12 Sep 2023


Visuals Fly High With Hippotizer

Fire blasts, frenzy and rock ‘n’ roll bombast is bolstering American emo-pop-punkers Fall Out Boy’s current US tour, which is playing amphitheatres across the country backed with LED and projection driven by Green Hippo Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers.

Screen content is guiding the audience through the hitlist set via colour, with strong orange content for the daytime and cooler blues, greens, and purples for the night time scenes. The Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers are running pre-made content and Notch Blocks as well as live feed for the IMAG screens, with one live and one as backup.

BAFTA and Billboard Award-nominated creative directors, TAWBOX, consisting of London-based visionaries Amber Rimell and Bronski, have created a theatrical show for the band as they tour to support their 2023 album, So Much (for) Stardust. It sees an array of high- production-values pyrotechnics and effects alongside the visuals and live feed IMAG action to create a truly cinematic experience. The TAWBOX team created all visual content, with Notch Blocks provided by Pixels and Noise.

Chicagoan production designers at So Midwest, Inc. delivered both lighting and video design, production design and additional cameras and video infrastructure processing. “We are returning to this tour as the lighting designer after our successful previous work with Fall Out Boy,” says So Midwest’s Connor Sullivan. “The band wanted to step away from a big LED surface for this tour, so we created visual staging that was focused on a modest 2m x 2m LED screen placed centre of our midstage proscenium. The creative team opted for more practical scenic looks with softgoods and set pieces, and the LED ‘cartouche’ – the central element of a proscenium arch in most venues – was sort of the meter on where we were in our show. We stepped between two themes, night and day, and as we processed through each scene in the show the screen served to keep us in that realm.”

House IMAG screen are being used on most shows for the live stage feed, with other venues opting for projection. “Because of the size and involvement of the LED screen, I was looking for something that was reliable and something I wouldn’t have to fuss over every day, but still had enough juice to also process our IMAG and add Notch over the top,” Sullivan continues. “The Boreals held strong and were consistent throughout the whole tour.”

The Boreal+ MK2 machines were also utilised for Notch content to the IMAG screens for one of the openers. “I was hammering the Boreal+ MK2 hard with processing and they still held their own with content playback and Notch running.”

Sullivan kept close contact with Green Hippo’s product specialist Nick Spencer throughout the tour, who helped the team get the Hippotizer-driven visuals “off the ground” before being on call for technical expertise. “He is a saint for his patience and knowledge,” adds Sullivan.

The current tour is playing venues across the US and Canada, taking in venues including Chicago’s Wrigley Field, LA’s BMO Stadium, and the Budweiser Stage in Toronto. A major tour of Europe starts in October.


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