GLP goes Against the Night, Across the Time
Friday, 21 February 2020
glpDJ Gesaffelstein - prince of darkness
USA - When French record producer and DJ Gesaffelstein launched his impressive stage set at Coachella last April it created a blueprint for the Against the Night, Across the Time US tour that was to follow towards the end of the year.
Positioned behind the artist was a 32ft high monolith covered entirely in Vantablack, a fragile material reported to deliver the world’s blackest black, erasing any visible features on a 3D surface and making objects very disorienting for the brain. The UK-designed material was being used for the first time in a live performance context.
Show producer, Matthias Leullier, from Live Nation France, worked alongside LD Pierre Claude to turn the concept into reality, the latter in turn dipping into his GLP toolbox. He requisitioned 54 x JDC1, hybrid strobes as the main fixtures (running them mostly in SPix Pro Mode4, using 62 DMX channels). Two lines of 12 JDC1 on the floor surrounded the artist, with a 24 JDC1 tower behind the Vantablack, and a further six hybrid strobes on a truss. Meanwhile on the floor were 12 GLP impression X4 Bar 20s run in full pixel mode.
Leullier explained, “The main idea behind Gesaffelstein’s set was to create a memorable experience with a super-black monolith able to challenge the audience’s depth and spatial perception. The artist appears to ‘float’ against the Vantablack monolith, a mesmerizing two-dimensional black void.
“During the performance, this also separates into two vertical halves exposing a high-resolution LED display combined with a complex light show including heavy strobes, the contrast of all the bright lights and the super dark material creating an extremely intense visual experience for spectators.” And it is GLP’s JDC1 which provides this heavy strobing for the EDM artist who is colloquially known as ‘the prince of darkness’.
“White light is mainly used for his live shows,” Pierre explains, “and this makes it possible to bring out the black; the silences make it a very theatrical spectacle and it pushes the limits of my creativity to work without colour and use the Vantablack as the centrepiece for this tour.”
After the success of Coachella, making the rig ‘tourable’ became the most challenging part of the project. It was conceived in four layers: two Vantablack Monolith sections 32ft high on Kinesys motion control and two LED screen sections also on Kinesys; the other sections comprised a 32ft high LED Warm white screen, a GLP JDC1 tower comprising 24 of the hybrid strobes, with a massive floor package and DJ booth on a rolling riser containing lighting.
For the tour a further mid-stage lighting truss was added in front of the Monolith, working with PRG Projects. In terms of scalability, they retained the same width to guarantee the set movements but with variable height (since it is divisible in 4ft sections).
Paying tribute to the artist’s manager, Manu Barron, producer Matthias Leullier, tour director Lara Scheidt, lighting assistant Vincent Leroy, and crew, Stephen Rose and Conner Ostrowski, Pierre Claude confirms that the conclusion of the tour certainly hasn’t marked the end of the road for this set design. Several headline spots at festivals in the US next summer have already been announced along with a single date in France next October at the AccorHotels Arena.
(Jim Evans)

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