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Nate Haber Adds Festive Touch to a Lorna Shore Christmas with Chauvet Professional
USA – “My client wanted this to have the look and feel of a quintessential Christmas show.” Every lighting designer can relate to that this time of year. But in Nate Haber’s case, the request was made with a bit of a different twist. Instead of being asked to support standard holiday tunes, his design had to reflect the raw, merciless power of death metal music in a Yuletide setting.
Haber accomplished this balancing act in stunning fashion at the Wellmont Theatre on 18 December for monster metal band Lorna Shore’s a one-hour and 15 minute “To The Hell Fire Christmas Show,” featuring songs from group’s albums, including the hit “And I Return To Nothingness.”
Powering his way through the explosive set on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ70, Haber kept pace with his client’s music note for pounding note, serving up a variety of potent looks with rapid-fire floor-to-ceiling chases, blinding light bursts and other specials, all while preserving an instantly recognisable Christmas flavour complete with brightly lit 12-foot high holiday evergreens on either side of the stage.
Helping him accomplish this feat was a Squeek Lights supplied rig that featured Maverick Force S Spot, Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWash and Nexus 4x1 fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
“Lorna Shore wanted to set the mood of a Christmas show, but with death metal music,” said Haber. ‘Given that directive, I wanted to accentuate all the Christmas lights decorating the set. We hung Christmas stringer lights in the trees, around the amps and risers, even across the drum kit. We did this in a theatre with over 2,500 people, not outside at night. I was trying to capture a little bit of that familiar feeling of being outside in the cold when you look at houses decorated for the holidays.”
Contributing to this mood were the snowflake effects Haber created from his rig’s four snowmaking machines. “When we were brain storming, I just mentioned the snowflake effects off hand towards the end of our discussion,” he said. “Adam [lead guitarist Adam De Micco] came up with the idea of using the snow making machines.
“We also relied on video content to contributed to the holiday mood,” Haber continued. “Even with our time constraints for this show, we still wanted to automate a lot of the video. It’s always important that all production elements are cohesive. There are parts of the show when the wall needs to black out, or strobe, or change colour, and I’m really happy we were able to achieve all of that with the MQ70 and Resolume Arena. Visual Labs released a really cool Christmas video loop pack on Resolume’s website and 90 percent of the media for the show is from that pack.”
While he was evoking holiday moods with images, Haber was also supporting them with lights, relying on red and green colour schemes and crossing beam patterns. Most importantly, however, through the dynamic movements, backlighting, and contrasting levels of brightness and darkness Haber created, he was able to capture the essence of Lorna Shore’s music and stage persona.
A key part of Haber’s rig were the six Maverick Force S Spot fixtures that he used as truss toppers. “They’re an excellent workhorse spot fixture,” he said. “Their gobo capabilities really helped us set a seasonal tone, while adding depth to the stage.”
The six Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWash units, which were positioned just below the Maverick fixtures on the truss, were instrumental in creating a holiday mood on stage as they revved up the intensity level. “This is the first time we’ve used the Outcast BeamWash, and I got to say they’re output is really bright,” said Haber. “There were times I thought I might run them at only 20 percent. Plus, the zoom was really out of this world, allowing me to change looks with the music.”
As for the Nexus units in his rig, Haber arranged them across the front of the drum riser, using them for chases and for immersive backlighting. At the start of the show, these and all the other fixtures in the rig created a transformative moment. It happened after the house lights dimmed and a recorded version of a standard holiday song played in the background as the artists appeared. Suddenly the stage glowed with deeply saturated light, followed by intense slashes of beams cutting across these colours as the band broke into intense Lorna Shore music. At that point, all 2,500 fans in the audience knew that this would be no ordinary Christmas show.
4th January 2023
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