure to be two of the most talked about sets of the entire festival (after all, they are going head-to-head with Beyoncé schedule-wise).
In addition to the two holograms, X Japan — one of the most popular heavy metal outfits out of Japan — will be joined by a series of special guests. Their performance both weekends also marks the live return of drummer and band leader Yoshiki, who underwent emergency cervical artificial disc replacement surgery last year. “I’ll make rock mainstream again,” he declared in a press statement. “After being nearly paralyzed and coming back, nothing is impossible!”
(Read: Coachella Reveals 2018 Set Times)
Lead guitarist Hide took his own life in 1998. Bassist Taiji attempted to commit suicide in 2011 and was later removed from life support by his family.
According to the statement, these ultra rare live performances are “in preparations for their first full-length album in over twenty years.” X Japan’s last LP was Dahlia from 1996.
While holograms aren’t exactly a common thing at Coachella, they’ve become somewhat of a trend in the entertainment business. Over the years, we’ve seen companies develop hologram versions of Frank Zappa, Whitney Houston, Andy Kaufman, and Ronnie James Dio. Thankfully, the rumored Prince hologram at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was scrapped last minute.
Below, revisit a trailer for the X Japan documentary We are X: