Pyrotek Special Effects added 1400 effects to each of Bon Joviâ€˜s three consecutive performances as he kicked off the inaugural concert series to sold-out audiences at the New Meadowlands Stadium May 26th, 27th and 29th.
Special Effects Designers Doug Adams and Lorenzo Cornacchia were approached by Production Director John Hougdahl and Production Designer Doug “Spike” Brant to implement a large-scale showcase of Pyro for the three consecutive shows. Adams and Cornacchia collaborated to create a stadium pyrotechnics display that would resemble that of a Super Bowl halftime show. Pyrotek's Production Manager, Fiona Thain, directed the logistical and permitting operations to ensure that the massive pyro display was approved and in line with all jurisdictional requirements. Dealing with the New Jersey Department of Public Affairs, the New Jersey Division of Fire and Safety and the Federal Aviation Authority, she coordinated all permitting, testing, demos and onsite inspections for the event.
The pyro was laid out across 52 individual positions throughout the stadium. Twelve positions were placed backstage along the 200-level, which started detonating to Bon Jovi's last song before the encore, Keep The Faith. Forty additional rack positions containing 300 comets, mines and multi-shot boards were situated around the rooftop covering a distance of one linear mile. Pyro Crew Chief Bob Ross worked with Mike Devlin (Stage Manager), Mike Farese (Operations Manager & Head Rigger), and Gordon Hyndford (Onsite Coordinator) along with a team of ten pyrotechnicians to complete the setup and assembly of this massive pyrotechnics display.
The initial setup took two and a half days to load in, setup, demo and rehearse with all the product. Additionally after each show, it would take twelve hours to set up which included an 8-hour time frame for the pyro team to strictly reload all the product. “The last chorus of Keep The Faith started the barrage of pyro cues from the backstage area. The cool and dynamic elements to this display were the series of chases and scenes fired around the circumference of the entire stadium,” commented Cornacchia. Adams shot the show from a series of Pyrodigital controllers with a right and left handed control pickle. He had a direct in-ear mix to Bon Jovi when he cued the effects so there would be no delay.
Neil Ryan, Director of Production with AEG Live Northeast, commented, “Working with the entire Pyrotek team to open the New Meadowlands Stadium was an absolute pleasure. There were plans to present the Pyro on the Grand Opening only…after such a spectacular and impressive display it seemed impossible to not have the display for the remaining two shows. Opening a new venue can be difficult but the attention to detail that Pyrotek provided us made what could have been a very difficult task seem effortless. The Fire Marshall and Venue were thrilled with the professionalism that Pyrotek offered”.