Robe funks it up with Bruno Mars

Friday, 19 May 2017
robe-bruno-mars24K Magic currently continues in Europe and opens in the US in July (photo: Louise Stickland)
World - Seven hundred and ninety-five (795) Robe Spikies are on the road with Bruno Mars 24K Magic world tour – setting a record for the largest number to date of a single type of Robe fixture on one touring show!
The Spikies are the main lighting feature of an action-packed show and are used constantly for hi-impact looks, an array of fluid effects, mesmeric chases, animated chunks of colour and magically twinkling and sparkling ‘soft’ surfaces which can totally transform the appearance of the performance space in this exciting hi-energy show.
The dynamic, colourful and highly visual production design was originated by Leroy Bennett of Seven Design Works, who collaborated closely with a top creative team including lighting designer Cory FitzGerald and lighting director on-the-road Whitney Hoversten.
24K Magic is also currently one of the most talked about live shows of the year by the multiple Grammy award winning artist, following the release of his successful third studio album of the same name at the end of 2016.
The worldwide lighting contractor is VER who made the massive investment in Spikies which were delivered by Robe North America.
It is a big and beautifully balanced visual collage of lighting and video – with live (IMAG) video director Steve Fatone cutting the camera mix, combined with eye-catching playback content produced by Empirical Studios.
Bruno Mars himself was integrally involved with the evolution of the stage presentation, and he and his incredibly talented band also provide the final ingredient in this entertaining molten mix of intelligence, fun, wit … coupled with some awesome technology and imagineering!
Cory - who has worked with Bruno Mars since the 2011 Hooligans in Wonderland tour and enjoys a great working relationship and dialogue with him - and Roy’s brief from the artist included references to a wide array of memorable shows.
These included the iconic PAR can rigs of the 1990s that graced the stages of artists like Queen, Michael Jackson and AC/DC.
“Bruno wanted power to the lighting as well as a clean stage and the feeling of an environment or room .. in which he was playing” explained Roy, “which inspired the synthesis of Versace showroom vibes and these massive retro lighting rigs.” So the show aesthetic is based on all these parameters plus the seating being sold to 270 degrees.
Roy added, “The Spikies were chosen for their versatility, speed and compact size - I wanted to pack as many units as possible into the pods!”
Three hundred and seventy-five (375) Spikies are built into five upstage columns, and the other 420 are contained in 20 moving over-stage pods, all constructed by TAIT together with the automation systems to move them.
The five back columns are each loaded with a five wide and 15 fixtures high matrix of Spikies, and the reverse side of the column is covered in an RBG LED ‘lightbox’ paneling material for contrast. They rotate to reveal the different sides throughout the show.
A large LED video screen also flies in at certain points just downstage of the columns, and at times this is lit through with the banks of Spikies, producing another dimension to the stage.
The 20 Queenesque pods over the stage are rigged in a five-wide-four-deep configuration, each loaded with a 7 x 3 Spikie format utilizing 21 fixtures per pod, and these move into a series of different looks throughout the set.
Seven Robe BMFL Spot fixtures are utilized for key lighting all the performers onstage.
A VER lighting crew of six is teching and rigging all the kit on the road, crew chiefed by Soline Velazquez. The tour’s production manager is Joel Forman.
(Jim Evans)

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