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Motörhead Magic for Robe

Motörhead Magic for Robe
Motörhead Magic for Robe

Germany – Motörhead, one of the most truly iconic bands in the history of heavy, hard and speed metal, with an illustrious and thunderous career that blasted off in the 1970s and rocked gloriously loudly for the next 40 years until their last live gig in Berlin on 11th December 2015.

The band officially ended on 28th December 2015 with the passing of founder, lead singer and rock & roll warrior Lemmy (Ian Fraser Kilmister) aged 70, just two-and-a-half weeks after that memorable show in Berlin, and part way through the “Bad Magic” tour.

The “Bad Magic” tour was supporting of their 22nd studio album for which lighting designer Caio Bertti sculpted a classic rock & roll look with the contemporary twist of moving lights from Robe.

The famous Motörhead bomber set piece also flew again for this European tour – its last as it would turn out – and its first time on a tour for many years. It was completely refurbished and brought bang up-to-date with new lighting including Robe Pointes and LEDWash 600s plus a full automation system making it more agile and maneuverable than ever before.

Their shows have always been uncompromisingly rock & roll, and this one very much mimicked that oeuvre however, Caio broke new ground in 2013 when asked on-board by previous LD Stefan Sjoland and became the first to introduce moving lights to the stage with 24 Robe Pointes on the “Aftershock” tour.

Previously, Motörhead had been staunchly traditional in lighting requirements, but the reaction to the Pointes, and their massive versatility enabled Caio to make a monster size show out of an expedient number of fixtures made a good impact so, moving lights were ‘in’.

When it was decided that the bomber should fly again on “Bad Magic”, the time was also right to upgrade this prominent structural piece, so the original superstructure was fitted with four Pointes and four LEDWash 600s – chosen for their light weight – together with a selection of generics including PARs, strobes and LED battens.

Lightweight fixtures were fundamental to the design as the bomber superstructure fully laden with lights and cables added up to around a tonne and was flown on six vari-speed chain hoists. On top of that, the lights needed to be properly multi-purpose to create all the big 'wow factors' associated with the bomber.

As well as the moving lights on the bomber, another 16 Pointes were dotted around the other trusses, with four more LEDWash 600s on the front truss and four Robe 600E Spots for key lighting. It wasn’t so many fixtures for a show of the size, profile and attitude, but Caio made all these interlinked elements work extremely hard.

The set was fast, furious and full-on from the first chords of “Motörhead” to the last strains of “Overkill”, with only a couple of short pauses for breath in 90 minutes!

Caio loves Pointes and specifically the speed at which they react, again perfect for heavy metal shows and the intense operating style needed to match the energy, loudness and excitement of the music. With the Pointe being a beam and a spot fixture, he’s also effectively doubling the capacity of the rig.

One of the many things initially persuading the band to give moving lights a chance explained Caio, was their concerns that it might resemble a disco, but when he assured them the classic PAR like looks could be replicated very well with Pointes in spot mode, they let him make the transition.

Caio – also a director of leading Brazilian rental company LPL, based in Sao Paulo – has been using Robe products in his work since 2010 and shortly after this, LPL started to make major investments in the brand. They now have a large stock of Robe moving lights and service many major tours and events.

For European Motörhead “Bad Magic” dates, lighting was supplied by GLS, part of the HSL group, which also has the biggest stock of Robe moving lights in the UK. GLS has serviced the Motörhead account for several years, and Caio really enjoyed working with all of them.

He was joined on this tour by GLS crew chief Karen Brown, technician Chris Randall and Jamie Catt who looked after the automation and piloted the bomber using a Kinesys Vector system.

Caio ran all the lighting from an Avo Sapphire Touch and although he had cues for all of the songs, the show was operated completely live – with impressive perfect timing.

Landing the Motörhead LD job was a dream come true for Caio, who had been a fan for some years.

He’s also LD’d Brazilian heavy metal legends Sepultura for seven years which made him a great candidate. “I love the music, lighting is my medium and it was a great honour to be able to help present the band on stage. For me, every show was a huge adrenaline hit!” he concluded with pride.

photos: Louise Stickland

Motörhead Magic for RobeMotörhead Magic for Robe

21st January 2016

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