Republic play Budapest Congress Centre
Hungary - The worst band in Hungary! The popular quintet, Republic, has, on occasion, introduce themselves as such, tongue planted firmly in cheek. Anyone familiar with this group knows that this sort of self-deprecating humour, is in keeping with the freewheeling, let’s-not-take-things-(or ourselves)-too seriously attitude that has marked their career.
After 32 years and 30 top-selling albums, Republic remains as bold, adventurous, and irreverent as a newly formed garage band. As their lighting designer, András Praksch, knows the importance of keeping intense, contemporary looks front-and-centre in his shows supporting the band’s blend of traditional Hungarian folk music infused with new electro-rock sounds.
“Republic is legendary, and they’ve been around for over three decades, but they are definitely not ’old school,” he said. “Their sound is always evolving, and so are the looks we create for them. We use LED walls with a lot of break out patterns and pyro for their shows, except when indoors. Instead of going with traditional cues, we try to create a WOW feeling that connects to younger fans.”
The forward-looking attitude was very much in evidence recently when Praksch lit Boros:60, a nationally televised concert at the Budapest Congress Centre to celebrate the 60th birthday of the band’s Csaba Boros. Helping him give the show, which featured the band backed by a 20-piece orchestra, dynamic looks was a collection of 58 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by G-Sound Limited.
Praksch positioned his 18 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures on three movable overhead truss structures, and used them for a variety of purposes, including back and side lighting, animated cross patterns, audience washing, and aerial effects. “The MK2 is a surprisingly punchy fixture in spite of its size,” he said. “I also loved the zoom range and a very smooth dimmer fade.”
Joining the Maverick fixtures on the three overhead bars were 32 COLORado Par H12 IP units. An additional eight of the RGBWAUV LED washes were used for up-lighting the stage curtain. “My main goal was to colour the stage, and work with the video content to create a unique mood for every song,” said Praksch. “With the 32 PARs I could make some nice dimmer chases and pixel mapping effects. Every song had its own video content, so I always followed the colours. We created a variety of looks. Some songs have theatrical scenes with blackouts or just silhouette lights. The orchestra didn’t play in every song, so in those cases, I could use the washes as backlights or downlights, depending.”
Following this design vision, Praksch was able to reflect a rich variety of moods during the three-hour concert/celebration. Some of his looks were fast-moving, others were more reflective, as was the case with the peaceful transcendent lighting mood for the band’s hit Erdő közepében (In the Middle of the Forest) with its tranquil blend of blues and whites.
In all songs, however, regardless of their tempo or mood, Praksch’s looks were crisp and contemporary.

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