Singing in the Brisbane rain with Robe
Friday, 20 March 2020
Cold Chisel’s 2020 tour wrapped in the rain at Sirromet Winery (photo: Louise stickland)
Australia - In February, it rained relentlessly for the final gig of Australian pub-rock band Cold Chisel’s 2020 tour at Sirromet Winery just outside Brisbane in Queensland. This welcomed meteorological miracle capped an emotional evening and helped to finally extinguish most of the remaining fires raging from Australia’s disastrous 2019/20 bushfires, leaving the land a scorched reminder to the need for urgent climate change action.
The tour’s lighting was designed by Cold Chisel’s long term LD Jeff Pavey who put Robe moving lights at the centre of the ‘big rock look’ he crafted for one of Australia’s best-loved bands whose prolific career has spanned five decades.
Defining the look onstage were 40 Robe MegaPointes and 11 x BMFL Blades supplied by Gold Coast rental company Creative Productions, together with LED wash lights, weatherised beam lights, 2-lite LED blinders and 4-lite tungsten blinders.
Pavey has been involved with lighting frontman Jimmy Barnes’ solo performances and various creative projects including Cold Chisel for around 30 years, and he’s every bit as passionate about ‘the show’ now as he was at the start.
All 25 shows on the tour this year were outdoors, with the standard rig designed to fit into a 22m-wide, 16m-deep deep Clifton Productions’ stage with around 15mof headroom. Four straight trusses in the roof were flown at slightly different heights complemented by eight side trusses - four per side - that gave excellent cross stage lighting positions and coverage for solos.
“Most of the things I do are pretty straightforward,” states Pavey with reference to his minimal no-nonsense style.
A large LED screen dominated the upstage area - also supplied by Creative Productions - and this was one of the reasons that Pavey chose MegaPointes for their main effects fixtures - for their power, punch and ability to slice through the LED, plus the near-infinite variety of looks that can be created.
Six of the BMFL WashBeams were on the front truss and linked into two remote follow spot control systems, with three on the upstage truss linked into a third remote spotting system. The other two fixtures were on the mid truss and concentrated on key-lighting the drum and keyboard riser positions.
The MegaPointes were distributed on all overhead and side trusses and they were the heart of the rig, helping to create all those epic rock looks.
Cold Chisel shows have not always featured video prominently, but used judiciously and intelligently on this tour, it helped ensure the focus remained on the band and the music at all times, with a healthy visual harmony and rhythm between it and the lighting.
Custom playback content was created by Rachael Johnson and Dave Hendy. Pavey programmed and operated the lights using his Hog 4 console and was joined on the road by a Creative Productions crew of Jeremy Dehn, John Penridge and Declan Woods.
(Jim Evans)

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