Have you seen the new tour that The Who is doing around the world? They are just as excellent as ever, never stopping, never quitting, and now they are rocking a huge rig that includes 50 of CHAUVET Professional’s NEXUS 4×4 pixel mapping LED wash panelson the US legs of the tour!
Tebo Thibault of Life is Art Studios recently created a beautiful rig of CHAUVET Professional ROGUE and COLORado fixtures provided by the Alpha Production Group for an amazing Special Olympics After-Party bash at North Carolina State University. Take a peek at some awesome shots!
RALEIGH, NC – Aside from being one of the premier public university research centers in the United States, North Carolina State University has also led the way in another important area as one of the foremost supporters of the Special Olympics. Every year, the school holds a 5K marathon and other events supporting this worthy cause. The 2015 festivities culminated with a jam-packed “Run Dance Glow” after party at the school’s sprawling 1314-acre Centennial Campus.
Putting together a versatile light show for this popular event, which had a relatively small stage despite the large crowd, required a versatile rig that could perform multiple functions. Lighting designer Daniel “Tebo” Thibault of Life Is Art Studios was able to create just such a rig using a collection of CHAUVET Professional Rogue and COLORado fixtures provided by Alpha Production Group.
“We wanted to create a concert and club atmosphere for the kids on campus while still staying within the physical limits of our stage and the realities of our budget,” said Thibault. “This meant that we needed fixtures that were not only punchy and powerful, but also versatile enough to do a lot of different things.”
Thibault got this versatile performance from COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tour fixtures, which he positioned downstage on his rig and on his FOH truss. “I used the COLORados in a bunch of ways, which greatly expanded my creative options when matching the lights to the music,” he said. “I used them as my front wash and in my scenic wash. They also worked very well for me as audience blinders when I flipped them out from my front of house truss. The zoom feature, as well as the great whites the fixtures produced, made it easy for me to call on the COLORados to do a variety of jobs.”
The Rogue R2 Wash fixtures in Thibault’s rig were used to fill out movements and create extra dimensional looks, which served to lend a concert tour feeling to his fund-raising event rig. “I like to start a look with my beam fixtures and then use the Rogues to really fill out the stage,” he said “This brings a level of texture that people don’t expect from an outdoor event rig. The zoom feature of the Rogues influences how I design with them. They give me the ability to fill out my stage as a wide wash and then cut down into a tight beam. That makes every stage look bigger — and it makes fixtures like the Rogue an indispensable part of the rigs we build.”
Controlling his rig with a grandMA2 console, Thibault created a variety of scenes for the wide mix of DJs who performed on the Run Dance Glow stage. “I was very pleased with the scope of the show that we were able to create,” he said. “The kids at NC State are not used to seeing anything on their campus quite like what we did for this event. We brought what they see in club shows and at concerts and gave it to them right there in their own backyard.”
Chris Brown and his world tour show recently reached out to Bryan Hartley of Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame to create an amazing, powerful, and stunning show for the world. Bryan reached out to Sean Crawley, Head of Lighting for Sound Stylists in Midrand, South Africa to add Legend 230 Beams to the rig. Check this out!
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – The world tour supporting Grammy-winner Chris Brown’s latest album X features a power-packed lightshow designed by LD Bryan Hartley, who is widely known for his work with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As sometimes happens with international tours, however, rigs have to be pared down when the show travels from country to country.
This was the case, recently when the Chris Brown tour made two stops in four days in South Africa. The lightshow nevertheless was able to deliver the bold, powerful statement that Brown’s critically acclaimed album deserved, thanks in part to a powerful performance from Legend 230SR Beams from CHAUVET Professional.
“The original design had 174 fixtures, but the number of fixtures was reduced slightly due to venue structural weight limitations and availability of outdoor stage structure for the tour,” said Sean Crawley, Head of Lighting for Sound Stylists (Midrand, South Africa). “We also substituted Legend 230SR Beams for other fixtures on the rig. The lighting designer, Bryan Hartley, was receptive to our adding the Legends.”
Despite its compact size, the Legend 230SR has a powerful output (96,000 lux at 15 meters) that makes it capable of delivering the kind of eye-tingling punch suitable for a performance by Brown. The South African X tour featured 30 of the Legend fixtures provided by Audiosure, which like Sound Stylists is also located in Midrand.
The South African rig had 12 of the Legend 230SR Beams on the floor downstage — six on either side — and 18 of the fixtures on trussing over the stage. Preprogrammed and controlled with a Hog 4 console, the Legend 230SR Beam units created an array of high impact beam looks. “It was bold statement lighting,” said Crawley. “We had pillars of light going straight up. We had crisscrossing beams, and we had this unique look where the beams converged and then opened up like a flower. As I said, the looks made a very powerful statement.”
The 18 Legends on the overhead truss were used for audience lighting. “We drove those beams into the crowd to engage the audience,” said Crawley. “The brightness, the color, the sharpness of the beam all worked well to connect to people.”
Grouped with a robust collection of other beams, washes and followspots, the Legend 230SR Beams created a “world class concert look” for the Chris Brown South Africa tour, which took place at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg and the Moses Mabhida People’s Park in Durban. Although it may have been trimmed somewhat from its original design, the South African rig was still substantial, with close to 150 fixtures included. This created special demands for Crawley when setting up and tearing down the rig.
“Time was the big challenge with this project,” he said. “We had 18 hours of set up time in Johannesburg on Thursday, and then we had to take down the rig and get to Durban, where we had 12 hours of set up time on Friday. It was non-stop work, excitement and a lot of lighting power for four days — and we enjoyed it a great deal!”
Motionless in White was looking for a hardcore lighting edge to accentuate their shows even further than their Horror Rock monikers have pushed them. Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions reached into the Legend case to create a bold, dark, and moody atmosphere for the rockers. Check it out!
WORCESTER, MA– (For Immediate Release) – A Motionless in White concert is not for anyone expecting a predictable metalcore experience. Sometimes described as “horror metal,” the iconic group never fails to surprise and unsettle audiences by pulling unexpected tricks out of its musical bag, whether it’s a shattering blast beat that bursts out of nowhere in the middle of a verse or a haunting keyboard effect that leaves audiences looking over their shoulders. The band’s headline performance at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival was no exception, arousing the crowd with its unexpected twists and turns.
Keeping pace with the music was an intense and sometimes darkly theatrical lightshow by lighting designer Freddy Thompson of JDI Productions that featured a collection of Legend moving fixtures and Vesuvio RGBA foggers from CHAUVET Professional. Thompson used six Legend 230SR Beams and eight Legend 412 moving washes positioned on truss towers, as well as two Vesuvio RGBA foggers on a rig that also included blinders, strobes and hazers to capture the penetrating mood of Motionless in White’s music in light.
“I was going for was a darker theatrical look which I felt would complement the band’s persona,” said the LD. “I used very, very minimal lighting from the house rig at the Palladium, which helped the Legend’s beams stand out even more. By layering the stage with the rich colors of the Legend 412 wash fixtures, I could capture the moment during every song on the band’s set list (which began with Death March and ended with Devil’s Night).”
Thompson was careful to coordinate the colors of the two Legend fixtures in his rig. “At critical points we wanted to bathe the stage in color,” he said. “At those points, I would use brighter colors in the beam fixtures to ensure that they cut through the rich color wash of the Legend 412 units.
“The Vesuvios were critical to creating the theatrical atmosphere on stage,” continued the LD. “We used them to send up colorful columns of fog (the Vesuvio RGBA shoots light through fog). Aside from adding extra drama to the stage, the fog also worked well to highlight gobos, rotating prisms and fast random strobes.”
Thompson positioned the Vesuvio foggers on the downstage center edge, leaving enough room for an ego riser to be placed in between the units. “We arranged the Vesuvios this way so the artist could stand between the units while they shot colorful fog upwards,” said the LD. “It was all very dramatic.”
The Legend fixtures were arranged on four 8’ and two 5’ truss towers. Thompson spaced the taller towers evenly between the drum riser and guitar cabinets. He positioned the shorter towers stage left and stage right. Each tower had a Legend 230SR Beam on top. The taller center truss towers had two Legend 412 fixtures, while the smaller side towers had only one 412 unit.
“Having the beams mounted on top of the towers helped create a great position for these fixtures to be focused almost anywhere desired, whether it was on the audience or a point on stage,” said Thompson. “The 412s were mounted on the face of the truss towers to help create an eye candy effect for the set. I knew these Chauvet fixtures would be a good choice for this design because the units have proven their road worthiness time and time again. With such a short time frame loading in at the beginning of a three-day music festival, I needed fixtures I could trust would get the job done with no issues.
“A big challenge with a project at the end of a three-day festival is that there isn’t a lot of onsite programming time available,” continued the LD. “Thanks to Josh Korel, the band’s production manager sending me a complete set list, I was able to complete most of my programming in our visual studio at JDI Productions using Light Converse. By the time the rig was set up at the beginning of the festival’s third day, I had just enough time to update my position, focus my gobos and start the show.”
Start the show is exactly what Thompson did and with flying colors, not to mention a fistful of dramatic effects. The end result was a lightshow that was as intense, original, evocative and multi-layered as the music of one of the metal genre’s most complex bands.
Up and coming LD Matt Collier from Arizona-based jam band Brothers Gow is in the blog today, talking about light, inspiration, and rock and roll with our Customer Engagement and Education Manager, Jim Hutchison. Check it out!
Jim: Tell me about Matt Collier the lighting designer. How’d you get started with Brothers Gow, and how has the journey taken you?
Matt Collier: Well, Brothers Gow was founded in 2007 in Flagstaff, AZ and I started out helping them on shows more for the free drink tab than anything else haha. But honestly, they started the band in September of that year right after the college school year started. In the beginning I just took pictures and helped load in and out. After we got to the point of having too many sound channels to run from stage, I learned the basics of sound, which spurred my interest in working in live music production.
Thats right about when I saw Phish live for the first time and Chris Kuroda’s show blew me away. I’ll never forget my first show at the Gorge in ’09, and after that I’ve been all about lighting. The feeling that I got when a deep blue would wash over me when they went into a slow section or the beautiful scenes he created that seemed to match the music and intensity of the show perfectly. Those feelings were really my inspiration to be a Lighting Designer. I wanted to be the one to bridge that gap between performer and audience member and put my artistic spin on how I hear music.
Lighting has become my life and I love it. Being able to run lights for my band Brothers Gow every show still is just as fun as it was in 2009. In addition to BG, I’ve also got to run lights for some of my favorite acts, like Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Galactic, Particle, Greyboy All-Stars and Nahko and Medicine for the People. Lighting just suits me I think because I’m very much a hard working, logical based guy (which is good for troubleshooting and rigging/staging) but I also have a creative mind from my photography background. All in all, the journey has been great so far.
What has pushed you to develop new looks while lighting Brothers Gow? Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?
Being creative in this business is critical to push yourself to become a better LD. In my opinion, finding new looks is important especially when working a lot of shows like I do with Brothers Gow. Switching it up and keeping your design fresh also allows you to see your rig from a different perspective and discover cool new ideas. I watch a lot of lighting videos from many different artists and genre’s, but my influences are Chris Kuroda, Saxton Waller, Luke Stratton and Jefferson Waful. All of those guys run lights for bands that are similar to Brothers Gow so seeing how they interact with the changes in the music inspire some looks or chases I use. Lots of tempo changes, deep grooves and intense climactic moments so being quick on the music changes is crucial.
I like to pull design ideas from all over the place but mostly its cool architecture or art. Im very big on symmetry as are most designers but I just like how it looks when you have everything set perfectly and all the scenes move together fluidly. Its seems to be more organized than an asymmetrical look and I’m more of an organized person I guess. I’ve become a better designer trying to emulate the looks and programming that Phish and Umphrey’s [McGee] have for their live shows. Not trying to copy or steal what they do, but rather teach myself how to create looks like the professionals and run a show like a professional. They must be doing something right if they’re in that FOH position.
What control surface do you use? When you started out with the band, what was your controller then?
I currently use the Martin M-PC for my controller. I love it and don’t plan on switching anytime soon. I’m pretty inexperienced in running anything other than M-PC so I can’t gauge how much I like other control platforms. Martin M-PC does everything I need as of right now and I’m planning on going up to LA on our time off this summer to take a course and further my programming knowledge. Originally, we started with 6 scanners and a Chauvet Obey-50 DMX512 controller so we have come a long way since then but I’ve stuck with our Chauvet roots cause they continue to evolve and push the limits, just like my lighting and the band.
Can you tell me a bit about how the energy of the crowd impacts your show, be it positively or negatively? What’s the crowd vibe do for you as an LD?
Being the LD in a packed room is unlike anything I can describe, and definitely takes the show to another level. The trick is still having that same energy when the show isnt very busy. Putting forth the effort to still run a good show is important even if there isnt a full house because the bands feeds off your energy and lighting and the people in the house still deserve the best show possible for coming out to see the show. If the show isnt too busy I like to try out new FX and color schemes too… but NOTHING compares to a hot sweaty packed house of dancing fools!!
What’s the next technological tool you want to incorporate into the Brothers Gow lighting rig?
Martin just recently release a touch console called the M-Touch that is very affordable at under $1000 dollars. Right now I run my show with a mouse and external monitor so it would be nice to upgrade to a small console but in all reality, Im sure I will be buying more Chauvet Rogue R1’s next. Just ran my first couple shows with them and am very, very stoked on how well they perform.
Check out this second set video from Brothers Gow’s set at the Orpheum Theatre in Flagstaff, AZ:
For more on Matt Collier and Brothers Gow, check out:
PHOENIX – Scottsdale is some 260 miles from Las Vegas, but for four nights in early February, visitors to this Phoenix suburb could have thought they were on the Vegas Strip; at least if they were among the 8,000 fans who turned out for The Coors Light Birds Nest. A four day festival held in conjunction with the Waste Management Open, Birds Nest is one of the most eagerly anticipated 19th hole events on the PGA tour. This year’s edition didn’t disappoint, bringing in acts like Kid Rock, Capital Cities, Darius Rucker and Afrojack who performed in a 50,000 square foot tent shipped in from Germany that resembled a hot new Vegas club thanks in part to a dynamic lighting design from Creative Backstage using gear provided by Valley Production Services.
Creative Backstage set off the event’s DJ stage with a unique cross- hatched “birds nest” design made with pixel mapped EPIX 2.0 series fixtures from CHAUVET Professional. The one meter RGB LED linear fixtures flanked either side of the DJ stage and were pixel mapped to tie into other lights as well as a center stage video wall in front of and behind the DJ booth. Having pixel mapped images run through fixtures and video panels in the center and on the sides of the stage created a unified flowing look that extended the visual impact of the lightshow.
“The stage really made a powerful statement with the pixel mapping,” said Chris Brodman of Creative Backstage, who was the L1 programmer and operator at the event. “We created some tremendous looks. Jim Meredith from Valley Production Services, who was the L2 for show made a lot of great contributions. We were all really happy with the end result.”
Brodman says that the Birds Nest rig included 30 EPIX 2.0 Bars and 16 EPIX 2.0 strips. The EPIX units were run the throughout the entire four day program, which featured performances by Afrojack, Ronnie G and Aaron Taylor. “The bars and strips performed flawlessly throughout the show,” he said. “We drove content to the EPIX gear using the Avolites Titan pixel mapper on the Tiger Touch. The wiring of the EPIX gear was done one to one full control of each fixture over ArtNet. We used nine of the EPIX drive 642 node PSU’s; eight ran the 30 bars and the 16 strips ran off the ninth.”
Graphical patterns, such moving bars, dots, swirls and spirals were pixel mapped on the EPIX 2.0 bars and strips. Brodman used the layers within the pixel mapper to create varied colors and layered effects on the EPIX units. This added an extra level of depth to the temporary DJ stage, engendering great audience engagement inside the Birds Nest tent.
“We varied the pixel mapping to keep it interesting,” said Brodman. “Overall we used the EPIX products to give a sticks and nest feel to the stage design in keeping with the name of the event. The impact of the EPIX units was amazing! We utilized their shape to create an overlapping design as if it were sticks being used to build a bird’s nest. The intense output, vivid colors, pixel mapping and shape of the EPIX all worked in our favor, allowing us to create a design that reflected the theme of the show and captivated the audience at the same time.”
BROOKLYN – The “Secret Warehouse” on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is really not that secret. In fact it’s one of the epicenters of the borough’s bustling nightlife. Surrounded by chic sushi restaurants and tapas bars, it hosts concerts by some of the hottest names in EDM. It’s not surprising that sick beat masters Dada Life and special guest Grammy winner Paul van Dyk kicked off the start of their Compound Tour with a concert at this evocative urban venue.
Holding an EDM concert at an abandoned warehouse in the borough that brought us Jay-Z has undeniable street cachet. However, it can also present power draw issues when trying to create a high impact lightshow. Kevin Mignone of KM Productions met this challenge at the Dada Life concert, which was produced by RPM Presents, with some help from Next NXT-1 moving LED panels and Legend 330SR Spot moving fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
“The warehouse is a very cool venue for an EDM concert, but no doubt there were challenges,” said Mignone. “We had only 400 amps for the entire show. This made it necessary to utilize as many low-power but high-output fixtures as we could. The NXT-1 provided an excellent wash across the entire space. We used them for eye candy effects above the crowd, utilizing the preset macros. Being LED, they were very energy friendly, so they gave us great visuals without sucking up a lot of power.”
Mignone used six Next NXT-1 panels and 12 Legend 330SR moving spots in his Secret Warehouse rig. The fixtures were hung on overhead truss in groups of six – two LED panels and four moving heads. Together they provided a sweeping, intense and colorful effect over the crowd of 3,000 EDM fans, despite the historic venue’s low ceilings.
“This building is very typical of your old-style New York area warehouse, so it wasn’t set up to be a concert center,” said Mignone, who constructed a 16’ by 24’ temporary stage for the Dada Life and Paul Van Dyk concert. “There are a lot of old architectural elements here like large support beams located throughout the entire area, low ceilings and different nooks and crannies.”
With a zoom range of 5°-24° and a powerful output from its OSRAM Sirius lamp, the Legend 330SR Spot was ideally equipped to handle the sometimes challenging angles Mignone had to navigate at the warehouse. The rapid movements and abundant output of the Legend fixture allowed Mignone to create aerial effects over the crowd without consuming an inordinate amount of power.
“We got a lot of bang for the power drawn from the Legend 330s,” said Mignone. “The 330s provided a nice textured effect through the fog and haze in the venue. We used them throughout the area and we had intense light all over the place. As far as the crowd was concerned, the lighting made them feel like they were at a modern concert venue even as they enjoyed the ambience of this historic warehouse. RPM Presents put on an excellent event and I was happy the lighting contributed.”