In September 2016, Brilliant Stages was approached by The xx to produce a stage set for their 2017/2018 world tour in support of their latest album, I See You.
The show designers had a clear vision and overall goal for the show. They wanted clear visibility; the band to be seen and pushed out of their comfort zones. Previously, The xx have been quite a dark, introverted group, but in these shows they wanted the band to open up, welcoming people into their world.Brilliant’s Client Director, Bullet, discussed how we first became involved in the project. “We started work on the tour back in September last year when we supplied them with their first set for five preview shows in Europe. After that we started to look at the new set in December which was ready to be delivered to the studio by early January.”
The designer’s initial ideas were to incorporate mirrors into the show. This led to Brilliant producing eight 6m rotating mirror columns that spun throughout the show. We also provided a clear polycarbonate DJ console and polycarbonate decks with underside illumination.
Bullet went on to describe the challenges involved with creating this show: “Mirrors are always hard to work into live touring sets. Although glass would be the first option from a visual standpoint, they are far too heavy to tour. The product we eventually went for were reflective polycarbonate panels. With this material you get a warped mirror image rather than a perfect reflection. However, this actually worked into the overall theme that The xx’s production team were trying to create. The other real challenge was with the multi-axis automation controls. These types of show always require a bit of head scratching as we attempted to integrate technology into interesting creative visions. But we always want to take on these type of jobs as it allows us to continue developing our expertise with a beautiful looking end-result.”
The xx also took full advantage of our on-site rehearsal facilities. The band used Production Park’s Studio 001, an arena-sized space, for two weeks to allow them time for a full pre-production test-build and band rehearsals before they embarked on their ambitious tour schedule, including an eight-day sell-out in their hometown at the famed Brixton Academy.
- Eight 6m high rotating mirror pillars
- DJ Console
- Decks with underside illumination