Multiplatinum selling pop group New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) continues to wow fans with their MixTape Tour 2022 featuring friends Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley and En Vogue as special guests. Lighting Designer Cat West of Flash and Trash Works, Inc. selected 108 Ayrton INTELLIPIX-R Creative Solutions as a central part of the high-energy, party look of the show.
Boston natives, the quintet NKOTB has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide. Their 2019 tour by the same name – their biggest since reuniting in 2008 – was a huge success and pioneered the concept of a super-sized show with multiple guest acts. The new arena-based MixTape Tour is scheduled to play more than 50 dates across the US from its kick off in Cincinnati in May to its finale in Hawaii in August. It promises to keep the party going with a night full of chart-topping hits and legendary catalogues that span the generations.
Cat West programmed the band’s MixTape Tour 2019 and their Fenway Park and Merriweather Post Pavillion events in 2021. This year, she was promoted to Lighting Designer building all the lighting looks for NKOTB and the guest acts.
“The general show look is a great big party!” West declared. Production Designer Butch Allen of Blame Funnel Creative designed a set with six giant monoliths that run upstage forming a dynamic, ever-changing backdrop for all of the artists.
“The INTELLIPIX fixtures are built into the monoliths, which are on rotators, so they spin to allow for entrances and to give us some different looks throughout the night,” she explains. “They fit perfectly and gave me a lot of pixels to play with so I can change the look of the stage behind the guys throughout the night.”
INTELLIPIX-R is a semi-transparent modular beam projection panel with 25 independently controllable 4.5º LED emitters in a 5 by 5 array that projects volumetric colour graphics and media far into the air. Multiple panels can be connected together to form a giant screen; they assemble quickly and securely allowing large numbers of luminaires to be connected in series. Solotech, the lighting vendor for the gear and crew, provided the INTELLIPIX-Rs for the tour.
The monoliths feature in almost every song making an especially strong impression in “Block Party,” which marks the first time in the show that NKOTB appears to the audience. “We had a creative request to make a bright, strobey look that would accent the artists’ entrance,” says West. “The INTELLIPIX fixtures made that super easy, and I didn’t even need to run them above 80% to make it happen. They’re nice and aggressive, just the way I like a light to be. And they are consistent and reliable every night.”