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Vari-Lite VLZ Profile meets the LED screen challenge with hip-hop star AJ Tracey

Vari-Lite VLZ Profile meets the LED screen challenge with hip-hop star AJ Tracey
Vari-Lite VLZ Profile meets the LED screen challenge with hip-hop star AJ Tracey

UK – Lighting designer James Scott used the feature-rich VLZ Profile from Vari-Lite, on the recent UK tour by hip-hop artist AJ Tracey. The LED fixtures had the power Scott required to deliver a visual complement to the bright LED screens on the Brixton Academy showcase gig that closed the tour. Scott, of design studio Suluko, worked with production designer and creative director Bronski, and Amber Rimell, of TAWBOX on the tour’s design.

Scott had already been impressed by the output and performance delivered by just four LED-based VLZ Profiles on Tracey’s UK tour dates, where limited truck space had called for a minimal fixture count. “What we achieved with four VLZ Profiles would probably have required six of any other LED spot on the market,” he said.

With this experience, when three large, portrait LED video screens were added to the set for the Brixton show, Scott was confident the VLZ Profile would not be overpowered by the bright, dynamic background. Increasing the VLZ count to 14, he added cross-stage wash and keylight positions to the floor-standing row he had used on the tour dates. The VLZ Profile’s impressive output rose to the challenge.

“The VLZ Profiles gave beautiful gobo looks and strong, open beam, wide zoom, walls of light,” he said. “Together, the lighting and the video created a strong and iconic simplicity. The VLZs had their role to play and they did it perfectly. The large aperture lens and high light output, without the heat of the traditional discharge lamp, meant it was perfectly suited for the size of venues on the tour.”

He added: “My touring lighting director Jake Whittingham and I had a real shock when we first turned on the VLZ Profile. We couldn’t believe they were LED source, nor could the local crew. For the smaller shows, we actually ended up inhibiting the intensity of the fixtures to around 60%!”

He concluded: “I can see that this range and the other current ranges from Vari-Lite will be top of the list for designers worldwide.”

photos: Timmsy

Vari-Lite VLZ Profile meets the LED screen challenge with hip-hop star AJ TraceyVari-Lite VLZ Profile meets the LED screen challenge with hip-hop star AJ Tracey

3rd July 2019

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