Robe helps create illusion for Lady Gaga tour
Friday, 13 October 2017
robe-lady-gaga-3798-photo--steve-jenningsThe Joanne tour continues until December 2017 (photo: Steve Jennings)
USA - Over 200 Robe lighting fixtures supplied by Solotech are on the rig of Lady Gaga’s Joanne world tour.
With Gaga promising that lighting was going to be a “big thing” in her show, creative director LeRoy Bennett’s brief included set, lighting and visual design, with custom video playback material produced by Madison Vine. A staple of the show are three flying bridges that descend from the three 45ft long pods in the roof above the audience, creating a pathway below, flopping sideways and transforming into projection screens.
This is designed to allow Gaga to embark on a physical journey across the venue, stopping at two satellite stages and the B stage adjacent to FOH, and engage close-up with different sections of audience throughout the set.
The journey ends on the B-Stage where she plays a heart-shaped Plexiglass covered piano with dichroic film. LeRoy’s design includes some cool laser effects working with the piano.
Bennett and his lighting director on the road Harry Forster required something to light the whole room, and chose 45 of Robe’s BMFL WashBeams to be the main workhorses of the lighting rig.
Eight BMFL WashBeams are positioned on a truss inside each of the three pods, which illuminate Gaga all the way to FOH. There are four more BMFL WashBeams on the perimeter truss which also provides positions for the 28 high-powered Barco projectors beaming images onto the pods and the moving bridge screens.
Another eight BMFL WashBeams are on the over-stage trusses, with nine on the floor below the upstage light wall.
The power of eight Robe ColorStrobes is harnessed to provide side light washing and warmers on the dancers, as well as them being used for standard strobing effects.
There is a total of 188 Pointes on the rig, with 52 per pod on two moving trusses. These produce all the big sumptuous show looks and the whole venue becomes alive and a totally interactive environment when these are fired up.
The 90 x Spikies are under the stage, three sections of which move independently, with the upstage section further sub-divided into three parts.
They are revealed when the upstage section lifts-up, beaming through the 24mm pitch LED video panels covering the front of each elevated section - so the issues here were brightness, size and light weight – to fit into the space and not overload the hydraulic lifts.
Lighting is programmed and run on a grandMA2 full size console, a process for which Harry worked closely with Jason Beari and with Loren Barton from Lumentech programming the playback video elements. There is a lot of teamwork in terms of colour and texturing between lighting and the ambient video content.
They did some previsualization initially in Los Angeles, followed by two weeks of pre-production at Rock Lititz, Pennsylvania, before moving to Vancouver, for two weeks of full production rehearsals ahead of the first gig at the Air Canada Centre.
The live video (camera mix) is being directed by Robert Mcshane, the video contractor is also Solotech, audio is delivered by Eighth Day Sound and the tour’s production manager is Hydro Mullin.
(Jim Evans)

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