Scott Holthaus has created some shows with large centre-stage video screens. But sooner or later, most things in life run their course, and at this point, the designer was ready for a change.
“I have said it a hundred times… I’m bored with the big TV in the back,” remarked Holthaus, when discussing his design for Disturbed’s just concluded 36-date Take Back Your Life Tour.
On this tour, Holthaus achieved his vision, going outside the box to create a design that flowed with the musical narrative on stage without the use of a central video wall. In place of the familiar video component were three rows of automated truss that changed positions throughout the concert.
“Replacing the centre stage video with hundreds of liner feet of rig was really refreshing,” said Holthaus. “Automating the truss gave us fluidity. We achieved a floating sea grass motion. At times it was dramatic, but at other times we just altered the architecture subtly. We didn’t just move things for the sake of showing off motion technology. Our Lighting Designer, Alex Mungal took my silly Ideas and made the lights sing like a bird”
Around 30 CHAUVET Professional COLORado PXL Bar 16 fixtures were supplied by Premiere Global Production. “I love not using round sources only,” said Holthaus. “The PXL bars gave us the third texture, linear. So, we now had round, rectangular, and linear lines to create greater interest.”
“With the band’s approval, we went for as much Pyro as could be safely used in the amphitheatre roofs,” explained Holthaus. “It was less about budget than not burning anything down.” Pyro Pete did excellent work on this adding the pyro effects in a way that was safe but still created a potent impression.”
“Getting the low trim right was pretty easy: just don’t hit the floor lights or any people,” said Holthaus. “The high trim was altogether more difficult. We had to be aware of the potential for massive heat build-up. This took lots of thought from some pretty smart folks. Dennis Brennan from Q Prime Is my Hero. Ken Mitchel, Disturbed’s PM really nailed implementing this complex design. Cort Laurence helped me so much during rehearsals. Guy Sikes, our TM, believed in all of this all along!”
Of course, the Take Back Your Life tour was not completely without a video wall component. The design also featured off-stage IMAG screens that showed the band. “We feel we created a compelling look without the centre-stage video wall,” concluded Holthaus. “But, as in any rock concert, we still needed to show faces.”