The massive rig includes eight Robe BMFL Spot and 96 x CycFX 8 moving lights (photo: Adam Kaplan)
USA - Maroon 5 have begun their latest world tour in support of their chart-topping fifth studio album V, with lighting, visuals and stage design by Leroy Bennett.

The massive rig includes eight Robe BMFL Spot and 96 x CycFX 8 moving lights supplied by leading US rental company Upstaging, together with the rest of the lighting and rigging equipment package.

Bennett's creative starting point was that they wanted something totally different. With the distinctive 'V' of the album artwork as a base inspiration, the trussing and set architecture - including 19 (nine each side, one centre) eye-catching cascading Plexiglass columns upstage - was all evolved around the concept of conventional and inverted Vs.

Bennett's objective was also to present a set structure that made a strong statement in its own right, and that could be changed by being lit and textured with video sources, providing a dynamic and constantly changing environment for the performance.

It includes a B-stage and a connecting walkway allowing the band to perform among their fans. The video content is rear projected onto the Plexiglass panels, which can be filled with smoke, and is abstract and provocative rather than hi def. and literal. The panels also move to bring yet another set of variations to this innovative visual equation.

The ceiling structure comprises a giant lighting feature made of 12 jointed arms rigged with lighting fixtures, all of which move on a series of wire winches, an engineering masterpiece devised by TAIT and Upstaging. It brings dynamic animation to the entire space and helps change its look, feel and shape throughout the show.

This is the first tour for which Bennett has specified Robe's new signature BMFL Spot, and Upstaging purchased the eight fixtures from Robe Lighting Inc. for the tour. They are positioned on the downstage truss and primarily used for key-lighting the band and for some specials.

The BMFLs, CycFX 8s and other fixtures on the rig are programed and run via a grandMA 2 console which is being operated on the road by lighting director & programmer Brian Jenkins.

The 96 x CycFX 8s were another new purchase by Upstaging. They are outlining the L-shaped thrust running between the Main and B stages and are also positioned around the perimeter of the B-stage.

Also working on Bennett's creative team for the V tour is lighting programmer Jason Baeri and video programmer Loren Barton.

(Jim Evans)

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