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Opeth European Tour

Opeth European Tour
Opeth European Tour

Award winning Swedish progressive metal band Opeth celebrated their 25th anniversary this autumn with a European tour, complete with a stunning lighting design by Mick Thornton, who has worked with them since 2005.

Mick, a respected and well established UK-based LD who works with a number of high profile international artists, specified Robe moving lights after an excellent experience using Robe on shows for the Moody Blues earlier in the summer. For the Opeth tour, lighting was supplied by Leeds-based lighting rental company, Zig Zag.

The fixture list included ten Robe 600E Spots, ten LEDWash 600s, 18 LEDBeam 100s, LEDForce and 18 RGBW LED PARs, together with strobes and Moles, distributed across four upstage vertical towers, a rear truss and the floor.

Opeth’s lighting needs to be moody, dramatic, dark, a bit sinister and definitely edgy.

Imaginative video – produced by Mick and featuring a mix of edited album artwork by Travis Smith as well as new and original footage – ran through most of the set in this case via a series of mesh video panels, fusing harmoniously with the lighting and stage action in what’s often dubbed a “visual spectacular”.

Many of the songs are epic pieces explains Mick, who is also a big fan of the music. Each number is loaded with huge highs, lows, builds and crescendos, so running lights effectively entails detailed studying and understanding of the structural dynamics of the music, as well as being in tune with the general atmospheric requirements of the gig.

Mick was first properly introduced to using Robe products last year when he first worked with Zig Zag, and he’s not looked back.

“The BMFL is an amazing unit and I try to use these fixtures on as much of my work as possible,” he comments, adding that in his option, the Robe brand has gone from “strength to strength” in recent years and is currently his first choice of moving light fixture. He likes the little LEDBeam 100s for their “great” colour, pan and tilt speed and overall look.

Mick programmed and controlled all the Opeth tour lighting via an Avo Pearl Expert console running Titan, and Zig Zag’s Paddy Sollitt ran the media server. Zig Zag are: “A pleasure to work with,” states Mick adding that Paddy is a “class designer and highly knowledgeable tech.”

Opeth has released seven studio and three live albums, two of the latter in conjunction with live DVDs.

Also to commemorate the 25th anniversary Opeth has launched a signature special edition XXV Anniversary Imperial Stout craft beer – dark, heavy and rich – produced by UK brewery, Northern Monk based near Leeds.

15th January 2016

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