Be­hind the scenes at the most ex­trav­a­gant con­certs

Q (UK) - - The Secrets Of The Concert Designers -

Swings Both Ways Live, 2014 Mark Cun­niffe: “Act one was a ho­tel, then an opera house, then it be­came a ship. I added to the con­cept with chan­de­liers that were also light­ing pieces. Rob­bie loved the idea. There’s an in­ter­val of 15 min­utes, the cur­tain comes up again and they’re all on the ‘good ship Rob­bie’. It was ab­so­lutely stun­ning and tourable and cost-ef­fec­tive. All those boxes ticked.” Mylo Xy­loto, 2011-2012 Misty Buck­ley: “Chris [ Martin] wanted to bring to­gether a hand­made qual­ity with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. The band had writ­ten this comic – a love story about two plan­ets – and wanted to do their own art­work, so we set up a work­shop. It be­came this im­mer­sive world: Mylo’s world. We had this painterly, tex­tu­ral can­vas and the wrist­bands were the lat­est tech­nol­ogy: the per­fect com­bi­na­tion Chris was look­ing for.” I See You, 2017 Willo Per­ron: “You’d never think of The xx as an arena act, so the first chal­lenge was: how do you not jump over them with the pro­duc­tion but still have one that’s big enough to fit the room? The next chal­lenge was: how do you do min­i­mal­ism so that it feels hu­man and not cold and stark? It’s meant to be a fluid thing: all the move­ments fluid, all the light­ing fluid. It’s a big show that feels small at the same time.”

For­ma­tion, 2016 Es Devlin: “Bey­oncé needed to com­mu­ni­cate the in­ti­mate po­etry of Le­mon­ade at a scale that man­i­fested its pow­er­ful ag­it­prop too. The square form looked sim­ple but in­volved ev­ery depart­ment – video, light­ing, au­to­ma­tion and stag­ing – all oc­cu­py­ing the same area within the mono­lith. It was de­signed to work with that ten­sion be­tween sta­dium-scale su­per­heroine and hu­man-scale woman through­out the show.”

The Joshua Tree, 2017 Ric Lip­son: “We did a one-off show in San Fran­cisco last Oc­to­ber and built a 100- foot wide video slab with lights. It looked cool and sim­ple. So we took the theme of this bill­board, made it wider, curved the screen and rigged the PA higher to make a re­ally clean state­ment. We have the largest tour­ing video screen ever and it’s so clear, you can’t be­lieve what you’re see­ing.”

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