Production News Headlines
P!NK Shares The Truth About Love Live with L-Acoustics
P!NK is currently out on a massive ten-month global arena tour in support of her sixth and most recent record, The Truth About Love. Currently trekking across Europe – following an initial US leg that began in February – P!NK and her entourage will eventually head down to Australia for the summer months before making their way back to North America for a second sweep that will carry the pop superstar through the end of the year and possibly beyond.
Manning her FOH mix, as he has for the past five years, Chris Madden has specified the use of a full L-Acoustics K1 system for the entire duration of the tour, which is being equipped by Sydney, Australia’s JPJ Audio – the merged operation of Jands Production Services, L-Acoustics’ longtime Australian Rental Partner, and Johnston Audio.
Madden, who has also performed FOH duties for Joe Cocker, Sade and Jessie J in the past, originally fell in love with K1 on P!NK’s Funhouse Summer Carnival tour of Europe in 2010. “We did quite a lot of shows in Germany for that summer run, all of which were supported by Black Box and their then-new K1 system,” Madden recalls. “We achieved fantastic results with the rig and Roger Davies [manager for P!NK, Sade, Cher, Tina Turner and others] was very impressed, so it’s been our system of choice ever since.
“From the very first time I heard it, I just thought K1 was the best PA I was ever put in front of. The projection and detail were both immediately apparent. On other systems, certain elements of a mix will disappear off into a mush, but L-Acoustics preserves so much detail across the full spectrum – and at distances that are truly remarkable.”
The main arrays for P!NK’s current arena tour are comprised of 14 K1 plus six Kara per side for downfill, with a small middle array of six Kara flown to cover the audience area between the main stage and curved thrust. An additional six Kara spread out under the front edge of the main stage helps pull the sound image down a bit further for the crowd at the front.
With 270 degrees of show seats completely selling out each night, JPJ is also deploying a total of 60 Kudo enclosures to deliver extreme left and right side coverage. Depending on each venue’s unique geometry, these are typically hung in either four arrays of 15 or dual arrays of 18 and 12 cabinets.
Low frequency reinforcement is primarily achieved via a combination of eight K1-SB per side flown adjacent to the K1/Kara hangs and a dozen SB28 in six stacks of two across the curved front edge of the stage thrust. Ground subs are set up in cardioid mode with the bottom cabinets rear-firing to minimise LF bleed on stage. Additional two-by-three stacks of SB28 are positioned under the ramps on either side of the stage and fire out toward the far left and right sides of the room, while 19 LA-RAK touring racks containing a total of 57 LA8 amplified controllers drive the entire system.
System Tech Ulf Oeckel, who has toured with Rammstein and Sade, maps out each upcoming venue with L-Acoustics’ Soundvision modelling software and keeps tabs on the system every night with LA Network Manager, both of which he and Madden report to be “quite intuitive.”
Photos: Todd Kaplan.
21st May 2013
200 More: Christie Lites Increases Investment in MA onPC Command Wing
Christie Lites has purchased an additional 200-plus MA onPC command wing from A.C.T Lighting, the exclusive distributor of the MA Ligthing in North America. The company’s new investment brings its inventory of MA onPC command wing to over 250.
Earlier this year Christie Lites took delivery of 50 MA onPC command wing to extend usage of the flexible and powerful grandMA2 control system to customers working on location or those who find it physically difficult to fit a grandMA2 console at their venue. With 12 locations in the US and Canada, Christie Lites supplies equipment and services to lighting designers and chief electricians across an extensive client base.
The MA onPC command wing is a portable solution offering real-time control for 2,048 parameters in combination with grandMA2 onPC. Designed as the perfect hardware expansion to the grandMA2 onPC software, onPC command wing enables the look and feel of the software to be as close as possible to a real grandMA2 console.
Its command section is similar to the grandMA2 layout and features two A/B faders, one level-wheel, individually backlit and dimmable silent (clickless) keys and an integrated universal power supply. The unit has an ergonomic design and is lightweight (tipping the scales at just 6kg) and rock solid.
The MA onPC command wing comes with free grandMA2 onPC software. It offers two built-in DMX ports as well as the possibility to send two additional DMX universes via Ethernet. A simple USB connection between the MA onPC command wing and the computer running the grandMA2 onPC software permits all inputs and outputs of a grandM2 console to be available to the user. DMX, MIDI, timecode and analogue remote are all on hand directly at onPC command wing.
The portability and mobility of onPC command wing also make it an ideal backup solution within the grandMA2 system; a powerful control solution on the road or in smaller theatres, shows and clubs; or a handy choice for preprogramming.
“The popularity of the MA onPC command wing with our customers prompted us to invest in a substantial inventory of units,” says Christie Lites CEO Huntly Christie at the company’s Orlando headquarters. “The MA onPC command wing can be used anywhere and for an affordable price. They’re a win-win solution.”
17th May 2013
Jason Aldean and Bandit are First to Rock Georgia Stadium
Bandit Lites had the unique privilege of being the first to light a concert at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium, where ACM award winner Jason Aldean played to more than 60,000 people. The 90-minute set, which was filmed for a DVD release, included a surprise visit from rapper Ludacris and a virtual appearance from Kelly Clarkson.
Award-winning lighting designer, Aaron Swetland faced the singular challenge of having to adapt his already massive rig for television with an additional 88 Sharpys, 20 Syncrolite fixtures, 34 3500 washes, 20 MAC Auras and 24 Bandit 5x5s. Giant artwork scrims were added above stage right and left with 30-foot trusses above them, while a 60-foot lighting truss was placed center downstage from the usual downstage truss for television lighting.
For his inaugural stadium show, Swetland focused on filling the space while being mindful of the challenges that accompany television shoot such as key light levels, leveling, and balancing the light difference. While typical concerts consist of the stage being much brighter and bolder, Swetland kept it more subdued in the interest of getting a good shot on camera.
“It changes the dynamic of the show,” he explained. “You are not just lighting the show for the 65,000 people in the room; you are lighting the show for the millions that may watch it on TV as well.”
Moreover, while Aldean is no stranger to playing to crowds of more than 30,000, Swetland says the Sanford Stadium show was a wild adventure.
“It’s definitely an experience that I’ll never forget: being able to work with Jason from when I first started, and we were still doing some clubs with about 500 people, and now we’re doing stadiums with 65 thousand people. That’s pretty surreal to work with one single band for that long, and to be a part of that climb of their career is really something special.”
Mark Butts joined the crew to facilitate with the television programming in addition to Mike Swinford, the production designer, who assisted with the television lighting design. Additional crew for the show who provided vital support included Andy Knighton, Chaz Martin, Sam Harden, John Lucksinger and Cody Cheatham.
16th May 2013
Back on the Road: grandMA2 Joins Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is back on the road and a grandMA2 console has joined the iconic band on the Fleetwood Mac Live 2013 World Tour. The new tour, which began in Columbus will wrap in Australia in December, marks the first for the band since 2009’s sold-out Unleashed tour. This year is also the 35th anniversary of their Rumours album, one of the most successful in recording history. It remained on top of the pop charts for more than 31 weeks and produced four Top Ten singles.
Lighting designer Paul “Arlo” Guthrie of Minneapolis-based Toss Film + Design is Fleetwood Mac’s long-time lighting designer. “I have to cater to four different personalities (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) and bring them together as one team,” he explains. “For this show we have four big soft box panels and 32 Clay Paky Sharpy Washes on curved lighting pipes, some of them on the floor, some on the rigs and some in pods that come out. They hang on weird angles and move during the show – some are on 45º, 90º and 120º angles. They’re well featured – the main workhorse washlight of the rig.”
The lighting designer brought his own grandMA2 full-size on tour to run “the whole show” and reports that, “it’s working as good as it always has. It’s super comfortable; it’s like hanging out with an old friend each day. My grandMA2 is more than capable of running everything, including the video.”
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.
16th May 2013
Beyoncé Dazzles with 446 SGM X-5 Strobes
Two giants of the lighting world have come together to help provide a dazzling show for one of the world’s greatest artistes.
The introduction of the groundbreaking X-5 LED strobes from Peter Johansen’s SGM provided all the inspiration necessary for multi-award winning production designer, LeRoy Bennett, to specify almost 450 pieces for Beyoncé’s The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, making it probably the brightest show ever recorded on a concert stage.
When the set climaxes with her popular song Halo, the accompanying drum roll is the cue for lighting director Whitney Hoversten (pictured) to trigger every strobe in the house, completing a blinding blitzkrieg. “We throw everything plus the kitchen sink at it,” he says.
Beyoncé herself had expressed a preference for a lightshow-dominated stage set this time around (rather than the current video-led paradigm) and Bennett immediately set to work creating a stunning light ladder ‘torm’, interspersed with mirrors, known by the crew as the ‘Wall of Inferno’, and fabricated by Tait Towers.
This is dominated by the low-profile, lightweight X-5, which is designed to deliver the same output as conventional strobes from one fifth of the power. Housing 2,970 LEDs, power consumption of 360W with lamp life of 50,000 hours, it is contained in a slim aluminium chassis and designed into three individual cells to boost creativity.
These attributes had been brought to LeRoy’s attention by one of his partners, programmer Cory FitzGerald, and Randy Wade, who heads up SGM Inc, based in Houston, Texas. And so the designer decided to specify them for the first time.
“I was impressed by the combination of power consumption, brightness and rugged design,” LeRoy explained. “But I was particularly impressed by the fact that each strobe breaks down to three individual cells, enabling me to project very low res graphics as well a bright blasts of light and strobing,” he said.
Most of the strobes are arranged in a 4 x 4 block formation, with the pods mounted in custom brackets. The fact that these cellular strobes can be operated independently when fitted to these special brackets makes for a perfectly spaced pixel blinder.
Whitney Hoversten, who also worked on the last Beyoncé tour, agrees that this provides the perfect opportunity to project low-resolution graphics, something he hopes to exploit later in the tour. “We will use the individual cells to pixel map it and play images through it. Also, split into three blocks you can make it appear as if there’s more fixtures when you strobe individually. What they are capable of is fantastic, particularly given their compact size and low power draw; every 4 x 4 pod is just one circuit which is a huge advantage with power distribution.”
In addition to the power wall, the strobes are featured on the stage itself, as well as the stage risers and the header — meeting the request of the artiste herself.
For Beyoncé takes a hands-on approach to production, reviewing her show tape every night, it was she who has now suggested an additional 15 X-5s be added to fill in across the centre section of the stage.
Summing up, Hoversten remarks: “It’s very cool to see a show get back to lighting instead of video — and this is the brilliance that LeRoy brings to the production. The wall is as bright as hell — and the audiences have been loving it. There are so many cues but Beyoncé places a lot of trust in us.”
The lighting inventory was provided by Illinois-based rental company, Upstaging Inc, who are LeRoy Bennett’s supplier of choice. “They have the best back-up and are always more than a 150% supportive of every project,” he says.
John Huddleston from Upstaging, in turn stated how impressed he was with the X-5. “It’s one of the first true plug and play effects we have purchased in a long time. The fixture design is very ‘Apple’-like in its elegance and we are happy to be able to offer them in our inventory.”
Finally, Whitney Hoversten added how impressed he had been by the support SGM had offered from production rehearsals right through to the shows themselves.
15th May 2013
MAC Viper Party at Carnaval Mazatlan
Luminica Gdl of Guadalajara, Mexico, was one of the first rental companies in Mexico and Latin America to invest in Martin’s MAC Viper Profile and had the fixtures out on one of the Carnival season’s more festive events in February, Carnaval Mazatlan.
Lighting designer Luis Ernesto Armenta Jiménez has used Martin products since he started in the industry as a programmer and incorporated the new 1000W Martin fixtures into his lighting design for the festival.
“I chose to use the MAC Viper Profile because I felt it would help me achieve the goal of highlighting a show that was full of cultural juxtaposition as it mixed contemporary dance with orchestral music and pop music, all in the same festival,” he said.
Luis lined ground supports with 10 MAC Viper Profiles with colour wash coming from 26 MAC 2000 Washes and 16 MAC 101 wash lights. Twelve Atomic 3000 strobes provided the extra power punch while the mid-air projection canopy came courtesy of Martin Magnum 2000 and Magnum 2500Hz fog and haze machines.
“There are several notable advantages to the MAC Viper such as the power of the lamp, the crisp light beam, and the unconventional gobos. The zoom has a broad spectrum without sacrificing the brightness of the light and the colour mixing is very intense. The effects that can be achieved are very good. All these together gave an awesome final result,” Luis concludes.
15th May 2013
Clay Paky Join National Arena Tour co-headlined by Three Days Grace and Shinedown
American rock bands Three Days Grace and Shinedown are on the road with Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures helping to light up their tour.
Three Days Grace and Shinedown are co-headlining a national arena tour, which commenced in February. "Transit of Venus", the new album from Three Days Grace, debuted at Number Five on the Billboard 200 and includes the Number One Active Rock single, Chalk Outline. Shinedown’s most recent album, "Amaryllis", produced a pair of chart-topping Active Rock singles.
"Using Sharpy is almost mandatory these days," reports Mike Filsinger, the lighting designer for Three Days Grace. "It’s an advanced light – pretty much the only technological advancement in lights lately: Clay Paky has really done the R&D to make better fixtures and is now reaping the rewards."
Bandit Lites supplied 28 Sharpys in the main package. A primary lighting rig serves both shows; each band also has a supplemental rig. Three Days Grace has eight additional Sharpys in its package; Filsinger’s Sharpys are the dominnt light in the rig and are used in the air and on the floor. Shinedown has 24 additional Sharpys, which are used to achieve a variety of moves.
"The band really likes Sharpy’s look and beams – they’re known for being beamy and bright," says Carter Fulghum, Shinedown’s lighting designer. "The gobos give you great breakups, too. But the Sharpy is so bright that you have to be careful of what other lights you use because Sharpy will overpower them."
Fulgham concludes: "It was great working with Mike [Filsinger], who is so easy to work with on this co-headlining tour. Also great were Aron Altmark, Esteban Caracciolo, Mario Collazo and Bob Gordon for all there help and support through the years."
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky area manager for North and Latin America, adds: "It’s great that designers think the Sharpy is critical to the look their tour. Mike and Carter seem to have really taken advantage of its properties."
13th May 2013
Jason Aldean takes Clay Paky Sharpys along on his Night Train Tour
Clay Paky Sharpys are lighting up country singer Jason Aldean on the Night Train Tour, a musical powerhouse of a show also featuring Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett with location specific appearances by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Kelly Clarkson.
Aldean is a double-Platinum recording artist who has had nine singles reach #1 on the Hot Country Songs charts. Bandit Lites Inc. is providing him with 24 Sharpys on the tour along with a pair of grandMA2 lighting consoles.
"The show design by Mike Swinford incorporates a lot of automation," notes Bandit Lites client rep Michael Golden. "Video panels carry the fixtures."
Lighting designer and programmer Aaron Swetland calls the show "very dynamic" with "a lot of elements and layers. The automated video screens move in all directions with 24 axes of movement."
Swetland says the Night Train Tour is the fourth tour on which he’s used Sharpys. "I love that light," he says. "They have a very narrow beam and great distance. I have them spread out to maximize the effect, and they fill the palette well. It’s great when they work together delivering nice beam angles and great looks."
According to the lighting designer, a number of stadium shows are coming up this spring, and he plans to add 88 Sharpy fixtures to supplement his inventory.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky area manager for North and Latin America, adds: "Mike and Aaron are a great design team and I’m glad the Sharpys are the right fixture for the show, indoor and outdoor."
10th May 2013
60 Barco Projectors take centre stage at 2013 Eurovision in Malmö
Barco is excited to reveal the details of its impressive technical contribution to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), from May 14 to 18. As an official technical event partner, Barco will have no fewer than 60 projectors and three Encore systems at the Malmö Arena, provided by a key rental partner. A main role will be reserved for the award-winning HDQ-2K40 projector.
Barco has a long history as a technical partner to the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, however, its role in Europe’s largest annual live TV music event is bigger than ever. Eurovision 2013 will be an all-Barco show powered by a total of 60 Barco projectors and three Encore systems. A large number of the projectors used are from Barco’s latest high-brightness range: 28 HDQ-2K40 projectors, 13 of which will be blended and warped into a spectacular back wall - the main feature of the stage design. Content will be fed from Green Hippo servers, via a Barco Encore system contacting five video processors, Matrix PRO DVI 8 x8, Matrix PRO II SDI 3G and a large controller. Other destinations are also fed by additional video processors. The proprietary BarcoLink technology guarantees swift and rugged signal distribution between the projectors and image processors, thus enabling a much easier set-up and cost savings.
With 28 HDQ-2K40 projectors being used, the ESC 2013 will be the largest show with HDQs to date. The brightness and color depth of Barco’s flagship product, which recently received the LiveDesign award of ‘Best Projection Product of 2012–2013’, exceed the expectations of everyone involved in the ESC production. "I have worked with many different Barco products over the years, resulting in a strong relationship and trust in their products," explains lighting designer Fredrik Jönsson. "However, this new beast, the HDQ-2K40 projector, is by far the brightest projection instrument I have ever seen. I’m particularly impressed by the perfectly stable 7kW Xenon lighting source inside."
Video designer Mikki Kunttu calls the HDQ ‘the brightest star of Eurovision’: "It is changing the idea of how bright projection can be in a show situation. Usually it is hard to get the projected image appear brighter on stage with all the lighting going on so we used to dim the lights for video. Now it's the opposite. With the HDQ-2K40 it takes guts to go 100% and in open white; we will surely wipe the others off the stage."
"I'm very happy to have Barco back onboard as a technical event supplier. We've done many spectacular and crazy things together in the past, and we are up for it again. I am also amazingly thrilled over the fact that we now have a projector that can compete in output with a moving light. It has been needed and sought for, for many years," adds Ola Melzig, Technical Director of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
"Every year, the ESC stuns the world with a fantastic visual show," concludes Reggy Mortier, Director Market Development at Barco. "It’s a great opportunity for Barco to showcase our innovative video and projection solutions to an immense audience. There have even been shows where the ESC premiered the use of some of our products, like in 2007 with our MiTRIX LED screen. This year, our HDQ-2K40 projector will be the star. We’re so much looking forward to the show."
In picture: the Barco HDQ-2K40
In picture: the Barco HDQ-2K40
9th May 2013
SGM X-5 LED Strobes have real talent
After last year´s highly successful shows in Germany, Canadian rock quartet, Billy Talent, returned to play another two sold out indoor concerts in late April, to warm up for the huge summer festivals that will come up soon.
For these gigs the conventional strobes that were originally specified were replaced by 12 of SGM’s X-5 LED strobes — the first time lighting designer Dara Guiney had worked with them.
“Bernd [Wittenberg] from Go Audio Rental asked me if I would be willing to try them out and I loved them right away. Since most of my strobe effects are blinding effects, I was concerned if they would deliver the same impact – and they were perfect! They are really responsive — the white is amazing and not blueish at all. I am dying to try them in 7-channel mode next time, and use all the pixel effects.”
Go Audio will be rigging almost all major festivals in Germany during the summer, with Billy Talent as headliners at sold out Hurricane in early June, Southside Festival, followed by Highfield Festival, playing to a total of over 150,000 people.
Billy Talent will be using a total number of 42 X-5 strobes on the festival stages, accompanied by 24 of SGM’s SP-6 Six Packs.
In picture: Billy Talent onstage, and LD Dara Guiney.
9th May 2013
Clay Paky Lights Up the Ultra Music Festival in Miami
Clay Paky lighting got rave reviews at the 15th annual Ultra Music Festival (UMF) in Miami’s Bayfront Park where they added to the pulsating excitement generated by fans, DJs and electronic musicians under the tent-like Carl Cox Mega Structure.
This year’s UMF was the first two-weekend, six-day event in festival history and the most successful to date drawing over 330,000 electronic dance music fans. Over 200 DJs and electronic musicians and emerging artists performed each weekend.
UMF also scored another first with the public début of the Clay Paky Sharpy Wash 330 in the US. Fifty0 Sharpy Wash fixtures were featured in the innovative Cox Mega Structure, which was purpose-built for the high-energy festival to showcase DJs and artists on stage and shelter legions of dancing fans. Stephen Lieberman of SJ Lighting designed the Mega Structure with lighting and build by AG Light and Sound.
Clay Paky’s Sharpy Wash 330 is a compact, lightweight 330W washlight, with the luminous efficiency, graphic and optical performance of a 1000W fixture. It is extremely silent and quick and is fitted with a complete CMY colour system, special colours, 6.5°-48° zoom, high precision dimmer, beam shaping filter and motorised top-hat. It is an eco-friendly light, allowing considerable running and consumption cost savings.
The Sharpy Wash fixtures joined a complement of Clay Paky Sharpys, Alpha Spot HPE 1500s and Alpha Beam 1500s mounted in the Mega Structure’s lighting system. The truss pods were controlled by 54 CyberHoist motors; lighting was controlled on a grandMA2 full-size console.
“Stephen creates a truly immersive environment not found any place else in a live music festival. Clay Paky's drive to create high output fixtures in a compact form lends itself to such an environment. The truss pods containing the Sharpy Wash moved to within 10' of the audience creating a highly dynamic effect. It was a perfect match for the Sharpy Wash,” comments A.C.T Lighting’s VP of sales, Brian Dowd.
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky area manager for North and Latin America, adds: “What a great première of our new wash fixtures! The festival was very impressive and the lighting team did an outstanding job in designing this ambitious show.”
3rd May 2013
Small but Powerful: d&b Helps Blue Rodeo Celebrate Twenty Five Years
After 12 studio albums, numerous international concerts, and developing the well earned reputation as 'one of the première bands in Canadian music history,' Blue Rodeo kicked off 2013 with their celebratory 25 Years Tour. Playing theatres and small arenas around Canada, the production needed a show pack that could adjust to a range of audience sizes, while still remaining manageable for a relatively small crew. With the help of Apex Sound & Light, in Toronto, Blue Rodeo was able to keep the entire show to only one truck. Apex account manager Chris James was especially impressed, commenting: "It's almost unheard of to have an arena show with audio, video, lighting and 15 ft of backline all in one 53 ft trailer. Especially as an easy pack, and not a total nightmare!"
With smooth load-ins, usually running less than three hours, and even faster load-outs, Blue Rodeo System Tech, Phil Hornung credits the d&b audiotechnik compact V-Series sound system. "d&b was an easy system to adapt to various audience geometries. I could preconfigure the angles of the array while the riggers were still hanging points. The ArrayCalc software for system set-up is extremely accurate, I've tested it; so when it was our turn to set up, being able to easily export that data into the d&b R1Remote control software meant everything was already working. With half as many amplifiers, and half as much cabling as other systems, it all came together quickly."
Apex employed V8 and V12 in the main array, with the d&b Q1 and Q7 loudspeakers as fills. "The goal was to create a large format line array performance from what was not actually a large array. In fact, the system is so compact and light weight; only two people are needed to move it into place."
The passive three way V-Series system, including the fills and subs, runs on only ten amplifiers. James explains that the R1 Remote software: "Connects any number and location of amplifiers to the system technician, and provides access to the parameters needed. It is extensive in its control and simplicity." He adds: "The outstanding efficiency of our system means everything can run easily on only a 60 amp single phase power."
Although not an "ear pounding type of mix," front of house Eegineer Rich Steeb still required a system that would "rock with anything out there." Steeb has mixed for Blue Rodeo for over nineteen years, enjoying a more consistent and neutral sounding system to work with from night to night. With the V-Series, he found that, “Very little tweaking was needed during sound check. The miles of headroom the system offers is important in the overall tonality of any mix. Also, the mic selection and subtle characteristics of each guitar change are more perceivable with the V8 and V12 components."
Even the monitor tech for Apex, Shaun Shuell saw advantages: "The d&b sound system leaves the competition far behind." Particularly impressed with the directional abilities of the PA, he explains that, "blue Rodeo prefers the stage volume as low as possible. We were able to hang the sound system further downstage and with the band's backline amplifiers in isolation cabinets backstage the effect was perfect; very quiet for the artists, no matter where we played. It just sounded great wherever we took it."
3rd May 2013
Morris Light and Sound Supply Versatile MAC Viper, Peace of Mind for Eli Young Band Tour
Lighting designer Taylor Price needed a highly versatile yet compact and bright spot fixture for the large variety of venue types that American country music’s Eli Young Band is playing on their current US tour. He found it in the Martin MAC Viper Profile, which he has teamed with another award-winning Martin fixture, the MAC Aura.
“I didn’t want the small narrow-beamed fixture that is a one trick pony and way over used these days,” states Taylor, who also wears the hats of lighting director, programmer and technician on the tour. “I chose the Viper for several reasons. Because of the wide variety of shows we are doing – headlining and support, clubs, theatres, sheds, festivals, and arenas – I wanted a fixture that was very versatile. I wanted something that is bright, but smaller than most of the 1200 W fixtures on the market because of our limited trailer space.”
The tour, which started in February and runs until Thanksgiving, is playing shows of all sizes from small clubs and honky-tonks to NFL stadiums and everything in between. From March to August, the band is the opening act on Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes Nation” tour, while playing their own dates when the schedule allows.
Taylor has been using the Martin MAC 700 Profile as a work horse fixture for years but wanted something brighter. “We put this rig together to be a supplemental package, but the Viper can stand on its own,” he says. “I can roll into any festival and no matter what time of day we are playing, the Auras and Vipers as my floor package will stand out. But when we roll into a small club or a venue with a less than adequate rig, I can repurpose the Vipers as sidelight, key lighting, or I pull the house fixtures and hang them. I've even done a few shows where I didn't use the house rig at all because the Vipers and Auras did the job themselves.
“The Viper is like my Swiss army knife. I like the whole fixture - great gobos, good colour mixing, great zoom. I love the large aperture and it's bright as hell. And stage hands at every show talk about how much they like the handles on the yoke.”
Lighting and sound vendor for the Eli Young Band’s 2013 tour is full service rental house Morris Light and Sound of Nashville whose 25 years of experience include clients like Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Slash, The Republican National Convention and the Tennesse Titans.
David Haskell, president at Morris Light and Sound, comments: “We are happy to be working with the Eli Young Band on this tour! We chose the Martin products for the unique look for this show as well as reliability of the fixtures on the road. We like the colour and updated optics of the Viper as well as the effects in the light.”
Taylor Price is appreciative of the support. “I want to thank Dave Haskell and Morris for being open to buying the Vipers for this,” he concludes. “The guys at Morris provide outstanding support for the tour, which really gives you peace of mind on the road.”
3rd May 2013
The VL880 Spot Packs a Punch on Neon Trees
When the alternative rock band Neon Trees first burst onto the music scene, the four member band had no idea how quickly their lives would change. In February 2013, the group launched their most expansive North American tour opening for Maroon 5, with multiple tour dates across the globe set to follow immediately after. So as the production team prepared to bring the group’s latest album Picture Show to life, lighting designer Matt Guminski would be inheriting part of the largest moving light rig they had ever used and they would capitalise on this by using the power and performance of the VL880 Spot luminaire from Philips Vari-Lite.
“I’ve been out with Neon Trees since May of last year when I joined them during the middle of their previous tour,” began Guminski. “On that tour we really only had a ground package with small moving lights and strobes but for this tour we grew to seven trusses which included using a number of high-powered moving lights. Because of this, the band wanted the show to pop more than it did previously and be more dynamic. While they liked the floor package they had last tour, this time around I had to find new fixtures which would allow me to be more creative and make it more unique. That’s why I chose VL880 Spot luminaires.”
As Guminski received the set up of the Maroon 5 tour, he was shown a stage shaped as a giant “M” with truss shaped the same hanging in the air loaded with high-powered moving lights and strobe fixtures. Two additional sticks of truss were set downstage full of VL3500 Wash FX luminaires, and then upstage there was another stick of truss full of even more VL3500 Wash FX fixtures. While he was grateful that he would be able to design looks for his show using these high-powered and full performance automated luminaires, he also knew that finding the right lights for his new ground package just got a little more difficult.
Guminski explained, “Neon Trees is very much a rock & roll band and they like to have a rock & roll show. They want to be able to see and interact with the audience and design-wise, they like for the production to be a little edgy, but they do not want it to be static. Very rarely will you see one of our lights parked in one position for a large amount of time. They want movement, sharp angles and texture. I knew that I would be able to get that out of the lights hanging above, but when it came to my ground row package I had to find lights that could compete with all the power in the air. The VL880 Spots are incredibly punchy and they not only compete against the hanging rig, they cut right through it. I am very happy with these fixtures. Their small, they have fantastic optics, and they have an incredible punch.”
The VL880 Spot from Philips Vari-Lite is a compact automated luminaire loaded with powerful and useful features to provide lighting designers with effective and creative tools for any venue or production size. It comes complete with all of the optical quality and functionality designers have come to expect from Philips Vari-Lite with a 800-watt MSR Platinum 35 lamp, very impressive lumen output, a zoom range from 15º -36º, and a mechanical iris for continuous beam control. A drop in frost glass assembly allows users to soften the overall beam for additional beam control, and the VL880 Spot luminaire provides brilliant colour mixing with its three-wheel CYM colour assembly. When combined with eight standard colours on a fixed wheel, the colour options are practically limitless. For image projection, the fixture has one gobo wheel with seven rotatable and indexable positions and a second gobo wheel with ten fixed positions.
Guminski continued: “When I was looking for the right light for our ground row package, I remembered a festival we did last year in Wisconsin where we got our hands on a VL880 Spot luminaire. I loved how compact it is with the amount of punch that is has, plus all the features and Vari-Lite optics. It seems that great optics are always the trademark of a Vari-Lite luminaire. The VL880 Spots have amazing beams, zoom capabilities, and precise gobo images without losing any punch.”
So with his decision made, Guminski contacted tour provider DSS who worked with Clearwing Productions to sub-rent the VL880 Spot luminaires. He then placed one VL880 Spot in front of the bass rig, another next to the drum riser, a third VL880 Spot right of centre stage, and the final VL880 Spot in front of the guitar rig. From these four positions Guminski was then able to create all the aerial beam effects he would need, plus their zoom capabilities would allow him to open their beams up and illuminate the entire audience.
He concluded: “I really like this automated luminaire. The fact that an 800-watt fixture can punch through all of these high-powered moving lights and strobes is pretty outstanding, and the lights have given us no issues. The VL880 Spots are road-tough and the lamp output is incredibly bright which is exactly what I needed to compete against the Maroon 5 rig that is a combination of 1200 and 1000-watt fixtures. Plus, the zoom and the optics are amazing. They are fast and the colours are superb with rich blues, deep greens, soft ambers; the VL880 Spot luminaire is simply amazing.”
2nd May 2013
Beyoncé Dazzles with 470 SGM X-5 Strobes
Two giants of the lighting world have come together to help provide a dazzling show for one of the world’s greatest artistes.
The introduction of the groundbreaking X-5 LED strobes from Peter Johansen’s SGM provided all the inspiration necessary for multi-award winning production designer, LeRoy Bennett (pictured), to specify no fewer than 470 pieces for Beyoncé’s The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour – making it possibly the brightest show ever measured (in lux output) on a concert stage.
The low-profile, lightweight X-5 is designed to deliver the same output as conventional strobes from one fifth of the power. Housing 2,970 LEDs, power consumption of 360W with lamp life of 50,000 hours, contained in a slim aluminium chassis, it is designed into three cells – to boost creativity.
These attributes had been brought to LeRoy’s attention by one of his partners, programmer Cory FitzGerald, and Randy Wade, who heads up SGM Inc, based in Houston, Texas. And so the designer decided to specify them for the first time.
“I was impressed by the combination of power consumption, brightness and rugged design,” LeRoy explained. “But I was particularly impressed by the fact that each strobe breaks down to three individual cells, enabling me to project very low res graphics as well a bright blasts of light and strobing,” he said. “Most of them are in a 4 x 4 block formation.”
These cells can be operated independently when fitted to the special brackets that enable them to be used in blocks for a perfectly spaced pixel blinder.
Lighting for the tour, which opens in Europe in mid-April before moving to the UK, and then hitting North America at the end of June, has been provided by Illinois-based rental company, Upstaging Inc – who are LeRoy Bennett’s supplier of choice. “They have the best back-up and are always more than 150% supportive of every project,” he says.
John Huddleston from Upstaging, in turn, stated how impressed he was with the X-5. “It’s one of the first true plug and play effects we have purchased in a long time. The fixture design is very ‘Apple’-like in its elegance and we are happy to be able to offer them in our inventory.”
At the same time the designer also had the X-5s in mind for the next tour by industrial German metal band Rammstein (with local rental company Black Box Music supplying the lighting). This required a very different approach. And the tour budget became one of the significant drivers since additional generators will no longer need to be cost in, as would have been the case with conventional high power xenon strobes.
“I always use quite a few strobes on Rammstein which takes up a lot of power,” he explained. “We use a lot of pars as well, so it is always a requirement for the band to tour with generators; the X-5’s have helped alleviate a lot of the issue with power.”
In summary, LeRoy Bennett says, “I find the SGM fixtures work great for visual interpretation of both Beyoncé’s and Rammstein’s music when powerful or sequenced moments happen. For Rammstein this needed to be big, bold and powerful – full-on rock that at the same time is visually entertaining.” He will also be scheduling further X-5’s on the next Nine Inch Nails tour, which he described as “visually more high-art minded,” as well as other upcoming tours.
Over the years the designer has routinely come to rely on lighting solutions in which Peter Johansen has been the guiding hand – dating back to the early ‘1990s, when the Dane was also setting standards for the lighting industry.
Two decades and a generation on, LeRoy is quick to acknowledge that “once again Peter has created a very successful product!”
1st May 2013
Schnick Schnack Systems Gives The Voice an Accent
Schnick Schnack Systems LED Accent Lighting literally spins with the hot seats on NBC’s The Voice. Chosen by designer Oscar Dominguez of Darkfire Lighting Design, Schnick Schnack Systems’ quality, camera-friendly, calibrated colours light the triangular podium on the front of each judge’s chair. Naturally, whenever a critical red decision button is pushed, the LEDs behind the Plexiglas podium change colours and the chair spins around.
“The system consists of 42 10” LED S-Strips and 14 5” LED S-Strips, all driven by a Schnick Schnack Systems Long Distance (LD) Controller,” states Melanie Lekaj of TMB Sales. “All in all it proved to be a trouble-free installation and was easily integrated into the show’s DMX control system.” Melanie adds, “That’s the beauty of the Schnick Schnack system; it’s specifically designed to be 100% colour consistent and reliable, and it is very easy to install, patch and program in stage sets of all kinds.”
Schnick Schnack Systems strips used on The Voice are ideal for backlighting set elements such as stairs, edging strips and translucent surfaces or for accentuating set edges and profiles. They can be used as a backlight with only three inch clearance from the backlit material, creating a harmonious blending of the individual LEDs within a strip. Without diffusion material in front, they can also be used as a low-resolution LED video matrix for direct flicker-free viewing.
29th April 2013
Steinigke with COB in the USA
A year ago, Steinigke Showtechnic of Germany introduced their new COB technology at the Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt. And as with every new technology, there was a certain degree of uncertainty at first. But by now the company say it is obvious: it is an innovation in LED technology - and that this is just the start.
The new technology was noted and awarded by the readers of German Soundcheck magazine, which was presented at Prolight + Sound. Steinigke has also now taken its COB units to the USA, where they have been used at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Coachella and the Daytona 500. Bruce Bandy from Inner Circle Distribution notes: "At Ultra Music Festival, we featured the COB audience blinders and the lighting directors were absolutely thrilled by the power, colour and handling – the fixtures stood out in a very large space and made a tremendous impact."
General manager Matthias Schwab says: As a light source, COB technology is fully accepted and we can expect quite a bit more in the future. Our thorough research and development is always on-going so we can develop the next COB fixture. As a pioneer, Steinigke has gained a lot of experience and we have more than 50 products in stock with COB technology. The chips have clearly become a part of the market and they are a good example of the innovative spirit in the company."
29th April 2013
Only One Direction for XL Video
XL Video is supplying nearly 400 square metres of LED screen, plus 72 VersaTUBE LED battens and crew to Blink TV for the UK and European legs of One Direction’s ‘Take Me Home’ world tour. This sees the UK’s favourite chart-topping, multi-platinum selling and award winning band reach dizzying new heights of popularity, presence and profile.
The Pixled F-12 and F-30 screen has been specified by the tour’s production designer Paul Normandale, who’s worked with XL on many previous occasions including Coldplay’s 2012 ‘Mylo Xyloto’ tour, when he first used the then just launched F-12 surface.
"It was faultless," he comments, adding, "It’s always a pleasure dealing with Phil Mercer and XL – everything is very smooth and easy!"
Phil Mercer (project managing for XL) says: "I really enjoy our on-going relationship with One Direction and with the tour’s production director Steve Levitt and production manager Karen Ringland of Production North. Apart from that, it’s great to see the band keep breaking records!"
XL initially worked on One Direction’s first full production tour last year. With over 11 million Twitter followers, 15 million Facebook fans, 1.5 billion YouTube views to date, two hit albums and numerous number one singles, One Direction’s short and stratospheric career is über impressive by any standards.
The vast upstage LED wall on this one is built from 205 panels of Pixled F-30 totalling a striking 189 square metres. The stage area is 84 ft wide and so Normandale needed a large surface at the back to emphasise the show’s epic proportions. Downstage of the back screen are a series of 11 skyscrapers – each one different in size - made up from a total of 499 x F-12 tiles – 180 square metres in total.
The towers are both single and double sided, with some flown at right-angles forming Normandale’s eye-catching cityscape design. A number of them move up and down on a Kinesys automation system to provide stage entrance / exits for the band (Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson).
XL devised some ingenious custom metalwork and packaging for the video-towers making them highly efficient to rig, fly for the show and be transported. They pack down into extra-wide dollies for expedient packing in the truck.
This streamlining was necessary due to the very tight get-in schedules which have to accommodate a myriad of matinee shows in addition to the evening ones, so everything has to be rigged and ready-to-rock in superfast time. The F-12 towers will be shipped to all territories on the tour itinerary.
Playback content for the LED was produced by Canadian video and animation studio Geodezik, and is fed to the LED surfaces via a bespoke media server system supplied and run by Tom Levitt. The towers and back screen also receive camera IMAG footage which is directed by Luke Levitt.
To funky-up the underside of the flying bridge that flies in and transports the band from the main to the B stage, XL has supplied the 72 HD VersaTUBE LED battens.
XL’s crew of three – Patrick Vansteelant, Philip Leech and Conor Canwell – work alongside six others making up the full touring video department.
One’s Direction’s artistic director is Beth Honan. Dave Lee is the lighting director on tour, Mike Shepherd is the lighting crew chief and lighting equipment for the UK and European sections is being supplied by Lite Alternative.
The tour continues in Europe, then visits the US and Australia. It’s currently scheduled to finish in Tokyo in November.
photo: Paul Normandale
photo: Paul Normandale
29th April 2013
Pete’s Big TVs Supplies Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies
Video equipment rental company Pete’s Big TVs supplied the high resolution LED video panels and a video tech crew for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, held April 18 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
Inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame were Rush, Heart, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Albert King and Public Enemy, along with producers Lou Adler and Quincy Jones. Production designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. created a set which featured a video wall spanning the stage at 65 feet wide and 15 feet tall.
Pete’s Big TVs provided 378 digiLED MC7 high res LED video panels to comprise the main screen. Archival images of the honorees presented a massive backdrop during the artist performances. Pete’s Big TVs also supplied 60 Barco NX4 True Black LED display panels to create the two zig-zagged shaped screens screens - 30 panels each - at stage left and stage right behind the podiums.
Guy Benjamin, VP of Pete’s Big TVs, said the selection of LED panels were chosen for different reasons. "The screens behind the podiums were so close to the presenters, that we didn’t want the images to become pixilated, so we chose the Barco NX4 LED screens there. We wanted it to be smooth.
"For the main screen, we chose the digiLED MC7 panels as they provided the high resolution needed for broadcast quality, plus they emit no radio frequency interference. The panels also have a transparency to them, allowing LD Allen Branton to achieve some lighting effects shining from behind and through the video screens at various times of the show. There are not too many screens with that high of a resolution which have that transparency."
Benjamin supervised his crew of LED techs Matt Ellar and Jody Lane. "Everyone seemed happy with our video screens," Benjamin said. "We’ve been working with the Hall of Fame since 1989, and it’s always an honor to help induct many of rock music’s biggest acts."
Pete’s TVs was brought in by Line By Line Productions in New York. Show director was Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions.
29th April 2013
High End Systems Shines at SXSW 2013
Held March 12-18 in Austin, the annual South By Southwest Music Conference has in recent years grown to encompass film and interactive media, but for many who travel to Texas, it's all about the music. With over 2,000 acts from 49 countries performing on over 100 stages, the capital city truly lives up to its' moniker, 'Live Music Capital Of The World'. And although SXSW's focus remains on emerging talent, established artists now line up to play intimate showcases during the festival.
With Austin as home base, High End Systems takes a unique approach to the festival, both in support of the visiting lighting designers - many who are embracing the new Hog 4 console, and of the amazing Hype Hotel venue, which featured Passion Pit, Cold War Kids, Ra Ra Riot and 60 other performers at the transformed downtown space. Sponsored by Taco Bell, Hype Hotel is the brainchild of MP3 blog aggregator Hype Machine.
Founder Anthony Volodkin explains: "The Hype Machine has worked in partnership with Taco Bell to create a diverse showcase of fantastic artists who have gained popularity on hypem.com, all under one roof in a raw space we created from the ground up. The huge amount of trust between the different teams in this partnership allowed us to create a remarkable experience that transformed excitement about music on the web into an intense live show."
Hype Hotel sported an all High End rig of 14 TechnoArcs, six TechnoSpots, four intellaspots, eight SolaSpot LEDs, eight Trackspot Bolts, six DLVs and eight ShowGun 2.5's, as well as the new Hog 4 and Playback Wing. Three Barco RLM W8 projectors and three Axon Media Servers rounded out the equipment specifications
26th April 2013
Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights Tour Hits the Road with Renewed Vision
When Chris Tomlin's latest album, Burning Lights, was released this past January, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, making it only the fourth Christian album in history to do so. To support the new album, Tomlin and his band are once again back out on the road for a two-month, 36-date U.S. arena tour, and along with them for the trek is Renewed Vision's ProPresenter 5 lyric and media presentation software.
Although Tomlin's production team has now been relying on ProPresenter for well over a decade, the expanded feature set of the software's latest version is allowing the band and crew to find new ways to improve the concert-going experience for fans.
According to Matt Gilder, Tomlin's musical director and keyboard player, one of those improvements has been the ability to trigger video clips for the tour's 13'x40' LED wall directly from his keyboard. Running Ableton Live on an Apple MacBook Pro, which also contains the show's click and supplemental tracks, Gilder interfaces the laptop with his Roland A-500 PRO MIDI controller and to one of the tour's video computers offstage running ProPresenter via Ethernet.
"For video playback on tours in the past, we've had to use SMPTE timecode and lock everything down to a click track with no getting off the map, "Gilder recalls. "But ProPresenter 5 enables us to set up a bunch of video cues in advance that I can easily trigger during performances simply by playing a predetermined chord.
"To illustrate, 'God's Great Dance Floor' has typically been the lead song on our set list for this tour. At the beginning of the show, I bring up the initial bank of videos I'll be accessing by hitting a MIDI note at a certain velocity. Partway into the song, when I play a C#5, the first use of that chord triggers the appropriate video to be displayed on the LED wall. Then, when I hit my second cue chord--say G5--it triggers the next video right on time. Not only does this make life easier for our crew running the video switcher and lyrics, but it also ensures that video content is perfectly in sync with the songs, even if we stretch out a verse or chorus somewhere along the way."
Although many of the videos that Gilder triggers in ProPresenter are strictly visual, some are paired with an audio track in Ableton Live--in particular, a spoken-word piece from Lecrae during the bridge of "Awake My Soul." "I was really nervous about that clip, which is basically a close-up view of Lecrae's face," says Gilder. "The timing has to be absolutely perfect because the band drops out for a moment right on his last word. But now that we're more than halfway through the tour, I can honestly say that this new approach has been super-tight with zero latency. Before this, I always thought that if we weren't using SMPTE or MIDI timecode to lock everything up that we were just asking for trouble. But here we are on the biggest Contemporary tour out there right now relying on ProPresenter every night and it's working like a rock-solid champ. I'm extremely impressed."
Rusty Anderson, video director for the Burning Lights tour, points out another unique way they're able to utilize ProPresenter--to post Tweets from the audience during the intermission time between opener Kari Jobe's performance and Tomlin's.
"In the 15-minute gap between Kari's and Chris' sets, DJ Promote comes out to spin a few songs and asks the crowd to Tweet what songs they want to hear and generally comment on the show so far," says Anderson. "So he'll announce Chris' and Kari's Twitter handles, as well as his own, and these Tweets start feeding into the same machine that handles the show lyrics. Our ProPresenter operator sorts through the incoming Tweets and clicks on the ones we want to make active, at which point I start putting them up on the screens so people can see what they've just Tweeted. At the same time, we're also moving cameras around and putting audience members up on the screens, which has really helped build excitement and anticipation until Chris and his band come out.
"One other thing that ProPresenter has allowed me to do is to customize the live video to match our pre-recorded content. I play various loops of graphic material--things like film noise, burns and color--in ProPresenter on my laptop, and I'll often key that over the IMAG to best fit the particular mood of a song. For example, Lecrae's video in the middle of 'Awake My Soul' features a lot of lens flares, so when we cut back to live video on all three screens again, I'll overlay lens flares on the IMAG for visual continuity. And I can just as easily manipulate color, hue, saturation and a bunch of other parameters on the fly, all of which look beautiful up on the big screens. ProPresenter always keeps us looking great."
Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights tour, which kicked off in Charleston, West Virginia, wraps up with a final performance at Denver's Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 4. For more details on the tour, visit www.christomlin.com/burning-lights.
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Renewed Vision is a leading manufacturer of cross-platform video production software for a myriad of professional environments, including live concerts, houses of worship, sporting events, conferences and even broadcast television. Founded in 2000 with the premise of "enhancing environments through technology," Renewed Vision's three core products--ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer and ProVideoSync--are all widely celebrated for their stability, ease of use and affordability.
25th April 2013
MAC Viper Plenty Bright on Times of India Film Awards
Associate designer for the Times of India Film Awards, Robert Sondergaard of Electric Aura, encouraged lighting designer Atul Sonpal to go with the 1000 W Martin MAC Viper Profile instead of an originally specified 1500W fixture, a decision that Atul and Robert proved happy with.
"Given my previous experience with the Vipers on the 2012 Grey Cup, I encouraged him to try out the Vipers instead," Robert Sondergaard stated. "I was very impressed with their speed and output and I knew he would be as well."
The Vipers were hung on three set arches as well as the furthest upstage truss where they worked as top colour and gobo wash onto the stage.
The MAC Viper Profile is an award-winning fixture whose 26,0000 lumens of power outperforms that of market-leading profiles in the 1200-watt range and is even finding service as an alternative to 1500-watt fixtures.
"We had the Vipers alternating with a [dedicated beam fixture] and when you zoomed the Viper right down and used the iris to get the same beam size you almost couldn’t tell the difference," Robert said.
Besides the 42 MAC Viper Profiles, 20 MAC 2000 Wash XBs, 16 MAC 2000 Washes and 36 MAC Auras were also in the rig. Lighting vendor for the event was Christie Lites while Midnite Hour supplied Martin LC Series LED video panels, which were built into a large upstage wall to back the set.
"Using the LC like this, it was almost unnoticeable in the wide shot that they are a 40 mm product," Robert says. "They blended in with all the 6 mm and 10 mm products in the foreground."
Vancouver played host to the inaugural award event from April 4-6, a three-day celebration of the music and movies of India. The culmination was a main award show hosted by Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma which took place at BC Place Stadium. The star-studded affair featured performances by Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra.
Master wlectrician was Jason Bolger with the lighting team of Ryan Kell, Mel Johansen, Jaime Carlson and Jeremy Van Delft. DOP was Surindra Rao.
25th April 2013
Tait Delivers Complex Strobe/Mirror Assembly and Flying Rig for Beyoncé
The highly-anticipated "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" began recently in Belgrade, Serbia, with Beyoncé delivering as dynamic a performance as ever imaginable. Set designer, LeRoy Bennett, was at the helm of the show’s visual display, which ranged from incredible light displays to performer flying and pyro effects. Working closely with Alex Miasnikof and Malcolm Weldon, production managers for the tour, TAIT combined optimized rental assets with custom elements to deliver a complete staging solution. Following opening night, Miasnikof stated: "No matter how complicated or crazy the project, TAIT will come up with a solution. They have a team of great people that will support your efforts in all aspects, from paper to show; no matter where in the world it might be."
The rolling mainstage includes a flaggapault lift, retractable dance bar, band risers, duck blinds, propane bars, pantograph stairs, Austrians, Kabukis, Sniffers and fanzone decking with custom handrails. TAIT’s patented Mag Deck system provides efficiency and ease of assembly. Unique in its function, a polished, aluminium dance bar was integrated into the set and rises up onto the stage for performer use. Adding to the array of effects, five propane bar decks, with grating on the top, ignite in flames as the artist performs Naughty Girl.
TAIT also crafted the framework for one of the key mainstage elements; a striking strobe and mirror structure measuring 7.3m x 18.2m and made up of five alternating columns of strobes and automated mirrors intermixed with 6 light ladders. The fixtures were provided by Upstaging. TAIT faced and met several design challenges in creating the frame assemblies, which required meticulous engineering and precise alignment to ensure that each light would reflect on its corresponding mirror within the column.
Providing one of the most thrilling moments of the show, TAIT uses a flying rig, made up of three T-Winches with two axes of motion, to elevate the artist from the mainstage to the B-stage. The element is controlled by TAIT/FTSI’s renowned Navigator Control System and features a custom foot plate for performer comfort and safety.
The B-Stage includes two u-shaped walkways, measuring 1.2m and 1.8m, respectively, in height. The walkways are connected by custom retracting stairs, which provide a unique performance area and wide range of motion for the artist. TAIT incorporated a radial panel of video into the center deck for added visual interest. As the artist performs, a fan situated beneath the stage surface creates a subtle, windblown effect. The centre deck also features modified grating for performer stability.
The tour demonstrates TAIT’s proven ability to deliver a cohesive set concept that features both innovative design and incredible automation effects.
photos: Frank Micelotta
photos: Frank Micelotta
24th April 2013
Christie Lites Invests in 200 Martin M2GO Lighting Consoles
In order to meet market demand for Martin Professional’s M2GO lighting controller, Christie Lites has purchased no less than 200 of the compact consoles for its rental inventory.
"We were looking for the best console for everyday rental and found that the M2GO made the most sense," says Christie Lites CEO Huntly Christie. "It was the only console in its category to offer powerful onboard processing with a small footprint."
The M2GO is equipped with a fast, dual-core processor with no external computer required. Having set Martin records earlier in the year for the largest number of pre-sale orders for a lighting controller, it continues to establish itself as the lighting control choice for rental houses.
"We are extremely pleased that Christie has added the M2GO to their inventory," states Martin product manager Paul Pelletier. "It was specifically designed as an all-in-one, ready-to-go solution for rental house and Christie is taking full advantage of that."
24th April 2013
Robe In Brazil with Lollapalooza
The 2013 Brazilian Lollapalooza Festival staged at São Paulo’s Jockey Club featured a selection of Robe moving lights on the main two stages, Cidade Jardim and Butantã.
These were integral to the respective lighting rigs used to illuminate a truly stellar line up of international and local artists, enjoyed by around 60,000 people a day who flocked to see the action across the event’s four performance stages.
The Butantã stage lighting rig included 27 Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs and ten ROBIN 600 LEDWashes, while on the Cidade Jardim stage were 34 ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 19 ColorWash 2500E ATs and ten ROBIN 600 LEDWashes. Additional units were located above the side IMAG screens on both stages.
The principal lighting contractor was São Paulo based LPL Professional Lighting.
LPL director and LD Caio Bertti states: "We chose Robe moving lights because of the great support we receive from the brand itself and also from our rental market partners. I needed a large quantity of reliable fixtures and so chose to use our own Robe equipment together with additional units from Apple Produções with whom we work closely. It was a perfect arrangement … and all the Robes proved to be really robust."
Artists rocking the Cidade Jardim and Butantã stages included The Temper Trap, The Flaming Lips, Deadmau5, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Queens of the Stone Age, Kaiser Chiefs, The Hives, Pearl Jam and many more.