MSE: You are using the new PRG truss. What do you think of it?
CH: I really like the truss. I was on Tina Turner, and the BAT truss had been built for that tour, and I thought that it was absolutely wonderful. As I was putting this together, I felt that we could use it for this tour. PRG went ahead and reformatted it to take the Bad Boys. The depth and weight is slightly different. It is brilliant—definitely the future of touring truss. There are three PRG BAT low-profile trusses in each leg. There is a double 16’ run at the top, then the spot truss, and then another 16’ run at the bottom. They are all pre-rigged and pre-wired, and the Bad Boys travel mounted to the truss. The big pluses are that it is so flexible with the spigots being able to be turned in any direction and the three pipes are fully adjustable along Unistrut tracks. It can take any kind of fixture, and a rail is open for cabling down which helps in case you have to change a power supply…Also, the collapsible frames take up little space. Once the truss is lifted out of the frame, there are just two pins that you pull back and it folds down. You can stack all of the dollies up, so, from a production manager’s point of view, there aren’t hundreds of dollies rolling around; there is just one stack for all of your trussing.
MSE: I imagine it is a large undertaking dealing with just the sheer number of cases and trucks.
CH: I guess that’s why Jake [Berry, production director] is on this project. He is one of the best in the business. If someone is going to be able to do it, it is going to be him.
MSE: The scale of the structure really is striking when you actually stand under it. I had seen the photos of it under construction, but when I walked in and came out from under the overhang it was just “oh my God.”
CH: It does just go on and on. However, we found that, after a few hours, you get used to it. Being involved with it for over six months, I knew that it was 164’ to the top and what the distance was between the legs, but trying through the prep to get the other guys to get their heads around it; well walking in it interesting to see their faces and their reactions. Until you see it fully built, you cannot appreciate it. It is 82’ to the bottom of the octagon. The top of the pylon is 164’ from the floor. A little bit higher than your average trim. You can take the Rolling Stone’s Bigger Bang tour, which is one of the biggest sets ever, and fit it underneath this one.
MSE: You have been working with Willie [Williams] since 2001 and the U2 Elevation Tour. That’s a lot of amazing shows between then and now. It must be great to be involved with this one that is so unprecedented.
CH: It has been fun to work on it; it has been a really interesting project. I really like the way Willie approaches the show with simplicity but on a big scale. Not speaking for Willie, but one of the things that he experiments with and finds very clever is the ability to take the show, especially with this band, from one followspot to this massive thing; it’s so powerful. It does take much to make an impact if you are Willie, and both he and Mark [Fisher] understand the way to do something on this kind of grand scale but still be simple and powerful. In a funny way, it is a lot like the Stone’s Voodoo Lounge or Pink Floyd’s Pulse. This is one that people will remember for a long, long time because it is so unique. People will say, “Do you remember the people that tried to do that?” It is a thing of beauty.