This May saw the launch of Rod Stewart’s new world tour in support of Blood Red Rose, the artist’s 30th solo album and his first release in three years. Itself a product of life on the road, the new album features a string of relaxed recordings made with Stewart’s tour band in hotel rooms and private, post-gig, backstage sessions.
Helping to translate these new songs from ‘after hours’ to ‘centre stage’ is Colonel Tom Touring, who worked with lighting and production designer Mark Cunniffe to deliver a stunning video rig for the full run of the European stadium, arena and outdoor dates.
Created to be easily adaptable for the tour’s various venue types and sizes, the video package includes an impressive architrave of 300 ROE Carbon CB5 LED panels, powered by Brompton Technology Tessera SX40 LED processors, working in tandem with the manufacturer’s XD data distribution units.
A curved ‘eyebrow’ header comprises 156 ROE CB5 panels in Air Frames, with processing from an SX40 and data distribution from two XD units. The stage is flanked by two portrait ‘legs’, each built from 72 ROE CB5 panels with two XD units per side to handle distribution. These legs are powered by an additional SX40.
The processing and distribution have echoes of Colonel Tom’s work on the recent Ed Sheeran Tour, although here the team have implemented redundancy loops for the first time.
“One of the main advantages of the SX40 is the 4K workflow allowing us to get more tiles onto one server output,” explains Colonel Tom’s Phil Mead. “The fibre and XD units make for more effective distribution and cleaner cable runs.”
The 4K Tessera SX40 LED processor is Brompton Technology’s highest-ever capacity processor, combining an industry-leading feature set and easy-to-use software interface.
The Tessera SX40 offers support for full 4K screens at 60Hz with 12 bits per colour output. Used in combination with Brompton’s XD data distribution unit it provides a powerful and a cost-effective processing system.
The SX40s are fed by a single disguise GX2 and switched by a Lightware 8×8 HDMI 2.0 Matrix. An additional SX40 and XD unit accompanies the tour as backup. The video package is completed by a rear wall of 576 KTL Flyer 12mm tiles.
Having concluded his first set of European dates, Stewart now continues on to the North American leg of the tour – including an eight-show reprise of his Caesar’s Palace residency. He returns in November for 13 stadium spectaculars at eight venues across the UK and Ireland, with stops in Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester, before finishing the year at London’s O2.
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Image: © Ralph Larman