Nick Gray of UK based visual design practice Renegade, designed lighting for rockers Kasabian’s live You Tube Re:Wired performance, streamed direct from London’s O2 Arena, to welcome in 2012 with a big bang and a few WOW factors!
Challenges included only having eight hours on show-day to get in, rig and complete show programming before handing the rig over to Chase & Status’ LD Neil Carson, so he could also squeeze in some programming time for their set. This feat was accomplished with some great teamwork between Renegade and the crew from London-based lighting contractor, Neg Earth.
The band have just finished the first UK leg arena of their new “Velociraptor!” tour, and some visual elements of this show were adapted for the New Year’s Eve event. Says Nick Gray, “It was great to be able to work on another technically ground breaking gig with the band, who are always up for challenges and different ways of communicating with their fans”.
Due to the time restrictions, Gray re-modelled the O2 stage set without the main video dome from the touring rig. Instead, he introduced new lighting aspects that helped adapt the space to work in this different context, whilst keeping the basic look and style of the show.
He says, “I wanted to get as much of a massive light show in there as possible in the time we had available – and one that was also practical enough to be able to programme a meaningful show,” he explains.
They retained the impressive 20 metre by 10 metre high wide structural front arch from the tour, complete with 134 x 1.5 metre lengths of Barco MiStrip. Three custom 12 inch trussing arches were added mid-stage area, all of them raking backwards & Tilting upwards to contrast with the forward leaning angle of the front arch – and these were used to position a selection of Clay Paky Sharpies, Martin Professional MAC Aura LED washes and Atomic strobes.
Other lighting included 29 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s, ten Atomics and 12 single cell blinders around the perimeter of the main arch; Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs and CP Alpha Wash 1500s on the front truss and a large floor package based on five vertical truss towers, all rigged with more Alpha Spot 1500s on top plus more strobes and blinders on scaff bars. There were also six 4K Big Lites in a line in front of these.
As with the UK tour, the show was operated for Gray by Paul Kell using a Road Hog Full Boar console, which also drove a Catalyst media server running content to the MiStrips (that were supplied by XL Video).
To illuminate the O2’s sold out audience, PRG supplied a series of trusses rigged with 20 Bad Boy moving lights and 70 VARI*LITE 3500 Washes, which were hooked into Kasabian’s lighting control system.
Pyro Junkies added some special effects to Kasabian’s set which ran from 11.30 through 1 a.m., rolling over into 2012 with a roof-raising rendition of “I Hear Voices” These included 40 black maroon-driven confetti drops at midnight together with 5000 black balloons. At the end of the set, six high powered blowers – four onstage and two at the front of house platform – pumped out a bespoke mix of feathers and black confetti showering the audience. (Black and feathers are both running themes throughout the various band artwork that stems from the Velociraptor! Album).
Kasabian next travel to Australia for the Big Day Out, then to Japan before touring Europe and the US until the end of April, with various versions of Nick Gray’s visual design, which will be operated by Rob Gawler.