Robe joins The Beacon Jams
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
robe-beacon-jamsJamming at The Beacon (photo: Jake Silco)
USA - The Beacon Jams were a successful eight-week ‘virtual residency’ presented by guitarist and singer-songwriter Trey Anastasio (AKA lead singer of Phish) and MSG Entertainment in New York City’s Beacon Theatre.
The shows were live-streamed free on Twitch at 8pm every Friday through October and November 2020.
The artist played with varied arrangements of his Trey Anastasio Band (TAB), adding and changing line-ups and special guests each week, offering a dynamic mix of live music and interactive entertainment. With up to 12 musicians onstage and the challenge of playing live with no audience in such a famous venue, production and lighting designer Marc Janowitz from E26 Design thought out of the box.
His mission was to adapt and redirect the visual drama and ambience that usually accompany a 3,000 strong live audience as well as light all the performers slickly and efficiently for TV, a task achieved with style, panache and the help of almost 200 Robe moving lights and LED fixtures.
Once The Beacon Jams concept was established, Marc – who has designed Trey Anastasio’s live, solo, and acoustic projects for nine years – and camera director Trey Kerr landed on the idea of flipping the room with Trey standing in his usual front / lead position, but with his back to the auditorium and the band fanning out around him. The onstage area then became a backstage / studio workspace.
Various ground support structures were built, stands were adapted, and some custom solutions created.
“We crafted a bespoke space rather than performing in an empty room,” explained Marc. “We didn’t want it to be a concert, the idea was always that these performances were specifically developed for the viewing audience at home.”
Ninety Robe OnePATTs – a single RGBW LED light source housed in a brushed metal frame –were scattered around the stalls and balcony seating.
Spikies accentuated the contours of the auditorium in the wide shots, with 18 along the top of the balcony and 15 in the loge immediately below. These produced an elegant and powerful curtain of light beams from all angles.
The main practical back lighting was from a row of 12 x BMFL Spots, picked for their “very bright, tight, sharp and crisp” output, which were positioned at the rear of the upper balcony, rigged on goalposts.
To complete the picture with a low horizon line of lights 24 of Robe’s new Tetra2 moving LED battens were utilised.
Twelve Robe T1 Profiles were among the main overhead key / specials light sources, together with an assortment of other luminaires including profile moving lights, a selection of LED soft lights, fresnels, blinders, etc., all rigged – more traditionally – on the house fly bar system, on C-stands and on the floor.
Marc and his assistant Patrick Hayes programmed on two Hog 4 Full Boar consoles. During the streams, Patrick looked after the architectural details while Marc ran everything pointed directly at the performers and cameras.
Lighting was delivered by two vendors, Pulse Lighting in Nashville who supplied most of the Robe kit and World Stage from New Jersey who supplied the Robe T1 Profiles, plus most of the other television lighting fixtures and all the cable infrastructure, power distribution and structural hardware.
“Both companies were instrumental to the success of the project, offering great service and dedication,” commented Marc.
All proceeds from The Beacon Jams donations will benefit Phish’s long-running, non-profit organisation the WaterWheel Foundation, and its new Divided Sky Fund (DSF) whose initial goal is to build a quality care addiction treatment centre in Vermont.

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