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Efficient, effective Elation gear on Janes Addiction ‘Spirits on Fire Tour’

Efficient, effective Elation gear on Janes Addiction ‘Spirits on Fire Tour’
Efficient, effective Elation gear on Janes Addiction ‘Spirits on Fire Tour’

USA – Janes Addiction was out supporting the Smashing Pumpkins beneath a lighting rig of Elation Artiste Monet and DARTZ 360 LED moving heads designed, programmed and operated by Alex Picard. Lighting supply and support was from Legacy Production Group.

The ‘Spirits on Fire Tour,’ which started 2 October in Dallas, played arenas as the Smashing Pumpkins’ special guest openers. Alex got the call to start working on a design in early September, his first ever gig with Janes Addiction, which gave him little time until tour launch. Still, he dialled in the design “pretty quickly” and with great support from the Legacy crew, it all came together.

“When I got the call there was already a stage design and setup in play,” reports Alex, who says he was given a comprehensive rig from the Smashing Pumpkins to use: eight overhead trusses plus wash and hybrid fixtures on the floor, sides and downstage edge. “I was pleasantly surprised by how much they gave me to use, which meant I didn’t need to compensate by adding a lot of gear. So I was looking for a quick and efficient floor package, something we could quickly get on and off the stage.”

After looking at what the Smashing Pumpkins offered, the only position the designer felt he lacked lights was behind and around a large performance catwalk for dancers that sits behind the band and forms the rock & roll cabaret vibe of the show.

“To round out the design, I put together something that could punch through and give good backlight for effects and silhouetting,” he comments. “I knew I wanted to go all LED as it’s nice to not have to deal with lamp changes and Tom Gorman at Legacy had the Monets in inventory. I’ve worked with them before and remember being impressed. I needed big punchy backlight and the Monet was perfect for that plus they have all the large format feature options you need.”

Alex put together four 8ft sections of truss on wheels and topped each with three of the 45,000-lumen LED profile Monet fixtures with strobes below. Each truss section could easily be wheeled on and off the truck as is.

Alex describes the vibe of the show as Hollywood Boulevard at night mixed with sunset over the Pacific with a colour scheme of magenta orange, deadened reds and cyans. “It’s confined to a certain colour scheme and not just primary RGB colours,” he says. “The Monets have SpectraColor that have a great colour field and can create the exact colour needed. All of the colours match what I imagined they would look like in the field, super flat and even.” The Artiste Monet’s seven-flag SpectraColor colour mixing system is unique in that it combines CMY colour mixing with RGB flags and variable CTO to produce colour combinations that have traditionally been hard for LED luminaires to achieve.

Alex then needed to add mid-stage depth to the look and says he initially thought of a sled of strobes. “But I’ve used the DARTZ before and knew I could fit quite a few in a small space,” he said. “Tom had those in his inventory so that was just perfect.”

Just downstage of the drum riser, and permanently mounted to an 8ft wide cart sled ('skateboard'), was a line of eight DARTZ 360 units that also wheeled right on to the stage. “The skateboard with DARTZ breaks up the middle of the stage and gives some depth to the look so that it’s not an open space between downstage and the drum riser. It also adds something visually interesting behind lead singer Perry Farrell,” Alex states.

He adds that with a bit of programming nuance, the DARTZ have been able to work well with and stand up to the overhead rig of bright 1200W large format spots, high-output LED washes and other gear. “The narrow three-degree beam is really punchy. I’ve been very happy with how they are performing.”

Alex describes the show as “very moody and shadowy with angular and sometimes asymmetrical looks,” and says he takes his inspiration from bands like Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. “I strive to be patient with the looks,” he concludes. “There’s a lot of building up of looks with penultimate moments and then we bring it back in; it’s a design that breathes in and out.”

The tour wrapped up in style on 19 November with a show at the Hollywood Bowl.

Efficient, effective Elation gear on Janes Addiction ‘Spirits on Fire Tour’ Efficient, effective Elation gear on Janes Addiction ‘Spirits on Fire Tour’

14th December 2022

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