7 months ago



QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray and Blue. “I strongly believe the equipment we bring on the road is a part of the design itself. So a few years ago, I started to personalise my boards according to the tour’s major colour scheme.” For this run, Gigi created her own version of the Villains album cover, which many eagle-eyed fans spotted and took photos of as they made their way into Manchester Arena. The UK run also saw the addition of automation to the set. “In the States the rig was similar, although we are doing 3 straight truss rig over the individual pods,” explained Highcroft. “For Europe we have brought on Outback Rigging who have brought in a Kinesys system for the lighting pods.” The rest of the rigging for the tour was provided by audio and lighting vendors Eighth Day Sound and Christie Lites, respectively. Finally, supplying risers for the tour was All Access Staging & Productions. MISFIT LOVE As QOTSA stepped up the size of their European shows, Highcroft and the band’s management knew IMAG video was going to be a necessity. For the UK dates Creative Technology provided the complete IMAG and video package for the shows. Handling Video Director duties was Blue Leach. His 4-date stint with the band actually coincided with his 50th birthday, although according to the Director: “I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it!” Prior to the UK tour, Leach was drafted in to cover the band’s Antwerp performance and get a feel for the show. “This was the first time I managed to have a conversation with Josh and Gigi to get a feel of the aesthetics of the show. Especially as I’m the one coming into the tour I wanted to make sure I kept in line with Gigi’s vision.” Creative Technology’s Head of Music and Entertainment, Graham Miller, discussed how the company first got involved in the UK tour: “The band were doing a couple of shows in Europe with one of our sister companies, Faber, providing an IMAG package. Rob the reached out to us and asked if we could provide screens for the UK shows too - we jumped at the chance of course!” Leach said the last 2 shows had gone great, although it was a “roll with the punches” style performance. “For Queens, no 2 shows are the same. You have to be prepared for whatever they throw at you. But that’s how I prefer to direct - reading the band’s movements and reacting accordingly rather than a hyper-choreographed show.” Jim Liddiard, Project Manager from Creative Technology looked after the QOTSA tour and even took on the role as one of the camera crew for the UK tour. “It is always difficult joining a tour with such an established crew, especially as an entire department,” commented Liddiard. “We were very conscious of integrating smoothly into load ins and outs so as to make our appearance seamless. That being said we felt very welcome from all departments and the addition of video for those few UK shows felt very successful.” Creative Technology provided a Grass Valley Kayak with 16 inputs, 3 Sony HSC-300 cameras and 2 Panasonic robo cams. “I have worked with Creative Technology for a very long time and they were kind enough to offer a few extra bits including a track and dolly system for the pit cameras. They’ve enabled us to get some interesting panning shots,” commented Leach. The Director also used his short time with the tour to experiment with some old school editing techniques. “When I spoke to Josh we discussed the ‘psychedelic’ influences on the record, which I wanted to try and replicate with the video footage,” explained Leach. “We dug out a vintage Panasonic WJ-MX50 - the first desk I ever used in my early 20’s. We have it down stream for the Kayak and then feed it back through before sending it to the screens. Through the show we have been doing some old school tricks, such as still frames in a very horror-esque manner. We have also used some black and white and block colours, which gives a juxtaposition between aggressive and smooth looks.” Leach gave his final thoughts on the tour: “Sadly I’m only on this tour until the O2 so it’s been short and sweet, but a great birthday celebration. There have been a few bands I have worked with over the years during which I really have to pinch myself and QOTSA are definitely among them - the band are ridiculously good and I can’t believe I got the opportunity.” AUTO PILOT Bittersweet Catering ensured all the crew were fed on the UK tour. “While we were going through mainland Europe due to the logistics and tight schedule we simply used local catering,” explained Highcroft. “But for the UK shows we have had Bittersweet following us around.” Ensuring the 29-strong band and crew got from A to B were Beat The Street and Transam Trucking. “In total we have 2 crew busses and a band bus with 5 trucks,” stated the PM. Finally completing the travel team was Rock-It Cargo. “They were already in place before I was brought into the QOTSA camp,” stated Highcroft. “However, I’ve collaborated with them several times in the past which made this transition easy, thanks to Joe Ryan, our account handler.” As TPi goes to print, the QOTSA camp were prepping for the next leg of their American tour. However, Josh Homme and the guys will be back in the UK soon enough with the recent announcement of a one off show in London’s Finsbury park this summer - surely a welcome sight for the QOTSA’s faithful followers from this side of the pond! TPi Photos: Shirlaine Forrest 52

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