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Günter Jäckle directs effects with Vari-Lite for Udo Lindenberg

Udo Lindenberg, one of Germany’s most enduring rock stars, is back on the road with Live 2019, another trademark spectacular touring production. This time around, lighting designer Günter Jäckle has included 22 x VL6000 Beams from Vari-Lite.

Described by Jäckle as, “like a rock and roll circus, revue, craziness, freak-show, rock show,” an Udo Lindenberg performance is a busy visual extravaganza, with up to 50 performers on stage. To deal with all this activity, Jäckle balances theatrical lighting techniques with supercharged rock and roll show lighting.

“The first thing for me is to be a director,” he said, “to allow the audience to see what they should see, and not what they should not.”

Discussing his design priorities, he said, “The star must be in the foreground – not the lightshow. Also, we don’t make effects because we want to, we make effects because we have a reason. Maybe we start the show with a rocket, so we need fire and flame – the effects follow from there. This is one reason for choosing the VL6000 Beam.”

Jäckle uses the VL6000’s attributes in a variety of ways. During Star Trip, its aerial effects capabilities produce a “starfield” look. At another time, he focuses all 22 beams on a ‘UFO’ as it flies over the stage. “I use them as pointing sticks to bring the focus of the audience to the object,” he said.

Image by Tine Acke

In Wozu Sind Kriege Da? (Why are there wars?), the VL6000 serves a searchlight effect. “The VL6000 is the only light I know which can do this,” said Jäckle. “It’s like an 80s SkyTracker, with this big, strong beam look. And, of course, the optic of the light itself is special, unique. It’s retro, but it’s also modern. For this, it is the perfect light . . .”

“You can create these big light beams, but still have the modern possibilities of the colours, and with the frost you can even light scenery. This is the perfect mix for me – the atmosphere and function, and then on top, the lighting effect.”

Jäckle revealed his second reason for his choice of the Vari-Lites. “For my whole career, Vari-Lite was my light. I still think that Vari-Lite is the best in the optical system, and in being reliable . . . It’s not a light that I must use, it’s a light that I want to use.”

He added, “Everybody from the crew who sees the VL6000 says ‘Wow, that’s something different’ . . . Even sound people can see that it is special!”