A few months ago, we brought you coverage from the premiere of Fast & Furious Live – a show based around the movie franchise and opened by none other than Vin Diesel, well yesterday (Friday 5 May), Belfast got to see what all the hype has been about.
Finally, the Northern Ireland public was given the chance to see the technologies that have been developed specifically for this show in all their glory, and to admire the cars first hand, the cars that we grew to love when watching the movies in the flicks.
Incorporating the perfect blend of original cars from the movie series, to exact replica’s built specifically for this all-new arena tour, we saw firsthand, the cars that gripped many of us in our early days of being a car enthusiast.
From some 39 vehicles used during the show, expect the most iconic cars from the first movie in the form of Brian’s Toyota Supra and Dom’s 1970 Dodge Charger, the Supra producing a monstrous 720bhp at 1.2bar of boost.
From the fifth incarnation of the movie, the ‘Safe Charger’ and a Dodge Charger SRT can be seen whilst one of the actual ‘ramp cars’ from the sixth movie is used, it is one of only two left in the world having featured in the movie.
Fast attack buggies from the seventh movie, feature alongside Letty’s actual Dodge Challenger from the same film and a plethora of vehicles from the eighth movie are used such as Polaris RMK 800 Assult snow mobiles and one of just two Lamborghini Murcielago’s used in filming.
Expect absolutely everything else in between, from planes, submarines and tanks, during the two-hour spectacle – I won’t spoil the show too much, but having watched all of the action and story-line unfold four times now, I can assure you, expect your mind to be blown!
During the introduction, the sweet scent of burning Nankang rubber hits you like a wet fish on a cold day – not only bringing back fond memories of days-gone-by for those old enough to remember old-school-cruising in Northern Ireland, but also letting the vast crowds know that this is a live show.
From the nine vehicles in the opening parade to the four LED cars that feature in the ‘Miami Street Racing’ scene or the two that destroy tyres in the ‘Tokyo Drift’ underground car park scene, it is a sight to behold with a soundtrack and special effects like no other.
On chatting to Alix Wilding from ‘Feeding the Fish’, the company who are responsible for the technology aboard the LED cars, she informed me that the Nissan Skyline features 44,000 individual LED lights, possibly a world record for the number of LED lights on a car whilst each vehicle carries 175kg’s of equipment, enabling them to recreate the much loved colour schemes from the movies.
The programming of these colour schemes and lots of other colourful arrays that appear on these cars is done individually and takes weeks per vehicles to perfect and set-up – having seen some of their previous work years ago, i can assure you that this latest venture has pushed the boundaries of what they do, a thousand times.
The set is nothing short of mesmerising – incorporating cutting edge pyrotechnics and 3D projection mapping which takes you from the frozen tundra of Russia to a multi story car park in Tokyo, you really do travel the world with this show.
This mapping, not only changes the scenes to take you around the world, but it also leaves super-realistic trails and effects on the ground, as if in real life – you could easily be so absorbed in the show, that you would actually believe you are sitting within a Universal Studio’s movie set.
It boggles the mind as to where the physical set stops and the projection on the floors and backdrop actually start as the transition between the physical and the projected is so seamless. Some of the drivers even commented that being able to see the difference, took a bit of getting used to during performances.
Lead characters – street racer Sophia Diaz and DSS Agent Dawson, join forces to hunt down Cain, one of the last remaining thugs from Cipher’s crew and as the live audience journey through the show with Diaz and Dawson on their mission, they not only witness mind-blowing car acrobatics, they become part of a team working together to get the bad guy.
The audience are set to become the heroes in this epic adventure but it’s not easy, however Sophia and Dawson give them the training they need, as scene after intense scene unfolds before them.
Head to www.fastandfuriouslive.com now to be sure and not to miss the last few remaining tickets for tomorrow’s final show!!!
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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