The Elovaters played the House of Blues Boston (photo: Erik Fralick)
USA - Lighting designer Vin Pugliese recently lit a headliner hometown show for The Elovaters at the House of Blues Boston. Using a mixture of cue-to-cue programming and busking, Pugliese unfurled ‘an endless stream of evocative looks’ during the 90-minute show, each reflecting the reggae band’s music in a distinctive way.
Helping him do this was a collection of over 60 Chauvet Professional fixtures from the venue’s house rig, and the extensive ground package from his own company VFX Design Studio that he brought to the show.
“I brought my own ground support package to fill out the bottom half of the stage since the House of Blues Boston has a high trim height,” explained Pugliese. “Using a mixture of beams, spots, hybrids, washes, LED pars, LED battens, strobes, LED blinders, and other fixtures, I had the tools at my disposal to create a dynamic show where every song had a its own feel.”
Among these looks was a more literal one for the band’s hit song Wind On My Back, which Pugliese supported by creating a simple CTO lavender/cyan colour palette that fanned out over the stage as it was accented by the effects from a bubble machine.
“To me, it really set the tone for the song, which is warm and inviting,” he said. “The CTO side and back lighting expressed the lyrics “sun on my shoulder,” while the Lavender and Cyan wash reflected a vibrant yet calm sky. After a long year on the road for the band, they came home to a jam-packed hometown show, their biggest headlining show to date, and it was a beautiful communal moment where everyone sang along in unison.”
For other songs, Pugliese create more abstract, less literal imagery often with the help of various gobo patters. He used cones for aerial looks along with crowd facing movements, which, when they hit just right, made fans in the audience feel like they were in a tunnel or vortex. There were also breakout gobs that were used to mimic stars, and rainbow glass gobos that were called upon to create psychedelic effects.
Throughout the show, Pugliese tried to involve the entire venue in his immersive looks. “With the house rig at Boston House of Blues being mainly silver truss and Chauvet fixtures, I was able to create several looks accentuating the geometry and shadows of the truss overhanging the crowd,” he said. “It gave the room an interesting glow, without necessarily blinding everyone. I also owe a big thanks to Cody Kite, the FOH engineer and production manager for the band, as well as Reid Foster and everyone at Ineffable Music Group for helping me create this environment.”
The show rig, including the HOB’s house fixtures and Pugliese’s own units featured 30 Rogue R2X Washes, eight Maverick MK1 Spots, six Rogue RH1 Hybrids 10 Rogue R2 Spots and eight COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 fixtures.
Those fixtures in the house rig were positioned above the crowd, and above the band downstage to upstage, as well as on both sides of the stage. Most of the units in the floor package were arranged on six 2m black truss towers, each of which was pre-rigged to cut down on set up time.
“These towers did the brunt of the eye candy work as far as the ground package was concerned,” said Pugliese, adding that they gave him “a Swiss army knife” of a design tool”.

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