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Robe Pointes to Naked Truth on Fey’s Desnuda Tour
Mexico - Lighting designer Pablo Gutierrez utilised 52 of Robe’s popular Pointe multi-functional moving lights at the core of his fabulous looking lighting design for the launch of Mexican singer Fey’s new ‘Desnuda’ (Nude) tour.
The tour kicked off in full style at the 18,000 capacity Arena Ciudad de México (Mexico City Arena) in the country’s vibrant metropolis.
Fey is a multi-talented Latin Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, designer, dancer, record producer, director and actress who has recorded seven successful studio albums and was massive in the 1990s following the release of her first album “Fey” in 1995. The extremely proactive celebrity wanted to make maximum impact for her singing and live touring comeback, so her management team asked Pablo to create a suitably high impact production design for the show.
As well as being spectacular, the design had to be scalable for an arena tour which follows in 2019 and for potential festival appearances. Pablo was recommended independently by three different people for the job of designing Desnuda. He is known for his fresh approach to lighting design and his imagination and flair in harmonising the disciplines of lighting, video and set.
For this Arena Ciudad de México gig, audio, lighting, staging and all aspects of technical production including video from La Catrina Films and rigging from TYM Riggers were managed by Live Entertainment a company Pablo also runs together with Soho Avila, who was this high-profile show’s production manager.
The Pointes were arranged on a series of six trusses above the stage forming a wider-at-the-top trapezoidal shape. Each of these trusses moved in and out individually on an automation system.
“Fey wanted to reflect a strong sense of female empowerment in the show and the overall production,” explained Pablo, which gave him the inspiration for the shape. Its geometry contrasted with the rectangular lines of the five large LED video surfaces on stage, and when in the ‘home’ position, the lowest of the six trusses was trimmed just above the top of the central video screen, so the shape radiated out downstage from there, adding to the overall depth of the rig.
Naturally Pablo also had a bunch of other lights on the stage in multiple positions, but his Pointes were the visual centrepiece.
When the Pointe trusses were flown in, they dramatically closed-down the performance space immediately evoking a sense of intimacy.
The video screen design ensured that Fey was right at the heart of the performance, together with the impressive playback footage directed by Antonia Roma and the live camera direction of Jorge Olvera. With that much video on the stage, Pablo also knew he would need very bright light sources to ensure a balance.
Once the video screen layout was in place, the lighting positions became relatively obvious. In fact, while the overall stage design underwent some revisions, the lighting elements of it stayed the same as Pablo’s first drawing.
The bank of Pointes also provided essential key and front wash lighting for the acoustic section of the set which was performed on the B stage, located immediately behind the FOH riser at the back of the arena. So they were invaluable in every way, and the beams had no problem projecting right to the back of the arena.
Pablo used almost every feature and function of the Pointes extensively throughout the show. They were supplied by locally based rental company. He created a diversity of cool looks and holographic effects with the prisms as Fey rocked through her pacey power-pop performance, pausing for breath only during a short spell on the B-stage.
Pablo has been using Robe products on and off in his work for around 12 years. Since the Pointe was launched five years ago, it has become “a standard on most of my designs” and in fact he is one of the key influencers responsible for the Pointe becoming so well established in Mexico, giving the brand a foothold for the expansion it is enjoying today.
Pablo stated: “The Pointe is a remarkable fixture, the colours are really rich and vital, and the effects are dynamic and fast. They are perfect for a pop show like this with lots of dancers and action.”
He made the most of the fixture’s capabilities as both a spot and a beam fixture and created some great laser simulation looks that combined beautifully with the real lasers on the show – four brand new Kvant Spectrum 30s.
The challenge with this first Desnuda tour show was the programming time which was tight and under pressure. While they had the music for some time beforehand and could program a reasonable amount of lighting in pre-vis, the video content, a major element of the show aesthetic, was only received a few days before the gig. Only then was Pablo able to finesse and fine-tune the essential detail in all the lighting cues.
The first song alone contained 120 cues, and the rest were similar in complexity; however, it all paid off in the end as the show took the art of pop presentation and production to new and exciting levels to the delight of Fey’s thousands of enthusiastic fans.
The artist and her talented production team proved that she was right back on form and ready to hit the road ahead running in 2019, where Desnuda plays throughout Mexico and central America starting in February and March.
photos: Louise Stickland
14th December 2018
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