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Brian Courchine Calls on Chauvet Professional for The Weight Band’s Peterborough Concert Series Show
USA – Echoes of the sixties stir memories when The Weight Band takes the stage. Formed by former members of the legendary group The Band (they take their name from its signature hit “The Weight”), they weave a variety of songs from the time of the original Woodstock Festival into their set list. But the emotional power of The Weight Band’s shows extends far beyond counterculture nostalgia. Along with the familiar tunes comes a warm and inviting collection of new material that evokes images of restless hearts in search of deeper meanings.
This was very evident in their recent appearance at the Peterborough Concert Series in support of their new album World Gone Mad. Providing an appropriately warm visual touch to their music was a Brian Courchine-designed light show that featured Rogue fixtures, supplied by Upstream Sound and More.
Courchine, the lighting director for the Peterborough Concert Series, relied heavily on six Rogue R1X Spots to support the group’s melodious sound. The venue’s stage, at the back of the upper level of the building, is relatively small and narrow. Although this makes for a very intimate concert setting, it also presents challenges in terms of creating depth and dimensionality on stage.
“We used the R1X Spots on cases on the deck to add a significant layer of texture to the room,” said Courchine. “We had an upstage and downstage wash, and also set up some uplighting for the upstage curtain. The R1X fixtures are super bright for the space, and they allowed me to have nice crisp gobos to throw on the upstage curtain. I wanted to be able to toss some trippy slow-spinning patterns upstage. I mean, it is The Weight Band; it can't be all strong beam looks all the time!”
Not only did Courchine use the R1X fixtures to create a curtain of light as a backdrop for the group, he also had to factor in how the fixtures’ movement would affect the audience. “I had to be aware that this was a sit-down concert with an older crowd,” Courchine states. “Occasionally, on a big uplifting musical moment, I will slowly raise the beams to a higher, more grand-looking position, which normally means the beam passes through the crowd.
“At a stand-up show I wouldn't think twice about this and would break up the beam with a gobo,” continued Courchine. “However, at this venue, I didn't want to hit anyone in the face, so when going from a small stage look to a grand aerial look, I would have all the beams first go to a stage right and left position into the wings, and then up. I'm glad I thought about this before that first big move. When they’re playing ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,’ you have to make big moves, it's an epic tune!”
Although Courchine has worked with other performers, creating a design for The Weight Band was special. “I love lighting up groups who play songs I've known forever,” he adds. “I did listen to their new album so I would be familiar with the songs, but it's so fun to be part of an old classic and nailing it.”
photos: Nathan Ekis
17th April 2019
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