Meet the designer behind the crazy stages used by Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Miley Cyrus

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The concertgoers of today expect more than a great song lineup and killer vocals – they want a full-on spectacle of a show.

So artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga turn to renowned set designer Es Devlin to make their concert-tour visions a reality and wow audiences around the world.

Devlin has brought plays and musicals, fashion shows, awards shows, and concerts to life with her postmodern style.

“So what I’m really designing are mental structures, as opposed to physical ones,” Devlin told The New Yorker. Memories are solid, and that’s what I’m trying to build.”

Tongue-shaped slides, water-filled pools, and 70-foot tall video screens are certainly memorable, and the technology that goes into each of these designs is just as impressive as the final result.

Below you can see some of the wildest concert stage designs conceptualized by Devlin:


The imagery on Kanye West’s Yeezus tour — like two faux mountains that split in half and transformed into a volcano — was topped off with a circular video screen that projected storm clouds and shined a light down on Yeezus himself.

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Lady Gaga, the queen of bizarre stage outfits, played a fiery piano and danced around a subway car and under flashing neon lights during her Monster Ball tour. It took 28 trucks to haul Gaga’s set across the country. That’s twice as many vehicles than a typical tour requires.

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For the 2016 Brit Awards, Lorde performed David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” as a touching tribute. Multiple Bowies took the stage behind her on enormous screens.

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For her Bangerz tour, Miley entered the stage on a slide that resembled her tongue, and then danced along with live-motion avatars that mimicked her movements on the screen behind her. Her performance also had 3-D-scanning technology to produce visuals like explosions on Sunset Boulevard and cats floating through space.

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Beyoncé and her back-up dancers strutted down a treadmill-style runway, then danced in a 2,000-gallon pool that filled in 10 minutes flat on a secondary stage. As if that wasn’t enough, 70-foot tall LED screens were employed to project images behind Queen Bey during the Formation World Tour.


Adele’s iconic eyes were projected on a 74-foot wide screen for her 2016 self-named world tour. A total of 12 projectors and four massive roll-drop screens created stunning visuals throughout each performance.

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