After more than 30 years, Black Sabbath (along with the band’s famous, or infamous, Ozzy Osbourne) launched a North American tour in July, and the staging had to capture the crowd. Production company Silent House designed the towering, free-form set units, then called on Sew What? Inc., Rancho Dominguez, Calif., to create the massive three-dimensional set through which huge LED video monitors blasted live images of the performers. The challenges included selecting materials that fit the band’s macabre metal image, allowed a range of light effects and held up well throughout the 40-day tour.
Sew What? used flame-retardant black Commando Cloth base with holes cut to accommodate the LED monitors covered with black Sharkstooth Scrim fabric through which the monitors could project the live action. To create a heavy metal look, the company crushed Silver Metal Mesh and applied it to the band’s backdrop. The mesh could be front-lit, up-lit, side-lit or back-lit to provide amazing dimensionality. “The lighting people can really have fun with a set like this,” says Shane Nelsen, Sew What? creative director. The Black Sabbath tour began in Houston July 25 and ended September 3 in Los Angeles. See more of Sew What? custom theatrical drapery at Sew What? Inc.