In 1998, the eccentric and legendary rock band KISS embarked on their Pyscho Circus World Tour, a momentous event in stage production history. This was the first tour that used 3-D visual effects, and it paved the way for the elaborate and intricate production design that would be employed by the live shows of succeeding decades.
It was also the first time that Pyrotek’s newly-developed propane flame Dragon units would be used. It added an entirely new visual and sensory dimension to the live show, coupling a dopamine-driving visual response to the roaring flames with a warming feeling from their heat.
The flame Dragon has been used in an endless number of live events ever since; Jay-Z and Beyoncé lit up the stage with Dragons in their On the Run Stadium Tour, Blink-182 has fired up audiences with this effect’s searing heat, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Slayer are just some of the big names that have used the Dragon on past tours. In addition to touring, the Dragon effect has appeared at award shows such as the AMAs, Grammy’s, VMA’s, the Academy Awards, Paul McCartney’s Super Bowl halftime show, and a wide variety of sports events and leagues, have featured the crowd-riling flames.
The Dragon comes in three different attachment types – the Dragon Head, the Remote Dragon Head, and the Dragon Tail. These attachments allow extreme versatility in the type of flame effect emitted. The Dragon Head attachment releases a towering flame column or fireball, with customizable heights from six inches to 40-inches. The Remote Dragon head can fire a narrow flame column at diverse angles or discharge a rapid machine gun-like firing effect and can be incorporated into stage props. The Dragon Tail creates a flame wall with adjustable height, and custom building of the Tail can vary intensity of the flame fired. Two heads can be used per dragon unit, allowing unique, specialised flame hits. One unit can shoot multiple times per show. The ability to customise the Dragon ensured that the flame effect can be scaled to seamlessly fit into any production design. The Dragons were the first propane units certified for use in many venues around the globe and remain so.
The Dragon has a rich legacy – it has led to the development of a plethora of other flame effects, like the Fire-Screen, colour flame units, Big Guns, lycopodium flame units, and aerosol flame machines. It has enriched tours and sports events all over the globe. It has caused excited fans to gasp in awe, and the lapping orange flames have burned into the memories of many a spectator. Replicating the elemental force of fire was a momentous moment in Pyrotek’s history, and the Dragon’s versatility and striking appearance have brought the heat since 1998.