Scarlet Begonias play Dead with Chauvet
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
scarlet-begonias3Scarlet Begonias performed the Dead’s classic hits at the Columbia County Amphitheatre
USA - The music of the Grateful Dead has a way of bringing people closer together, even when they have to stay socially distant. This was evident when tribute band Scarlet Begonias performed the group’s classic hits at the Columbia County Amphitheatre in Evans.
The concert’s organisers set up tables 10ft apart from one another, allowing only fans who came together to occupy each restricted zone. Distancing did not seem to bother the mask-wearing fans, as they enjoyed the music together at this drive-in-show-minus-the cars.
“We had a much smaller crowd than you’d typically find at this kind of concert because of social distancing, but the energy was all there,” said John Berret, of Quest Sound & Productions, who lit the show with an all Chauvet Professional rig that featured 20 Rogue and COLORado fixtures.
Berret did his part to convey the “spirit of The Dead,” by busking a free-flowing light show. “You can’t really do a totally programmed time-coded show with these guys,” he said. “The set list isn’t written in stone, so you can’t be sure what they’re going to play next. Plus, songs are played differently, so you have to be able to get the feel of what’s happening and change with the flow. There are lots of dynamics in the music which need to be complimented with dynamics in the light show.”
Yellow and magenta colours created with the rig’s four Rogue R1 Beam, four R2 Spot, four Rogue R1 FX-B, and eight COLORado 1-Tri IP fixtures, evoking psychedelic imagery, dominated the design. “It felt good painting the stage and the air with a bright coordinated colour scheme,” said Berret, who used his ChamSys PC Wing with an Extra Wing to run the two-universe show.
The Rogue R1 Beam and R2 Spot were stacked in alternate patterns on upstage cases, being used for specials, backlighting and aerial effects. Spaced evenly across the downstage deck, and creating a wall of light between the band and the crowd, were the Rogue R1 FX-B units, while the COLORado Tri 1-IP were flown on downstage truss.
“From a lighting standpoint, this was business as usual,” said Berret. “We wanted to create an immersive display that engaged people and heightened their enjoyment of the music.”
Setting up the show, however, was anything but business as usual. “We set up with only two people, both of us wearing facemasks all the time and never working side-by-side,” said Berret. “It took way longer doing things this way, but this is the reality of set ups today. Overall, our company has been extremely fortunate during these times. While we’re not doing the business we traditionally do, we are booked every week with drive-in shows and installs.”

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