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TSO concert stage show


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My wife and I saw the St Louis concert last night. I am in utter envy of all the LED spots and lasers and complexity of the stage show. We were told they have 160 stage hands! It was wildly clear they spent a lot of time and money on the choreography of the light show. (The singers could have used a choreographer as it was lame )

I thought it would be nice to describe the show so here goes.

As far as I could tell, every spot was a high powered LED. There were about 20 huge spots with pan tilt motions and about 50 smaller motion ones. Overhead were three sets of huge moving light mounts. They tilted and moved most of the show. They had spots on them, but mostly bars of multi color leds which were meant to be seen instead of illuminate something like the spots.

They were incredibly blindingly bright! Especially the yellow and white. I had to look away or shade my eyes many times and I was sitting with my friend Wayne D. Back in the nose bleed area but looking directly at the stage.

The dozen lasers were mostly green and red with the red blending to a purplish rose color only in the center. It was very interesting how the laser point landed exactly between the tiers of the seats. So no one would get a shot near their eyes. I did see a few reflections off the glass of the regular hall lights when they tilted up to the ceiling.

Behind the band were six background squares each with 36 spots arranged in a grid 6 by 6. 216 altogether. For the first hour these were always red so I had thought they could only do red. Later green then yellow. They never blended shades but were always primary solids with all of them changing color at once. They were used most of the time like light strobes with very short bursts and no particular pattern.

The stage right and left had huge curtains of light from floor to ceiling which seemed to be a twinkle starfield for a long time. Later it was clear they had pixel by pixel control and it could produce images. This prop was seriously under used and only displayed some abstract patterns and sometimes an unknown shape which flipped on the vertical plane. Several times it appeared to be falling snow.

The stage fogger (low lying) was going nearly all of the time. It was a little too much for my taste. The hazer for the laser was just right but my wife was forced to use her inhaler at the end. There were several songs where they used flames in both the band stage and the rear stage closer to me. It was incredible to feel the heat on my face from so far away. The pilot lights were clearly visible with a large pointed flame like a blow torch. This was only used in the last part of the show which was more freeform and by far more interesting and enjoyable.

They did have a snow machine scene which was a little hard to see from my seat. I could only see the snow when a spot passed through it.

Another interesting effect was the release of some kind of high pressure gas like a flameless rocket taking off. The things pointed both up and down and made huge plumes which disipated very quickly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a note - I think what you referred to as "spots" on the background "squares" (they were rectanguar in the Atlantic City show) were actually Martin Atomic Strobes, putting out an amazing 3000 watts each. I counted 108 of them, but there could have been more that I couldn't eyeball. They changed colors using an accessory called "Colors". It's a roll of stage gels with motors that wind or unwind the gels to place the correct color in front of the strobe. While I was watching the show, I was doing some quick calculations, figuring that 3000w*108 fixtures (minimum) = about a third of a million watts of strobe effect. No wonder I could see them with my eyes closed! Awesome show... bring your ear plugs and sunglasses. :(

It is the biggest stage light show in the world, bar none. None even in the same ball park. A must see, at least once in your lifetime. Of course the flame throwers and fireworks make it that much better....


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