Tinie Tempah’s 11-date UK and Ireland arena tour this spring was backed by staging rental outfit LS-Live.
The Temptation tour, which travelled from Wolverhampton Civic Hall and finished at The O2 Dublin in April, replaced cancelled shows from 2013 and showcased music from his Disc-Overy album and the more mature grime-pop sounds from his recent album Demonstration.
LS-Live welcomed the opportunity to work with Tinie Tempah and the team once again to design, build and modify the set at its arena-sized rehearsal unit. LS-Live Designer Gaz Mallon worked closely with Show Designer Anthony Randall and Production Manager Phil Broad to ensure their creative vision was aptly brought to life for the relatively brief, but big-bite, tour.
Said Gaz: “They wanted to create the look of an underground, grimy car park, like those you find beneath city apartment blocks.”
This was achieved through the integration of lights, video and scenic elements with LS-Live’s raised ‘v’ shape stage, creating a kaleidoscopic show to arouse the audience’s retinas and heart rate.
The production demanded a big truss look, so LS-Live supplied Prolyte S52 truss for the structure, and laid various sized LiteDeck components on top from its hire warehouse on site, with step access at the rear and safety handrails. The whole structure was over 3m high and measured almost 13m wide between its outer edges.
Special requirements of the set challenged LS-Live to come up with custom solutions, for example although each side of the ‘v’ shaped set was at an angle, all the supporting trusses had to be facing forward because they held video screens in place.
Explained Mallon: “We had to change the orientation of some of the truss to accommodate video screens in the correct position so we developed a truss adapter for the purpose. This allowed us to sit our LiteDeck on top of the truss using truss locaters.
“The DJ riser we created from LiteDeck that sits at the front of the ‘v’ also had to slide backwards during part of the show because of the choreography so we made a custom slider system for that too.”
It was important that the structural elements of the set were hidden from view in order to achieve the creative look, so LS-Live provided some custom low visibility handrails and draped the underneath of the deck.
Phil Broad brought scenic solutions company Perry Scenic on board to provide soft goods and creative elements to the design.
Perry Scenic created some concrete-look fascias to dress the truss structure and make it look like the grimy underground of a city centre residential block. They also supplied Kabuki drapes and three silk panels to cover other areas of the set.
The initial pre-build took place in LS-Live’s additional unit off-site for two days whilst the Studio was in use by Susan Boyle, then the entire production moved into the main 17,664 sq ft space.
Said LS-Live’s Bullet: “We piped and draped an area of the Studio so that the band could practice whilst the set was being built in the main space. We try and accommodate any requests made by clients and have all the staging equipment to do so on site.”
The crew made themselves comfortable during their stay in LS-Live’s hotel rooms on the top floor of the complex, making use of the dressing rooms, production offices and other facilities too.