What's the Craziest Special Effect You've Ever Seen at a Live Gig or Show?

By Gerald Lynch on at

Remember when Twitter exploded with people trying to get tickets to the Kate Bush comeback tour? Yeah, I was one of those people. Last night I managed to get along to the final show of Bush's 22-date Before the Dawn extravaganza, and it was insane. And I mean that primarily visually.

From giant fish-people to a life-sized artist's wooden human figure puppet to Bush's eventual transformation into a bird at the show's finale, it was unlike any gig I've ever been to before. Most striking of all these props and set pieces was a specially designed lighting rig that, in tandem with an impressive surround sound set up, gave the impression that a helicopter was flying above the audience, shining an accusatory spotlight on crowd members.

It got me thinking – what's the craziest, most elaborate special effect that you've ever seen at a concert or live stage theatrical production? The obvious recent one is the Tupac hologram from Coachella 2012:

But plenty of artists put great effort into their set designs, from Muse's UFO at Wembley to U2's travelling laser claw to the insane rotating stage of the doomed Lord of the Rings musical. What's the best you've ever seen?