Rock legends AC/DC are electrifying sell-out crowds on their first tour in eight years, and grandMA is plugged into the excitement. The band's long-awaited Black Ice World Tour comes on the heels of its “Black Ice” album for Columbia Records and takes as its theme the first track, Rock 'n' Roll Train, with the stage featuring five curved trusses reminiscent of a railroad station's roof beams. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA in North America.
“It's the best show they've ever done,” declares the band's lighting director Cosmo Wilson. “Every tour gets progressively better. AC/DC has always done larger-than-life things, and they love a huge set so this time we have a huge train on stage.”
The Black Ice World Tour marks the first time that Wilson has toured with the grandMA. A main system and backup are on hand to control the extensive lighting package required for the massive set and AC/DC's over-the-top performance. “I've used a lot of different consoles, but I started using the grandMA on some one-off dates for other artists and have done a lot of corporate shows with it,” he points out. “This is my first chance to tour with it. That's when you really get to learn it. I've always liked a lot of grandMA's features, and I'd been thinking I wanted to use it for AC/DC. Dave Hill, the co-lighting designer with Patrick Woodroffe, is also a grandMA fan.”
Generally, I take notes during the show and try to make it better the next day. But since I'm an on-the-fly guy, with the grandMA, it's so easy to grab things and change them in the middle of the show. Everything is at your fingertips.”
Among the lighting instruments supplied by Upstaging Lighting & Transport and controlled by the grandMA are 64 Coemar Infinity Wash XLs. Many of these, along with most of the other moving lights apart from the Big Lites, are permanently mounted in 59 10-foot sections of Upstaging's patented Hud Truss configured to form a curved array of lights. A dozen Infinity Wash XLs are on the floor to direct more beams and energize the show.
The rest of the lighting rig consists of nine 12-light Maxibrutes, 36 VARI*LITE VL3000 spots, 48 Clay Paky Alpha beam 300 washes, two Coemar, Lycian 1271 truss spots, 24 Elation Impression LEDs, 1 Zap Technology 4.5 Big Lites, 8 Zap Technology 3.0 Little Big Lites, 63 Martin Stage Bars, seven Solaris T Flash 85,000-watt strobes, 10 Atomic strobes, 24 six-lamp PAR 64 bars, 12 4-way Molefays and 45 Color Kinetics ColorBlasts.
Wilson reports that the grandMA is “working fantastically” on the Black Ice World Tour. “I'm really impressed with it; I love the console.” Among the features he particularly enjoys is the touchscreen interface, which enables him to “put anything I want where I want it and make changes in seconds without missing a cue. It's really fast!”
He advises prospective grandMA users that “the best way to learn the grandMA is by playing with it.”
“Cosmo is a real hands on guy, and he has thrived on this very intuitive desk. Cosmo's artistry and long relationship with AC/DC, combined the excellence of Patrick Woodroffe and Dave Hill is an unbeatable combination. Also, Upstaging is predictably excellent. The quality of their preparation really allows the artists to concentrate on doing their job,” adds A.C.T Lighting President and CEO Bob Gordon.
About A.C.T Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients. For more information call 818-707-0884 or visit www.actlighting.com.