When the live performance creative duo Tobbox Green Day and Fall Out Boy called on Wizard to pitch stage design ideas for their Hela mega tour, they knew they had to figure out all the stops.
“It’s literally my favorite artists on tour together, one of them told us to do something, so it wasn’t a wise thing to put something together for that,” Bronsky said.
Since its inception, Tubbox has put together some unique and daring live performances, including Stormzie’s iconic 2019 Glastonbury set, which has nominated Buffa for Best Entertainment Craft Team. Other notable credits include Olivia Rodrigo’s performance at the 2021 Brit Awards and the Beatles’ “Help!” Global Citizen 2020 fundraising time. But despite all their success, Tobbox has never put together a performance for a rock group.
“It’s pretty funny – we’ve never done rock music,” Bronsky said. “We’re very much into pop music in what we usually do. But my roots are, personally, the punk-rock kid of teens.”
Bronsky first saw Wizer live at the Reading and Leeds Festival in 2002, but never thought he would be creative-managing one of their tours. “I wouldn’t have said five years ago, give up 20 years ago,” Bronsky said with a laugh. “I mean, they often say ‘don’t meet your heroes’, but that was his exception.”
Even before the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic hit, the Hela Mega Tour was compatible with Weiser’s 15th studio album, “Van Weiser”. When the start of the tour was inevitably delayed from March 2020 to July 2021, “Van Wieser” was postponed, finally being released just before the May res scheduled date. The album and running with it, creates an on-stage vision for only the most disciplined gods. Accordingly, they found the lion’s share of their inspiration in the album’s name Van Helen.
“We were just like that,‘ Let’s Van Everything ’,” Bronsky says.
As a result, the original design features a huge pile of amplifier cabs, three huge lightning bolts in the middle of the stage, and a large drum riser “Wizard” with six kick drums.
“We gave a quote at the beginning [of the pitch] Get attention. It literally said, ‘How many kick drums do you want?’ “Weiser – frontman Rivers Kuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Schriner – were all immediately in favor of the idea. V revealed a grassroots playing with the guitar.
According to Bronsky, with all the original rendering of black and white, the biggest aspect of the Wizard itself contributed to the color palette of the stage.
“The boys really liked the idea of bringing color, and to be honest, it was a good thing,” Bronsky said. “One thing that’s really hard about daylight shows – which is basically for all the weasels on the Hela Mega Tour – is that when you have sunlight on your stage, it doesn’t necessarily make things look beautiful. So having a color set really works. ”
The colors of the stage were even brighter in the aesthetics of the 80’s: bright teal, deep purple, and the word nuted cherry red salmon pink hints. These colors also carry in the video elements of the performance, as Bronsky noted, the presence of black pixels on the video screen in daylight results in “brown and torch”.
“We were very brave and used literally every pixel on that big screen to make it look super-sharp and clear,” Bronsky said. “But when the real visuals came on their own, we just played with some of the elements that we thought were interesting. So for ‘Surf Wax America’ we created the band as an 8-bit character from a video game, everyone does small tricks along with surfing. For ‘Buddy Holly’, we literally took the glasses and made them bigger than life. “
In fact, “Bigger Than Life” seems to be the theme of the overall creative direction of Wizer’s Hela mega set. And since the tour was well prepared before the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic hit, that philosophy or design hasn’t changed much.
“In terms of the ethics of the Hela Mega Tour, it’s supposed to be a big party night of rock music, with three of the most insane bands in the stadium.
However, one of the ways in which the epidemic spread was to block the way to the tubbox was travel – which meant that Brunsky did not actually see any of the events live. “Fortunately, the first show of the tour, someone actually streamed the whole thing from their phone on YouTube Live, but I was sending videos and pictures and new drawings,” Bronsky says of working from a distance. “I was there in spirit.”
As Hela’s mega tour in the summer of 2022 travels to the UK and Europe, Bronzki looks forward to seeing her work come alive before her eyes.
“I think what we all love about Wizard is the promise and the humorous songwriting,” Bronsky said. “The hour-long Weisser show goes so fast. There are so many huge, huge songs – and there are missing songs; You can’t do them all. “