ELO’s 1978 tour design was inspired by the jukebox-style flying saucer used on the cover of the band’s Out of the Blue album—vinyl, naturally. The tour featured an enormous mockup of a spaceship housing the lighting rig that started the show sitting on stage and raised—took off—to a position suspended above. What designer Stephen Bickford achieved in his concept was groundbreaking, with lighting, fog, and lasers rigged on the underside of the ship, emulating 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, an intentional homage. The nine-month, 92-date world tour, became the highest-grossing live concert tour in history at that point, selling out an incredible eight consecutive dates at England’s Wembley Stadium.
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