While the three girls and brother Jim can hardly be likened to a hamburger and fries, they do present an inoffensive brand of pop that while delightful, is unlikely to become a healthy diet if taken in excess. It was March ‘98 when I last saw the Corrs, in a sub-2,000-seat theatre on that occasion. Their early singles had begun what’s become the band’s long flirtation with the charts. Have three years been a long enough break? In short, yes. The band’s live performance is much improved in that there is now an edge to them, and, dare I say it, I prefer the songs performed live to their more anodyne recordings.
Lighting & Video
In the words of production manager Ian Caulder, "Willie Williams was brought in to liven things up." That’s no reflection on Liam McCarthy, the group’s original LD from the outset. He and Icon programmer Frank Shields have melded an excellent, well-punctuated light show. But it’s what must lurk in William’s imagination that delights and excites.
Modules of a Screenco LED screen are hung, checkerboard-fashion, behind a white scrim. All images presented upon it are abstracts, computer graphics, flames, the glittering surface of a swimming pool, etc. Why this is a stroke of genius on Williams’ part is concept - the white scrim is heavily front-lit as a cyc’ or with projected gobos, the video shining through as a maze of little windows. The result is enchanting: it completely denies the more conventional, jarring juxtaposition of lights and video screen, indeed at times it’s hard to differentiate between what is lighting on the backdrop, and what’s video - one subsumes the other.
Based on all he’s done before, with U2, REM and the rest, I can only imagine that he saw this potential in his mind’s eye before presenting it as a concept. To be able to visualise like that is a rare skill. And it’s a detailed visualisation; each module is masked by a simple frame to round off its sharp corners. So too the conventional video screens either side are framed by ovals. The fact that only the side screens carry live cuts adds to the mirage.Craig Tinetti is video director to a happy marriage of suppliers, Screenco for the LED modules, Creative Technology the PPU, and Nocturne Europe the side screens and Barco ELMs. Tinnetti keeps the live images largely free of effects, managing to keep it interesting with some tricky camera moves; he certainly knows the material. The same can be said of McCarthy and Shields; their LSD-supplied rig spends most of its time decorating the stage. The looks are both attractive and complementary, utilizing a mix of Icons and Studio Colors, while the muscle power comes from no-less than 12 followspots, which certainly keeps McCarthy on his toes, and explains Shields’ presence.
Canegreen supply Max Bisgrove with a Meyer MSL4-based flown system, with a set of MSL6s, the complementary long-throw box, rigged above. The system is set by Chris Peters (he time aligns to the drum kit) using three BSS Soundwebs with radio remote, for 18 zones. He achieved a very nice even coverage (good job Chris!) and you have to acknowledge that Meyer do match their components well. Bisgrove mixes on a Midas XL4, only using the desk’s automation for mutes and VCAs: "I run all the off-board stuff from a Mac using Digital Performer software; it helps me keep things separated, plus it’s a lot easier to swap around on the Mac if they change the set."
Vocal separation is excellent, perhaps due to the new 87c capsule in the Shure radio mic system. "It’s less zingy than the Beta," said Bisgrove, "and makes Andrea’s voice a lot warmer." Overall, the mix is well balanced, though there is a tendency