2018 signalled the end of the record-breaking nineteen-date ice arena tour across Slovakia and Czech Republic by rock music legends, Kabat. The multi-platinum selling Czech band stunned audiences with an in-the-round show design, complete with 360° stage, wrap-around video screens and a high-impact light show powered by the cutting-edge technology of Italian lighting manufacturer Claypaky.
Lighting and show designer Radek Havliček of production company Pink Panther Agency s.r.o, was responsible for the tour’s lighting and production design. Marking nearly two decades of creative partnership between Pink Panther and Kabat, Havliček’s latest design stunned audiences with its immersive flair and sophisticated use of space.
“The tour’s stage spreads across most of a regulation-size ice hockey rink,” explains Havliček. “It was the biggest stage that had ever been used on tour by a Czech band and included four pits or ‘pools’ for the most dedicated fans. For those within the ‘pools’ the band was literally surrounding them. In fact, most of the audience felt included – or immersed – in the show. It was not happening ‘out there’ or ‘down there’, it was happening all around.”
Using WYSIWYG, Havliček designed and coordinated the production’s large-scale light show. The design centralised around a central 360° drop of four concentric circular trusses on Cyberhoist motors. LED screens faced each truss to partially mask the mix of Claypaky Sharpy, Claypaky A.LEDA K10 and Claypaky Alpha Spot 1200 that provided the lighting from the show’s centralised column.
“For this show it was ‘go big or go home!’” says Havliček, “The 360° design was a great solution as it shortened the distance between the sitting and standing sections of the auditorium, making it possible to use the full seating capacity in each venue. The design also presented us with a technical challenge that we enjoyed. I selected the Sharpy, A.LEDA K10 and Alpha Spots because they are all able to produce a very focused and accurate beam, I found them the best products for this show.”
Stationed below the circular trusses was the show’s main stage with its central drum riser. Set on a rotating circular base, the riser was lined with Claypaky’s award-winning LED hybrid light, the Claypaky A.LEDA B-EYE K10. Havliček selected the B-EYE K10 for its very narrow optics when used in ‘Beam Mode.’
To complete the 360° theme, Havliček devised a further four circular mini-stages, branching off from the central drum riser and connected to each other by an outer circle gangway. The design created four ‘pools’ inside the outer circle of the stage, where lucky ticket holders were literally within the performance area. Above each mini-stage, Claypaky Alpha Beam 1500 and A.LEDA K10 fixtures were rigged on a corresponding circular overhead truss.
“The Alpha Beam 1500 is a great fixture that produces a very dominating beam,” says Havliček. “It has high quality colours and optics. Kabat has been a staple of the Czech rock scene for over a quarter of a century and are considered a top-of-the line act by many so their audience expects no less from their shows and tours. Our goal for this tour was not only to meet, but to exceed, those expectations. Next year – we will make it even bigger!”
The Kabat tour took place from 11 November to 28 December 2017.
Photo credits to Pink Panther.