XL Video is again supplying full video production to the Chemical Brothers current Push The Button tour. The Chemical’s visuals have always been cutting edge, working seamlessly into their dance beats–and this is no exception.
The original video source material, over 250 scenes in all, is created and compiled by Adam Smith, who’s been involved with the band for many years. The images are a composition of colors, insects, animals, plants, robots, politics, history, and abstract shapes–asking, questioning, provoking, and enhancing the excitement of the two-hour show. The band stands in ephemeral shadows and silhouettes onstage, ensconced behind racks of knobs, digits, and codes, creating beautiful noise while letting the visuals narrate the music.
Ricardo Lorenzini is the live vision mixer and Andy Liddell is LD for the show. XL’s project manager is Des Fallen, who’s worked with the Chemicals Brothers for eight years.
This year, XL is supplying a large 12x6m (2:1 ratio) upstage soft-screen, two side screens at 12’x9’, and four onstage LED screens constructed from 50 panels of Lighthouse 10mm. The screen configurations are adaptable to suit the venue. Two Barco R18 projectors feed the large screen with image overlaid when front projected, when run in rear projection mode it is boosted to three projectors. Two Barco G5s project to the side screens.
The 250 image sources are stored on five Doremi hard drives and one laptop. They are sent to the different projection destinations via a Leitch 16x16 matrix, operated by XL’s Tim Brennan. He also sends the feeds to Lorenzini who cuts the screen mix using a Panasonic MX70. On select songs, Brennan also cuts the side screen and LED screen mix. The fifth hard drive utilizes a WinAmp plug-in, which takes a feed off of the sound desk to produce specific effects, like the oscilloscope-style green wavelength modulations that bounce across the LED screens.
For two songs a lip-synch effect, created by taking a SMTPE feed from the backline into a Macintosh Dataton controller, enables visual effects to be triggered by mouthed words and run simultaneously with the aural effect.
Lighting is being supplied by Hawthorne Theatrical, sound by Skan, and lasers by Laser Magic. The tour is production managed by Angus Genner and tour managed by Stuart James. The show is scheduled to tour around the globe for the rest of the year.