When tickets went on sale for Jay-Z’s "final" performance at Madison Square Garden on November 25, they sold out in a matter of hours. The concert marked the end of the rapper’s victory lap promoting what he says is his final full-length solo album, The Black Album. With more number-one hits to his name than any other US rap artist, it was only natural that Jay-Z would want his final performances to remain in the minds of his fans for a long time to come.
While his music has earned him critical acclaim, Jay-Z’s show at the world’s most famous arena also needed to be visually memorable, and it was up to lighting designer Gary Westcott to make that happen. To aid in his design, Westcott made use of the G-LEC LED Curtain.
Two separate G-LEC Curtains were used, up and downstage of the band. Each Curtain consisted of 3 x 8 frames mounted together, and were so lightweight that the Curtains could easily be flown in and out. Seven Barco D7 screens are suspended via wire winches, with another three hung upstage on chain motors. Imagery for the screens came from the Mbox digital media software program from Fourth Phase/Light & Sound Design.
Organized and facilitated by Fourth Phase, London, G-LEC’s exclusive representatives in the UK, the two G-LEC Curtains were incorporated with the scenery to add 3-D effects. While large LED walls have been around for some time, the G-LEC Curtain is practically transparent with graphics playback capabilities which just aren’t achievable with LED walls.
For a full report on this show, check out the January issue of Lighting Dimensions.
All photos by Todd Kaplan.