Chauvet on song for for Spafford livestream
Friday, 8 January 2021
spaffordnye1New Year’s Eve in Phoenix
USA - The 1,500-seat Marque Theatre was virtually empty, save for a few widely separated family members on hand, when Spafford took to the stage for its 2021 New Year’s Eve livestream. Matt Collier, the jam band’s longtime LD, couldn’t help but contrast the scene to the one he remembered from the band’s last NYE show, when they played before a packed house at Great American Music Hall, more than 750 miles (and a whole world) away in San Francisco.
“What a difference a year makes,” said Collier. “There was less stress than there was last New Year’s Eve, because we played in a virtually empty hall, but I missed the energy of the crowd so much. Just as the band feeds off crowd, I also do as an LD. So, it was a bit of a bummer not to have them there this year.”
Setting his disappointment aside, Collier became completely immersed in the moment once his busked show kicked off. “It doesn’t matter where the concert takes place, or what the situation is,” he said. “It’s all about creating the best possible looks for the band - nothing else is as important.”
For Collier, achieving this goal for Spafford’s two NYE shows meant modifying the position of his lights in relation to the band, and changing his colour choices. As he explained: “You have to do things differently in a livestream show to give it depth so it doesn’t look flat.”
Collier added depth to his livestream stage by having his eight Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures moved as “high up as possible” on the house rig. He also had the band members move back about six feet from where they would normally stand on stage.
“Luckily, the stage at the Marquee is pretty deep,” he says. “Moving the guys back worked great to enhance the size of our space on camera, especially with the Maverick’s up high. I wanted my Mavericks in this position to create some added headroom, which really allowed me to better utilize the zooming capabilities and aerial gobo effects of these fixtures.
“The Mavericks are very bright and produce very vivid gobos that really come off nicely on camera,” continues Collier. “I was really happy with the big looks we created that took up a lot of the negative space in the air with a small slow circle movement and a slow gobo scroll while saying goodbye to this crumby year.”
A wide array of vivid colours from the 12 Rogue R1 Spot fixtures in Collier’s rig also contributed to the NYE livestream’s camera-friendly looks.
Given the free-flowing nature of his clients, Spafford busked the entire show. Busking this way, while also coordinating his show with different camera angles, was a challenge, but he credits his team members with making this process go smoothly.
“Big shoutout to my band, Spafford, my PM for the show, Brian Stubblefield, the video lead Richard Flores and the rest of the crew as well as the Marquee and their house crew for pulling this off,” he said. “After all this time it was good to be doing some lighting inside a venue again, so it was a happy New Year.”

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