The Weeknd’s 19-date North American After Hours Til Dawn Tour was a much anticipated, COVID-delayed spectacular that drew on all of our scenic, staging, and automation experience to build the stunning Es Devlin-designed show.
This tour’s extensive scenic work included 17 custom-carved, hard-coated, and painted scale buildings for the main stage with integrated scenically treated lighting, laser, and pyro fixtures. One of the buildings had a built-in chain climber lift controlled by our proprietary TAIT Navigator Automation Platform™️ that raised The Weeknd onto the stage for his first track, Alone Again.
Keeping with the dystopian theme of purgatory and sin, the buildings were finished to look semi-destroyed with rusty red and orange hues at the base of each building. In addition to the aesthetic paint, all of the buildings also had to be custom painted to be fire retarded to withstand the heat from the pyro.
The scenic backdrop buildings truly were an engineering feat. Our team designed each building so it could be broken into pieces that were easily put up, disassembled, and transported for touring. This complicated design also needed to be configured so that the buildings could withstand all of the outdoor elements during his stadium performances. We also worked closely with the client design team, involving them in every step of the creative process to make sure the buildings were living up to the level of detail they envisioned for the show.
Accented by an enormous video screen, the trapezoid-shaped 98 x 38 ft angled scenic main stage was created using Mag Decks at an angle with a 900 mm subfloor beneath them. We also applied a custom-painted, textured scenic finish to the stage, designed to evoke a sandy, burnt aesthetic and continue the apocalyptic theme.
Stage left and right, we built two additional 42 x 7 ft wings with diamond plate escape stairs and integrated lighting shelves along the downstage edge to complement the downstage sub deck and pole lighting integration on the main stage.
The set segued into a different theme as the performers made their way down a set of custom bar grating stairs located downstage center. The stairs led to a LED runway consisting of standard LED decks with monitor shelves on the offstage edges which narrowed into a LED video tile runway. Continuing the LED-lit theme, at the other end of the runway was the second of three stages, the circle stage, a 30 ft diameter Mag Deck structure created with 1 x 1 m LED decks and incorporating downstage escape stairs.
Linking the Circle stage to the final mountain stage was another runway that split the stadium. The mountain stage was a 6 x 6 m rolling Mag Deck stage split into two levels with the top level complete with LED integration and a second tier for a lighting surround.
Finally, we provided an entire system to inflate and rig a 30 ft diameter moon that flies over the mountain stage for the duration of The Weeknd’s performance. Partnering with another vendor, we created a catenary line system that raised the inflatable thanks to one TAIT Mod winch automated by TAIT Navigator. We also specially designed a custom cart with three fans in the bottom to easily transport and inflate the moon. With the three fans built into the cart and two built into the moon, it can be inflated in a minute and 25 seconds.
The tour opened at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 14th with dates across the US and Canada Vancouver, concluding in Toronto for The Weeknd’s homecoming show on September 22nd.
Thanks to our partners Production Manager Rob DeCeglio, Production Designer Es Devlin, Scenic Design Producer Jason Ardizzone-West, Lighting Designer Jason Baeri, Creative Director La Mar Taylor, Tour Manager Matt Petroff, 3D Visuals Designer Polina Zakh/Sila Sveta, and Screens Director Loren Barton.