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Exile, a Japanese boy band, had a tour in 2008 with a unique set designed by Kuniyoshi Ichikawa. Ichikawa, also the tour director, had had this idea for a long time and finally it came true on this tour. The Perfect Live 2008 tour drew 400,000 people, and it was held in major stadiums across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka.

The main point of the set was the five Element Labs Stealth LED screens with a crane arm which can be controlled in any direction. These screens were created to move like a living creature. The one on the tip of the arm could spin 360°, the arm could expand and contract, and the height changed with each screen. Therefore, different scenes could be set by projecting different pictures.

The screens could also be combined into one enormous screen and used horizontally or vertically. Furthermore, things or even people could hang from the bottom of the screen. For example, in the opening of the show, Exile members stood on a small platform hung off the bottom of the screen. The screen was flat on the stage while a member stood on the platform, which was underground. As it rose up, a thunder scene played on the screen. Changing props is easy because there are hooks attached to the bottom of the screen. During the ballad scene in the concert, one large cloth was hung like a curtain from one LED to the next. At the same time, chandeliers moved on the screen so it created a romantic effect. In another scene, tinsel was hung off the screens, creating yet another effect. The hooks at the bottom of the screens allow for quick scene changes and multiple effects during the show.

The biggest challenge Ichikawa faced in this project was the screens bumping into each other. Many trial products had been made to check the degree and speed to come up with this new set. The highlight of the set is that the screens move like living creatures, but in the beginning, like newborn babies, they were uncoordinated. By the end, the technicians programmed and reprogrammed so the screens moved as smoothly as the dancers on stage.

The set has received a patent license in Japan already and is applying for patent in the US and UK.

Design Team
Director/set designer: Kuniyoshi Ichikawa
Lighting designer: Koji Sasaki

Equipment
Lighting And Video
2 Element Labs Stealth Video Wall (9m x 5.3m)
5 Element Labs Stealth Video Wall (4m x 2m)
48 Philips Vari Lite VL3000 Spot
34 Philips Vari Lite VL2500 Spot
21 Barco/High End Systems X.Spot Xtreme
11 Barco/High End Systems Studio Command
12 Morpheus Lighting PanaBeam™ XR2
16 PC Lights Brite Burst 2.5kW
400 RDS PAR 64
2 ARRI 4kW HMI
16 Xenon Followspot 3kW

Staging
2 Haki Back Tower (18m wide x 16m high)
80 1-ton Chain Hoist
10 2-ton Chain Hoist
5 Chain Hoist Control Cabinet (4 16-channel and 1 32-channel)
Custom Ground Support Tower for Main Stage (26m wide x 19m high)
2 Single Speaker Tower (20m high)
6m High Ramp For Moto X Freestyle
5 Hydraulic Crane-Arm System
2 Hydraulic Crane-Arm Control Cabinet