American rapper Pitbull’s Can’t Stop Us Now tour has been zigzagging its way around the US with a backdrop of energetic visuals displayed on three vertical LED screens driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers.
Presented by Live Nation, the Cuban-American musician was joined by stars including Iggy Azalea on the tour, which visited states across America and played more than 50 dates. Florida-based YC3 Lighting Design stepped out again with Pitbull for the new tour, delivering creative direction, production design, and lighting and video design.
“Pitbull is a great guy to work with, and he trusts us to create a great lighting and video show every time,” says YC3’s Yamil Charif, who has a longstanding working relationship with Pitbull. “Once I have the set list, the script, I start to create and plan the visual content. And when I have a solid idea of the entire show, I present it and Pitbull gives us his input and we tweak and add.”
YC3 owns a series of Hippotizer Media Servers, including Amba, Nevis, Karst and Boreal models. As the Can’t Stop Us Now tour was content heavy, terrabytes of visual data was created, and Charif used two Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers to organise, manipulate and power the video elements.
“Hippotizer offers a really good MediaManager system, and I have to be very organised with so much content,” says Charif. “I label everything, and and this really helps when we go back and forth to update, change and add in content for the show. It really helps with my workflow. Hippotizer’s FlexRes Codec is also a lifesaver – we can compress files to half the original filesize and they still look great on the screens. It really helps me optimise our content.”
Charif used a grandMA3 for lighting and media control, connecting the Boreal+ MK2s directly to the desk. “I love the flow of the Hippotizer and the console. The talk together seamlessly, and I love how Zookeeper looks and fits with the way I work.”
On stage, three 4mm pixel pitch LED screens at upstage centre displayed a large range of content, alternating between flashing lyrics and archive concert footage, to music video clips and colourful patterns. The content was created by YC3’s team of content creators, overseen by Yamil Charif and Production Manager Victor Martinez, with Carlos Rojas serving as Hippotizer Server Tech. In addition, there were a series of LED risers.
“There were so many standout visual moments in the show,” Charif continues. “One of my favourites was the track Culo, by Pitbull featuring Sean Paul and Lil Jon. There are lots of throwback images in there, old school football footage and high school fun. It’s a really great show to create and playback.”
Lighting programmers on the tour were Elian Charif, Khalil Charif and Rafael Imitola.
The Can’t Stop Us Now tour kicked off at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, North Carolina, and played cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Orlando, with a finale at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida.