A Jands Vista console was at the heart of Chicago band Fall Out Boy’s headline performances at the recent Reading and Leeds Festivals. The band’s strikingly visual performances on consecutive nights were created by production designer Robb Jibson, garnering rave reviews in the media.
Robb, who also helms Chicago-based So Midwest Inc, which provided the Vista control package, has been touring extensively with the band; the Leeds and Reading shows were the culmination of the 18-month American Beauty/American Psycho album cycle. The custom setup for the entire tour consisted of a Vista S3 control surface run on OSX via two Mac Minis with stacking dongles, providing an active/backup system with the footprint of just one desk and a total of 16 cores of i7 processing.
Robb also used a pair of Jands D1 processors on the network, which helped distribute the load. The Vista was in total control of every single visual for the shows, handling all lighting and media output.
According to Robb, he uses Vista’s Matrix features extensively for the majority of his movement, colour and intensity FX. This allows him to simply rearrange the layout to suit the touring system to any festival show, even adding and subtracting fixtures that were never in the cues before, and keeping the elements of the cuing intact with regards to timing and size. He explains that it really speeds things along because one can add fresh fixtures and get them into the show.
In addition to delivering a range of hits on consecutive nights, the Chicago band created a new show for the festivals, based around their ‘Bloom' art project, which included a short film. Robb says they worked with LA-based streetwear designer Bobby Kim of The Hundreds to develop an all-encompassing design directive, unifying stage wardrobe, scenic elements and show merchandise.
The Jands Vista morphed the FOB tour’s existing programming across a massive lighting system supplied by London’s Neg Earth for the festival dates, mutually agreed upon to suit both the headliners and the festivals. This comprised more than 250 fixtures of Clay Paky Sharpy, Martin MAC Aura XBs and Vipers, Vari*Lite 3500 WFX, SGM Q-7 and Moles. The lighting was tied in with the show’s media content, which included live camera feeds and striking visuals designed by Robb and his creative team of animators.
Also touring with the band was a custom-built scenic wall with one 12m x 2.6m side consisting of ROE Vanish 25mm LED panels, and the other of flower walls to match the Bloom project’s design. This extended the video raster down low behind the band, starting in a downstage position and flipping on cue to reveal the floral side, before moving upstage behind the band to mix with the show’s video canvas.
Robb concluded that the time line interface and unique cloning and morphing abilities of the Jands software allowed him to handle the detailed festival programming quicker than any other console type he had used earlier. This also meant that during the limited programming slot, he could focus on getting things adjusted while others would still be setting their broadcast outputs.
Image: Fall Out Boy show (Photo credit Marcus Maschwitz)