Over 350 square metres of Pixled LED screen is being used to spectacular effect on the latest sold-out stadium tour by Italian superstar Vasco Rossi - "Live Kom '011" - specified by lighting and visuals designer, Giovanni Pinna.
The Pixled F-25 and F-37L surfaces were purchased by Milan based AV Rental company “Event Management” specially for the tour, and supplied to them from Pixled Europe's HQ in Belgium. It's Event Management's first investment in the Pixled brand - although the company has used it on shows in the past.
For the Rossi tour, the Pixled is an absolutely integral scenic element of the show, which takes place below an imposing 37 metre high trussing structure. Based on the concept of "verticality". this stage architecture brings a starkly beautiful, raw style to the space.
Fourteen columns of Pixled F-37L - a brand new flexible product - are positioned in two sections of 7 either side of the stage at the back. These are on a Cyberhoist automation system that moves them between level 1 (the stage) and level 2 of the set. They can also move apart into 7 individual segments or be run as one large surface per side. Each column offers 32 x 192 pixels which, when together, gives a total surface area of 448 x 192 pixels.
Two horizontal strips of Pixled F-25 - also on Cyberhoists - run across the front of the stage - they are each 20 metres wide by 2.4 high, and 832 x 192 pixels in total - split horizontally in the middle. These two strips can travel the full height between top and bottom of the 37 metre structure.
The front two main support legs of the triangular shaped structure are clad up to 7 metres high in more Pixled F-37L.
With no actual 'traditional' scenery onstage, it is the video surfaces that create the setting. Combined with the movement and lighting, this creates a hugely dynamic, constantly changing environment, shifting shape and feel for each song of Rossi's maverick two and a half hour set. Each look is absolutely stunning, and Pinna still has plenty of headroom to create new and unseen looks if he wanted.
Video runs throughout 90 per cent of the show, played out via two Catalyst media servers each running layers. The content was custom produced by Mikkel Garro Martinsen who worked closely with stage designers GioForma and Giovanni Pinna, who originated the show's multi video surface concept.
The first 40 minutes of the performances take place in daylight, so video is the dominantly visible visual effect, with the first 3 numbers of the set featuring some fabulous white animation effects.
Once Pinna and GioForma had completed the stage design and this was accepted by Rossi, show producers Live Nation asked the technical suppliers to tender for the tour. When Event Management was confirmed as the video supplier, Pinna and Event Management's CEO Daniele Parazzoli immediately started looking at the various options for surfaces.
Pinna wanted a transparent mesh product so he also had the option of making it disappear by shining lights through. As soon as they saw Pixled demonstrated, they knew it was the right screen for the job. "The Pixled is very light in weight and extremely quick and straightforward to rig - it literally flies up into place - and these were essential criteria, along with the actual look of the display when showing content," explains Pinna.
As soon as they had seen the F-37L and F-25 products in action and looked into the practicalities of touring it, they were convinced "It was the right option," says Parazzoli, "It is great quality, robust and very tourable".
Custom designed flightcases were built for the F-37L, which lifts out of the box, hooks onto the truss and is then hoisted into position in a very fast, efficient manoeuvre. They have a crew of 12 technicians looking after the video, and it takes about 60 minutes to rig the 7 columns of screen each side of the stage. The F-25 also travels in custom cases and is equally as quick to rig and de-rig, The F-37L cladding the structure legs is flown off a small fly bar on 250 Kg motors (it is static for the show).
The Catalysts are being operated by Marco Denardi - all manually triggered cues -via a grandMA full size console, under the direction of Pinna, who is operating the lighting using another grandMA full size.
They spend 6 intensive nights of programming in Ancona stadium ahead of the first show there, and the video and effects are matched/contrasted perfectly in colour and timing to the lighting cues, producing a smooth and continuous visual coherence that is intelligently and carefully crafted.
Using the screens like this, coupled with the movement, enables Pinna to bring all the traditional Vasco Rossi rock 'n' roll razzamatazz to the show, together with the drama of breaking it down, stripping it back and closing down the massive 25 metre wide stage (plus 25 metre wings to each side) - into an intimate space as the music dictates.
"Live Kom '011" continues its second leg in August.
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