Stage Right: Pyrotek Heats Up Touring Special Effects

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
courtesy Pyrotek
– Trans-Siberian Orchestra
turns it up with Pyrotek Special Effects

As live entertainment has become the focal part of the music business, the production and experiential elements have become that much more important, with special effects playing a crucial part. 
Enter Pyrotek Special Effects, one of the leaders in this ever-growing field. The company’s expertise revolves around live special effects, including pyrotechnics, flame effects, lasers, atmospheric effects (cryo, fog), confetti and water effects. Clients include Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Pink, Kendrick Lamar, Metallica, Florida Georgia Line, The Killers, Katy Perry and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, to name a few.  
“An engaging performance is almost like a living, breathing entity,” explains Scott Dunlop, president & CEO of Pyrotek. “As the artist and their production team conceive what that entity will look like to an audience, a whole series of arcs and ‘moments of impact’ will reveal themselves. At Pyrotek, we have a wide range of tools in our arsenal that allow us to partner with our clients to achieve those high points in the show, safely, consistently and seamlessly, night after night.”  
Fans have spoken with their wallets as well as with their keyboards, as Pyrotek conducted a study in 2017 surveying 16,328 North American concertgoers. 
Pyrotek says respondents ranked the presence of special effects as one of the top factors in their decision to attend a concert and 18 percent of respondents said special effects would cause them to pay more for a ticket to the event.
Shinedown, one of Pyrotek’s clients, is an example of how special effects can heighten a performance. “I’ve always looked at special effects as art,” Shinedown lead vocalist and songwriter Brent Smith said. “When it comes to Pyrotechnics, lasers and ‘fire,’ it’s important to remember that it’s not about the painter, it’s about the painting. 
“Having a vision is the first step, but having the right people around you to make it a reality is paramount. Collaboration is key to the whole process and having Reid Derne and Scott Dunlop from Pyrotek to help lead us through the special effects options open to us, and help us fit these to the message and moods of the overall show, has been a big factor in the impact we’ve been able to create.” 
Christmas-season touring juggernaut Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a long-standing Pyrotek client, is another case in point.  
“For the TSO production, our motto has always been to be bigger and better every year,” said Elliot Saltzman, director of touring and production for TSO. “This means constantly going to our vendors, like Pyrotek, and asking them to come up with new, cutting edge special effects that nobody has seen or used before. 
“The amount of pyro, lasers and special effects used in our production is unsurpassed.”  
As Dunlop explains, “Everyone at Pyrotek understands what it’s like to be a fan at a concert when that ‘moment of impact’ arrives and, as a result, they are deeply passionate about their work.  
“We take our role in the live experience incredibly seriously and passion is one of our core values, because we believe that one great show, or even a great moment in a show, can change the course of events, lives and histories.”