USA - The stars truly unite for Dead & Company, the celebrated group featuring original Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir alongside singer/guitarist John Mayer, Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge and Fare Thee Well and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
Reflecting the stature and profile of the band, the first gigs of their recent tour were two sold out nights at Madison Square Garden for which LD Chris Ragan of Raygun Design created a fresh and spectacular lighting scheme utilizing 24 of Robe’s new MegaPointes, 36 x Spiiders, 37 BMFL Spots and six BMFL Blades, all of which are at the core of the rig.
The tour followed a series of summer stadium shows where Chris’s rig included 70 x Spiiders and 60 x BMFL WashBeams, also supplied by Upstaging, the lighting vendor for the tour.
The tour trussing configuration comprised a straightforward 48ft downstage truss, with six overhead trusses mid-stage and a 14ft. diameter circular upstage truss. The moving lights are distributed across all of the trusses.
Twelve of the MegaPointes were rigged around the circular shape and framed the stage geometrically. The downstage truss has 12 x Spiiders for general stage washes and the six BMFL Blades for key lighting.
The circular truss was flanked by two 16 x 9 ft LED walls and at the bottom of these are six MegaPointes with six more upstage on the deck.
Chris programmed and operated the Dead & Company show on a grandMA2 console, assisted in the programming process by Jim Rood.
UK - Adlib supplied lighting, audio production and crew for the highly festive Christmas with the Overtones tour, renewing a long term working relationship with the popular five-piece harmony group.
This was among the highlights of a number of shows and tours wrapping up a busy year for the Liverpool based rental and production specialist.
Adlib’s audio team was led by Mario Leal who was tasked with getting the Coda PA fine-tuned and sounding crisp each day for the band’s FOH sound engineer Mark Clements. Paul Allen was the tour and production manager steering the ship.
The PA was specified by Mark and monitor engineer Cristiano Vuolo, explained Mario, and he, together with account handler Dave Jones, all worked together to ensure everything was co-ordinated smoothly and efficiently.
A typical set up was 12 x ViRAY left-and-right with three sensor-controlled SCP subs a side on the floor (six in total), together with six TiRAY front fills, which as the smaller version of the Coda line array worked perfectly to fill any sonic gaps!
Mario also covered the balconies with extra Coda C712 loudspeakers in some of the bigger halls, and this approach was especially useful when audiences were sitting behind the PA when the balconies curved all the way round to the sides of stage.
The whole system was driven by 20 of Coda’s proprietary Linus 10 amps, which, were set up and aligned utilising LINUS Live software which gives full networked control over the amps and the arrays, with the EQ and zoning taken care of in Mario’s Lake c
Croatia - Croatian pop singer Petar Grašo completed a trio of sold out high-profile arena shows - at the Spaladium Arena in Split, the Roman Arena in Pula and finishing up at Zagreb Arena - with lighting, video and scenography designed by Sven Kučinić.
Sven uses Robe as his go-to moving lights whenever possible, for which 24 x BMFL Spots, 24 x LEDWash 600+s and 24 x MMX WashBeams were supplied for two of these three shows - in Spilt and Zagreb - together with sound video, trussing and staging, by ELDRA.
The production supplier for the second show was the IVAS Group, and the Robe kit included 20 x Pointes, 28 x LEDWash 600s, 16 x BMFL Spots and 20 x CYCFX 8s.
Sven, one of the top Croatian LDs working with a raft of music clients both regionally and internationally has collaborated with Petar Grašo for the last two years. He was given complete creative freedom in coming up with a lighting concept for these gigs.
Grašo himself proposed the video concept and the content was created by Dragan Đokić and operated live by VJ Olgierd Kamienski, with Sven supervising for the overall colour schemes and aesthetics.
The Zagreb show was also recorded for a DVD, so lighting needed to be balanced and lit for this as well as calculated to give the live audience all the dynamics and spectacle they were expecting.
BMFL Spots were the primary hard-edged fixtures and work-horses of the show, positioned on four arrow-shaped trusses in ‘power groups’.
The LEDWash 600s were rigged alongside the BMFLs as rear lighting and also were ideal
Belgium - Entertainment engineering specialists WIcreations supplied flying - both people and objects – and stage automation equipment, expertise and crew to the recent Marmalade production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, staged in Halls 7 and 8 of the Ghent Expo in Belgium, which ran from 17 December until 7 January.
Directed by Frank van Laecke, this eye-catching original production with a detailed and intricate set design by Stefan Haudenhuyse was based on the 1989 animated musical fantasy film from Walt Disney Features, in turn inspired by the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1837.
Hans Willems project-managed for WIcreations, who were asked to design and co-ordinate flying systems and stage automation having provided similar services for Marmalade’s 2016 production of another Disney musical, Beauty and the Beast.
Says Hans, “It was great to be asked back by Marmalade for the second year and to work with technical manager Bart de Coensel and his team again. Marmalade is a client that fully understands the benefits of investing in the production to deliver the best possible live experiences to their audiences, and we were happy to offer our knowledge, reputation for safety and also contribute our own ideas on potential staging solutions.”
WI supplied all the equipment needed for the lifting and flying tasks from its rental stock, also making it cost-efficient and safe.
Centre stage, one of WI’s TP02 lifts was positioned below the stage and used to bring Ursula, the main antago
Philippines - Resorts World Manila (RWM) is the first and largest integrated resort in the Philippines. It is a one-stop, non-stop entertainment and leisure destination. Bar 360’s circular layout presents an audio production challenge, especially since Bar 360 is located right in the centre of the casino’s gaming floor generating its own dissonant sounds.
The purpose of the upgrade was to have a clear and dynamic sound all the way around the audience area that delivers a great live show to the customers at a level of 95-100 dB without fatiguing anyone’s hearing and not disturbing the casino operations.
Ernie De Leon, director of entertainment operations, RWM at Bar 360, comments: “We want our guests to experience the real live sounds of our bands. The challenge is we’re in the middle of a gaming floor, so we also need to consider our other guests outside the bar. Wayne Grosser managing director, Clair Brothers Australia, in conjunction with Systech Lighting Controls Incorporated, did a great job with the installation to make sure sounds from our stage are contained inside the bar area by levelling out volume and controlling sound distribution to prevent spill-over. This Clair Brothers system is exactly what we’ve been looking for. No other gear required.”
Bar 360’s FOH system is run in mono and consists of eight R2D-III bi-amp, 12-inch, two-way speakers with four CS18-II single, 18-inch subs positioned on the floor at the four column positions. A side marble area has two R2D-III bi-amp, 12-inch, two-way speakers that are time-aligne
Denmark - For the third year in a row, lighting designer Martin Holst was commissioned to illuminate Realdania’s beautiful building during Copenhagen’s Culture Night 2017. Realdania’s 50m tall building was hard to miss with a fiery red illumination created with various SGM fixtures.
“We used SGM’s LED tubes for the square in front of the building and the P-5 in the atrium behind the building to illuminate trees, bushes etc. But the fun and challenging one was definitely the huge facade on the tall building,” said Holst.
The annual Culture Night in Copenhagen attracts participation from more than 230 museums, theatres, libraries, churches, ministries, and parks.
“On this evening, there are so many activities all around Copenhagen. Therefore, we really had to make the building stand out; creating a spectacle that drew people's attention,” explained Holst, who lit Realdania in their logo-colour red.
Realdania is a philanthropic association established in year 2000 to provide financial support to projects initiated to improve quality of life and make a noticeable difference for the people in Denmark.
“What we really focused on, was finding the correct lenses to get an evenly lit up surface on this very tall building, with the same lumen at both the bottom and the top. As we had to place the fixtures extremely close to the building, we had to shoot vertical up the facade. SGM’s Q-7s and P-5s with different lenses enabled us to create an even illumination all the way up to the top of the building,” said Holst.
USA/UK - Hamilton is one of the most successful productions to hit Broadway since Phantom of the Opera. Blending American history with hip-hop and the magic of live theatre, the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning musical is now taking the Broadway smash hit across North America and overseas. Thanks to the powerful low-end sound reinforcement of PK Sound’s Gravity 30 subwoofers, featuring Powersoft's M-Force amplification technology, fans of the runaway hit will get to feel all the magic of the Broadway version of Hamilton.
Broadway sound designer and Tony Award nominee, Nevin Steinberg reports, "On a tour, agility and adaptability are paramount. Any show that is moving over just a couple of days and has to deliver a perfect opening night performance in a new venue every few weeks must be able to solve a wide array of challenges. For theatre shows anywhere, but especially on tour, subwoofer real estate is very limited, so having a compact and efficient low-frequency delivery system like the Gravity 30 with Powersoft M-Force technology is incredibly helpful.”
With portability considerations in mind, PK Sound worked to decrease the weight and dimensions of the Gravity 30 while maintaining powerful, transparent sound across the frequency spectrum. The finished subwoofer leverages superior cabinet design and the technology of Powersoft’s compact M-Force motor to achieve a remarkable output to size ratio. This made the Gravity 30 an easy choice for Steinberg, who chose to be the first to debut the tour-ready Gravity 30 subwoofers on the
UK - The Royal Albert Hall recently decided to invest in a range of Robert Juliat Cyrano 2500W HMI followspots and approached White Light to make the purchase.
The lighting design manager at the Royal Albert Hall is Richard Rhys Thomas. He comments: “My role covers a few broad areas, namely overseeing the running of the lighting department as well as delivering a high-quality lighting service to incoming as well as internally produced shows. I also have to oversee the upkeep and maintenance of the systems and installations, specifying new lighting equipment and improving the design of the lighting rig as needs change.”
It was Richard who decided that the previous rig required an upgrade of its existing followspots. He comments: “We wanted to replace our followspot provision with up-to-date and more efficient technology. Having used the Robert Juliat Cyrano magnetic version for years, we decided to upgrade and invest in the 2500W HMI electronic version.”
Richard states: “The Cyrano is ideal for our needs for a number of reasons. Its output is great with a very flat field, the throw is just right and the noise is generally very low. It has also proved to be very reliable in an environment where followspots are moved around on a day-to-day basis. We don’t have set followspot positions due to the nature of the building and the shows that we host here, so we need something that had some adaptability.”
The decision behind purchasing the Cyranos was also influenced by a demand from incoming designers. Richard adds: “The Cyranos are
USA - Philips Lighting’s new VLZ range of LED-based stage luminaires have been chosen for the busy Novo by Microsoft, a live entertainment venue at the L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment district in LA.
The 2,356-capacity Novo by Microsoft is a flexible venue hosting live music of many genres, as well as comedy shows and a full and varied events program. Consequently, its lighting demands are of the highest order. In their search for new lighting tools, theatre manager Jennie Perkins and lighting designer Keith Mitchell prioritized fixtures that were bright, silent and responsive, with state-of-the-art LED technology to bring the benefits of energy efficiency and low maintenance.
"We do over 200 events a year and energy consumption is very important to us," says Perkins. "Equally, the busy programme means we simply don't have time to have fixtures out for repair."
Their choice was a combination of fixtures from Philips Entertainment Lighting's new VLZ range of moving heads, including VLZ Spot, VLZ Wash and VLZ Profile luminaires. Perkins says, "The fixtures' luminosity is impressive in an LED unit, and they are extremely quiet, which is great for speaking panels and filming. They bring updated features from the VL3000s and VL3500s which we had previously. The light output quality is great: crisp, clear beams on stage, with true colours, and they're fast, smooth and great for TV."
In addition to the VLZs, Perkins and Mitchell chose Philips SL Beam 300fx fixtures, which can serve as a beam or wash light, for use above the stage and dance floo
USA - Control products from ETC have been specified to modernise the lighting control at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque.
The museum’s facade is the silhouette of a hot air balloon, with the top of the building a dome newly washed with colour-changing LED fixtures. The museum wanted to take advantage of capabilities of the LED fixtures and reinforce the iconic nature of the building. The solution was an ETC Paradigm system. Lighting looks were programmed into the system and now the museum staff can choose custom colours for different themes or special events.
“Because we are used a lot and we do a lot of activities all year round in the very early morning or late at night, it gives us a way to add an element of beauty to the building,” says Paul D. Garver, manager of the museum. He has plans to let the lights react to weather conditions like temperature, wind speed and more, and when he’s ready to do that ETC’s system will be able to accommodate that as well. As it is, the lights are still a big hit. “They’re a living, breathing part of what’s going on and it’s a big benefit to us.”
The Paradigm system is also a hit inside. The museum’s event spaces are now easily changeable thanks to Paradigm control and the 7-inch Touchscreen station. Positioned near the ballrooms, the museum can easily shift preset looks in the ballrooms, showcasing the flexibility of the space.
“We use the Touchscreen and its ease of use as a selling point to potential clients,” says Garver. “Ever
USA - The Gordon Centre for the Performing Arts is a 550-seat venue in Owings Mills, Maryland, Baltimore that hosts all manner of musical acts from local to national, dance performances, comedies, plays, lectures, family shows, and films.
With the help of Baltimore-based A/V integration firm HP Electronics, the Gordon Centre recently upgraded its sound reinforcement system with Danley’s Pure Groove PG-96 loudspeakers, Danley TH-118 subwoofers, and Danley’s new DNA-Series amplifiers, with onboard DSP and presets for every Danley loudspeaker and subwoofer.
“When the Gordon Centre decided it was time for an upgrade, several loudspeaker shootouts were arranged that ultimately pitted a dozen or so loudspeaker manufacturers against each other,” explained Joe Schwartz, A/V sales designer at HP Electronics. “At the outset, they wanted to avoid a line array solution because of its dominant visual aesthetic and their preference for the sound of point source boxes. The fidelity and impact of the Danley boxes really wowed them and won the day.”
Three beefy Danley Pure Groove PG-96 loudspeakers form a left-centre-right system that covers all of the Gordon Centre’s permanent seating. Four Danley TH-118 subwoofers flown above and behind the centre PG-96 provide ample low-end support, and a Danley SM-96 provides front-fill when the orchestra pit is used for seating.
An existing Allen & Heath DLive console feeds three new Danley DNA 20k4 Pro amplifiers, which deliver twelve channels and 60,000W total in just six combined rack spaces. HP Elect
UK - For the dance anthem generation, it seems there’s nothing in the musical universe that cannot be enhanced by the augmentation of a classic orchestral string section.
Pete Tong, with conductor Jules Buckley leading the New Heritage Orchestra, have just completed a triumphant campaign that saw them present Ibiza Classics through the major arenas of the UK. Whereas once the dance rave genre relied heavily upon the use of light and laser to animate what is essentially a static DJ performance, now the combination of live video and the addition of so many musicians makes for a heady concoction.
The stage was dominated by visceral images portrayed upon a set of moving LED screens immediately upstage of the musicians and Tong. Veteran concert director Mark Davies was shooting the show with all video equipment and camera system provided by Video Design.
“Because of the orchestra on stage this was no ordinary arena show,” began Davies. “In simple terms, there was no room for a camera track in the pit as the Subs needed to be placed in advance of the downstage edge to help isolate the musicians from low frequency energy. Yet, a track-based system in that position was essential if I was to be able to convey all the visual dynamics of this high energy show.
“Fortunately, Video Design has been working closely with Bradley, using their excellent robo-cams to produce just the solution I needed. The new Bradley tracking camera proved a great alternative. In fact, the experience was so good that if this situation occurs again I would use e
Belgium - Luc Peumans of Painting With Light created the lighting and stage design for the 30th anniversary tour by rock band Clouseau.
The visual concept of Clouseau 30 tour - an extensive itinerary visiting 500 2000-capacity venues across Belgium - is based around a lounge-style environment with carpets on the floor, standard lamps dotted around and an upright piano onstage.
Charismatic lead singer Koen enthusiastically engages with the audience as he tells assorted stories related to each song. The set list can also change - with no warning - depending on this audience interaction, as they will often shout out requests for specific songs the band might decide to play. This improvisation keeps Luc and the crew on their toes and is an exciting and invigorating way to work ‘live’.
Luc is celebrating his own anniversary, being back behind the lighting console and pushing buttons day-to-day as a touring LD / operator for the first time in at least 10 years.
The specified console for this tour is a Hog 4, supplied by AED. The last time Luc programmed and ran a Clouseau touring show himself - although he’s designed several shows and tours for them since then - he used a legendary WholeHog II, so to keep continuity and take advantage of the user-friendly architecture of the Hog OS, Luc stayed with the brand which is now manufactured by High End Systems.
Luc and Painting with Light’s Paco Mispelters programmed the 30 show together and are splitting the console operating duties between them, ensuring the band has one or t
Europe - Feeling the heat and helping create the energy and industrial-strength visuals for award winning Swedish heavy metal band In Flames, lighting and production designer Fredrik Stormby of creative practice Greenwall Designs AB used 156 x Robe BMFLs - a mix of 102 x BMFL WashBeams and 54 x BMFL Spots for their most recent tour.
The band was founded in Stockholm in 1990, since when it has been highly successful and prolific, steaming through a full-on career that’s seen them produce multiple best-selling albums and be credited for founding the nuanced metal sub-genre ‘Swedish melodic death metal’. They have built up a loyal international fan-base over time and tour extensively, known for the passion and vitality of their live performances.
This tour is still part of the 2016 Battles album cycle, and the very latest autumn-winter European arena section was a co-headliner with Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP) from Las Vegas.
The production design included lighting, video, set and drapes and was created by Fredrik and his colleagues at Greenwall, together with lead singer Anders Fridén. Fredrik and Anders usually initiate a series of ideas at the start of each tour and then choose from these what becomes developed for the tour.
Being a co-headliner, this leg of the tour saw both bands play a fast-and-furious 80-minute set using a shared top lighting rig, with different specials packages brought in ‘underneath’ to create distinctive looks for each.
Practicality was a major consideration, as the daily schedule was tight, s
Europe - Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting and crew to the most recent UK and European leg of synth pop duo Hurts Desire tour which included many adventures and the presentation of some superlative shows in more off-gig circuit reaches of Europe.
These included Moldova, Siberia, Belarus and Ukraine, and was a test to the tenacity, ingenuity, commitment and camaraderie of production manager Craig Sherwood and his team combined with the ardent enthusiasm of the band’s fan base.
Award winning production designer Rob Sinclair created the scenic and lighting design and worked with Matt Arthur as lighting director / programmer and operator on the road. It’s the third Hurts’ album cycle for these two, who have worked together in a similar format for the last 10 years.
The band’s production and the relationship with Colour Sound as a lighting and rigging supplier also goes back a long way.
H (Haydn Cruickshank) commented, “We always love working with Rob! You never know quite what to expect, but when the design is revealed, it’s always inventive, different and looks amazing! It was also great to be back on the road again with Hurts … we have enjoyed seeing their career success grow and grow due to a lot of hard work and some excellent music, and it was great to be working with Craig (Sherwood) again.”
For this first two weeks of the tour in Siberia, they took a floor and specials lighting package which fitted into one truck together with the audio gear. When they reached Riga, another truck was added carrying the
USA - New Year's Eve festivities at the luxury hotel Fontainebleau Miami Beach isn't just another NYE celebration. The oceanfront resort, with its celebrated poolscape, has featured the likes of Lady Gaga, Drake and Justin Bieber at past celebrations and this year saw Demi Lovato and popular DJ KYGO ring in the New Year.
Lighting director and production designer Tyler Frank and the team at Everlast Productions created a lasting memorable experience for Fontainebleau and their guests. By blending a creative solution with innovative technology and technical expertise Everlast produced an engaging live event experience. The South Florida-based production company supplied the entire production; from dynamic graphic content, to impactful lighting atmospheres, to premium audio quality, cutting-edge technology that adapted perfectly to the environment
Everlast’s Tyler Frank handled production design, his second year designing for the event (he designed the stage for Justin Bieber at last year’s show) and had a large automated rig at his disposal, including Elation Professional Platinum 5R Beam Extreme, Platinum FLX, ZCL360 Bar and SixBar 1000 luminaires.
“Each year we try to bring something new to the table,” Frank said, explaining that the venue gives very little wiggle room for the structure, they literally have to build a tour-grade stage over an existing pool-side bar with the dance floor taking up a third of the famous bow-tie pool. Frank’s team spent six days of overnight installs in order to not interfere with the pool’s operations durin
Bahamas - While an estimated one million people crowded into Times Square on New Year’s Eve to watch the famous ball drop, a far smaller crowd was gathering 1,102 miles away, under much balmier conditions, for another NYE tradition. The ringing in of the New Year is as eagerly anticipated at Albany Resort, a 600-acre upscale island paradise (poolside condos go for $6,000 a night), as it is in the heart of the Big Apple.
Every New Year’s Eve, organisers of this paradisal resort’s Albany White party (named after the white outfits that guests wear) try to outdo their previous year’s celebration. 31 December 2017, was no exception, with 50 different performers, including DJ Ignite, providing entertainment and a gourmet dinner worthy of a world-class restaurant.
The centre of attention for much of the evening was the Las Vegas-style dancefloor that was created right there on a beautiful white sandy beach with help from over 300 Chauvet Professional fixtures, supplied by Spectrum Light & Sound.
“Albany Resort in the Bahamas has set a goal to put on one of the greatest New Year’s Eve parties in the world, and it commits to raising the bar each year,” said Spectrum Light & Sound’s Paul Francis Aranha. “The main objective of our team was to create the best and most realistic dancefloor possible in a beach environment. Our lighting designers Matt Mills and Shawn Sithel, assisted by Max Ferreyra, did an excellent job helping us meet this goal.”
Key to the success of the NYE design were the 12 Maverick MK1 Hybrid and s
Egypt - Philips Lighting reports that the prestigious new National Army Conference Centre in Cairo has chosen a state-of-the-art lighting system and data infrastructure from Philips Entertainment Lighting for its 1,700-capacity main auditorium.
Requiring a top quality, professional lighting system suitable for a modern, multi-purpose venue, the specifiers needed a trusted brand - one with a product catalogue capable of encompassing a complete system solution. State-of-the-art LED technology, where possible, was a key requirement, as was first-class technical support throughout the project.
Working closely with local specialist installer Egyptian Engineering Projects (known as Quality Egypt), the team from Philips Lighting helped to make these demands a reality. Philips Lighting's sales and technical teams from both EMEA and USA provided comprehensive on-site support throughout the project, helping to ensure the efficient completion of the installation.
Chosen by the venue owner, the Engineering Authority - Armed Forces, in close collaboration with Quality Egypt and consultant DMG Technologies, the stage lighting system includes more than 240 Philips Lighting luminaires. LED technology dominates, including Philips Selecon PLfresnel1 MkII, PLprofile1 MkII and PLcyc1 MkII luminaires, plus more than 80 LED-based Philips SL Punchlite 220 fixtures.
"Philips Lighting's light quality is excellent," says Eng. Adel Attia, CEO of Quality Egypt. "It enables the theatre to be suitable for any kind of application, whether concert, theatre or conference. In
UK - It’s panto season again and as innuendos fly, slapstick humour is trowelled on and extravagant costumes and characters abound, entertaining thousands of people up and down the UK. Lighting and visuals rental and production specialist HSL supplied equipment to a record 31 premium UK pantomime productions for the 2017-18 season for leading pantomime producers, Qdos.
That is 11 more shows than last year’s schedule of 20, which are taking place all over England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as far north as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh and as far west as Plymouth and Llandudno, as far south as Southampton and also including Belfast, Cardiff and London.
The equipment has included lighting – conventional and intelligent fixtures (LEDs / moving heads), rigging and a raft of special effects like smoke, fog and atmosphere, together with humungous amounts of custom gobos and assorted rigging, including a Kinesys automation system for Glasgow.
Impressive statistics include over 2600 intelligent lighting fixtures deployed, around 900 generics, a staggering 3000+ custom gobos, over 100 miles (160 Km) of cabling (socapex, single and three phase power) and a similar quantity in data, as well as over 1400 Doughty boom arms of assorted sizes.
All of which had to be tested and prepped to cover a period from the first get-in on 19 November to the last out at the end of January.
Spearheading the project and juggling the intense logistics is HSL’s Jordan Hanson, working alongside Emma Turner, with Joy Brown and Alex Allen brought on-b
World - Imagine Dragons are members of a group of current rock bands that have gone from playing basements and dive bars to major arenas within the past 10 years, and for their Evolve World Tour in 2017, it was an Adamson E-Series system rocking the crowds from continent to continent.
“Adamson is always my first choice when it comes to Imagine Dragons,” says FOH engineer Scott Eisenberg. “The E-Series offers a perfect blend of power and musicality and I love the overall impact we get with this system.”
The trek was the band’s biggest to date in terms of scale and overall production value and featured a unique stage design that wraps the audience around the band in an almost 360-degree configuration. That necessitated an equally unique audio system design with a package that, like those for all of the band’s previous production-carrying tours, was supplied by Escondido, CA’s Sound Image.
The main hangs for the tour are comprised of 18 Adamson E15 three-way, true line source enclosures per side, though they’re suspended about 30ft. further upstage than usual. Using Adamson’s Blueprint AV software, systems engineer Cameron Whaley of Sound Image was easily able to avoid the potential pitfalls of that configuration.
Rounding out the package are side-hangs of six E15s and nine E12 three-way enclosures per side, and rear-hangs comprised of eight compact S10 two-way, full-range cabinets per side. Adamson’s E219 subwoofers handle the low end, with flown left and right arrays of 12 cabinets and an additional six per side on
Europe - After lighting the band for nearly 13 years, experienced Irish LD Steven Douglas knows how to bring the best out of The Killers’ dynamic stage set.
Now in the midst of the Wonderful Wonderful world tour, he has been exploring new dimensions and challenging perspectives by introducing GLP’s hybrid JDC1 strobe to his toolbox, along with the GLP X4 Bar 20 battens, to help maintain the band’s status as being one of the world’s leading touring rock bands.
Whereas on previous albums there has always been jumping off points such as artwork to inspire the design, he says that this time the process began while the band was still recording. “Therefore, we were able to start with a clean sheet.
“We knew there would be Las Vegas references as it’s such a huge part of the band’s DNA. Once the set designers, Fireplay, were onboard, we moved quickly through their initial sketches and added things to it.”
He admits that the X4 Bar 20 is a fixture he has wanted to use for some time. “I needed something almost scenic in appearance which could virtually wash the stage, as other than the front truss I have no conventional wash lights in the rig.
“With the large amount of video surface in use I went for a lot more beam orientated fixtures, so we built the pod structures and lined them with X4 Bars. They are extremely versatile so I knew I could get a full wash from them as well as a narrow beam - and I was able to replicate some of the ‘Vegas-style’ Bulb / Marquee chases through them to capture the old casino look do
Poland - The city of Zakopane in southern Poland kicks off each year in a spectacular fashion with a high-energy NYE party hosted by television station TVP2. This year the show, with its massive stage, which was produced by TVP, was even more impactful than usual, thanks to lighting and video delivered by ARAM, lighting designed by Adam Tyszka and a stunning stage design by production designer Giorgos Stylianou-Matsis.
Central to creating this unforgettable experience was a collection of 44 Chauvet Professional STRIKE 1 fixtures, which Tyszka utilised to produce a multitude of stage and audience effects such as blinding and strobing.
Positioned at the very top of the custom built cosmic influenced stage structure - which was located at the foot of the spectacular Tatry Mountain range, the STRIKE fixtures were used to accentuate the performances of the Polish and international bands that played with the beautiful surroundings of the Zakopane as their backdrop.
“The STRIKE is an absolutely perfect fixture for outdoor stages of this kind,” commented Tyszka. With its 230W warm white tungsten-emulating single source LED, the STRIKE offers both a powerful and versatile tool with strobe, blinder, wash and floodlight capabilities. “Positioning the STRIKEs above the structure gave us a much more powerful counterpoint than the traditional four-pot blinders. The unique single source of the fixture provided us with some really interesting looks.”
Tyszka took advantage of the STRIKE 1 fixtures’ unique tungsten feel and smooth incandescent-emul
UK - Among the most exclusive live music venues in London, The Arts Club has recently invested in an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system as part of a significant audio upgrade programme.
Founded in 1863 by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and Lord Leighton, The Arts Club is a premium members-only venue that attracts a top-end clientele, for live music, art and fashion events, and private parties.
Supplied by SSE Audio Group, the new set-up is based around a dLive S5000 surface – with both Dante and AES3 I/O audio networking cards installed – and DM48 MixRack. An Allen & Heath ME-1 personal mixer is also now employed for drum monitoring duties.
“The mainstays of The Arts Club tech team use dLive systems out on the road,” explains Richard Watts, SSE Audio Group sales manager, “including Jonathan Lewis (Travis FOH) and Dave McDonald (Frank Ocean FOH), so it was an obvious choice for the venue.
“The team needed sufficient AES outputs for the LCRS mix and five-way monitor mix – the venue’s L-Acoustics amplification has digital AES3 inputs – so the addition of the networking cards in the dLive makes for a very easy, flexible solution for them.”
“The flexibility and fast workflow of the dLive system is incredible,” said Charles Bidwell, The Arts Club’s head technician, “It’s like a hybrid of my favourite features from all my favourite desks; drag-and-drop fader population, great preamps and EQ, a brilliant surface and very versatile patching.
“When touring engineers – of which we get many
Europe - Taking the challenges of the audio industry in its stride one tour at a time, rental company Major Tom has built a stunning reputation for itself, providing world-class sound to some of the biggest touring acts on the circuit. With a wealth of choice available when it comes to mixing consoles, there is a reason it keeps going back to DiGiCo.
Major Tom’s credits include Ed Sheeran, Rod Stewart, Maria Carey and Passenger amongst others. These world class acts demand the very best equipment and Major Tom is committed to ensuring that those demands are met. This includes keeping a full range of DiGiCo consoles in its inventory.
Passenger’s monitor engineer Charlie Bryson has been working with Major Tom for around five years now, with his choice of console being an SD10. “I’ve used a DiGiCo SD10 on monitors for the last year with Passenger, with a short stint on an SD5 for the Australian leg of the tour,” explains Charlie. “When we first started talking with Major Tom about our specifications for the tour, the SD10 was top of the list for me. I love the overall flexibility of all SD Range consoles; you can start with a blank canvas and set them up to have exactly what you need to see, and have it right in front of you at all times.”
The team at Major Tom know that having this flexibility is key to ensuring that the right tools are available for every job, helping them to maintain their position as one of the leading audio rental companies.
“Major Tom has a great little close-knit group of people who really care about what