2011 Excellence Awards Concerts Nominee
The Home and Home stadium shows combined Jay-Z’s strong ties to New York City and Eminem’s strong identity with Detroit into a unique and unforgettable concert experience. The two powerhouse artists co-headlined two nights in each city performing first at Detroit’s Comerica Park and then at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Production designer Bruce Rodgers, lighting designers Patrick Dierson and Daniel Boland, screens director Drew Findley, and video directors Dirk Sanders and Ben Johnson worked together to ensure there was a cohesion to the design that balanced each performers’ unique production values and styles but also visually connected into a single event. The final production design provided visual cohesion that reflected the excitement of the ballpark environment while embracing the once in a lifetime spectacle of this unique dual concert experience.
Starting with the iconic Stageco stage and roof concert structure, Rodgers then designed his main element, a large eye-shaped truss structure that framed the entire performance space, stretching over 168’ wide and 48’ tall. Ringing the face of the entire eye truss were Chromlech Jarag lights. Inside the eye, the visual impact was completed with LED video screens that filled the entire visual space, essentially creating a video wall covering the entire mainstage with a wall of Winvision 8.75mm and the two wings with Winvision 9.325mm. Since the screens amounted to a 168’ by 48’ video wall, the video team needed to ensure that the content worked hand in hand with the lighting and production design to create some stunning images.
Onstage to speed up the change over between the two headliners, Rodgers and his team from Tribe, Inc. came up with the idea of using a large turntable, where each half would be preset with each act and, at the changeover, could be easily turned into place. To ease load-in time the design called for a simple cogwheel mechanism that allowed the bandstands to be laid on top of a standard deck that could rotate instead of using a standard turntable that would need to be built into the stage. The cogwheel scenic unit was built by B+R Scenery, who also built a stairwell with a trapdoor that allowed Eminem to walk up from the ground to the stage level. There was also a center lift with a reveal for when Jay-Z makes his appearance.
Since the eye shape was essential to the overall visual success of the design it was important to make sure the truss went together with just the right curve to evoke an eye. PRG’s Concert Touring division engineered the solution using PRG’s BAT Truss where the outer chords of the BAT Truss are pinned and a custom-designed screw device was added to the top joint that allowed the crew to set the exact correct angle of the truss to hold the curve of the eye. To save time onsite during load-in, the PRG team’s streamlined solution laid-out the Jarag design so they could pre-hang and the lights by mounting them on the top and bottom of the truss’ outer-perimeter. In the end, this beautifully designed production indeed unified and framed each artist’s half of this extraordinary concert event.
Bruce Rodgers, Tribe, Inc., Production Designer
Patrick Dierson, Jay-Z Lighting Designer
Dan Boland, Eminem Lighting Designer
Drew Findley, Screens Director
Dirk Sanders, Jay-Z Video Director
Ben Johnson, Eminem Video Director
4 MA Lighting grandMA
9 PRG Series 400™ Distribution System
108 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash
44 PRG Bad Boy
24 Syncrolite SXB-7/3D 7kW
142 Chromlech Jarag-5
20 RSC Lightlock
41 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72
152 Martin Professional 54S Stagebar
76 Martin Professional Atomic Strobe
34 PRG 10' BAT Truss
24 Tomcat 10' Swing Wing Truss