STONES' SET PACKS POWER
BOSTON — The futuristic stage of the Rolling Stones ``Steel Wheels'' tour is a hulking ``post-industrial'' mass resembling something out of the films ``Blade Runner'' or ``Brazil.'' More than 250 feet wide and 130 feet high, it features steel pipes, huge smoke ducts, an elevator, towers, platforms, scaffolding, netting, elaborate light systems, two 18-by-24-foot video screens, and a series of ``Steel Wheels'' symbols.
Numerous designers (including architect Mark Fisher and the band's Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts) and more than 40 companies were involved in creating the made-for-stadium spectacle.
Because it takes days to erect the stage, there are at least two different stages on the road during the tour. Also two sets of lighting and sound equipment leapfrog locations so that the Stones can play on one set while another is being assembled in a different city. The whole tour requires about 70 trucks and 250 crew members.
The group's first-rate sound system produces half a million watts of power on some 96 channels. A total of 18 people and eight tractor trailers are required to operate and transport it. The lighting for one show consumes half a million watts of power.
Electrical power for one show comes from four generators, pumping out about 3,200 horsepower (not counting the megawatts of human energy expended). The total power generated during the show is about 2.4 million watts carried through more than 12 miles of cable.