Hip hop kings Jay-Z and Kanye West have teamed on an eight-week run of their Watch The Throne North American tour where Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures are playing a key role. The tour, which ends in Vancouver just before Christmas, supports the rappers' joint LP released in August and features solo cuts from their own catalogs.
Solotech, which is providing all the tour's lighting, rigging and specialty lighting fixtures, supplied 130 Clay Paky Sharpys from its inventory to lighting designer Nick Whitehouse. "The design of the tour is very minimal, modern and eclectic," says Richard Lachance, at Solotech, which is headquartered in Montreal. "The lighting, lasers and staging are very different - there's a center module that's a B stage which is very prominent, and the show is laden with LED products."
Karl Gaudreau at Solotech, recalls that "the first time Nick used Sharpys was for Beyonce when they blew away all the other lights on the rig. Now Nick is using mostly Sharpys for the main rig for Jay-Z and Kanye. He's positioned 24 on the floor and 48 on the main truss. Three other trusses combine Sharpys with strobes, and Sharpys are integrated with other lights on the back wall as well."
Sharpy is a 189W moving head with an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages. Tipping the scales at just 16 kg, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 5,100 footcandles at 65 feet. Sharpy is also groundbreaking in the purity of its beam, which is sharply defined and free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers an interchangeable color wheel with 14 fixed colors and an interchangeable gobo wheel with 17 fixed gobos, allowing users to change the shape of the beam and create an array of spectacular mid-air effects. Sharpy features new, high-performance electronics and can perform rapid and extensive pan-and-tilt movements.
According to Lachance, Solotech's Sharpy fixtures are in high demand. "We never see them in the shop - they're always out. Sharpy is a very robust special effects unit, and we've loved them since we bought them."
Solotech has been a fan of Clay Paky products for many years, Lachance says, and he's been pleased with the company's support. "We like that Clay Paky keeps coming up with new lights that are winners. We're impressed with the direction the company is taking - that's going to direct us in our future purchases."
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, "We're very proud to be a part of such a high profile tour and glad our products work so well on it. Solotech has been a great supporter of Clay Paky for many years and we look forward to continued collaboration with them."
A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.