Leading UK lighting and sound rental company Entec continued its supply of full production to a string of high profile shows for major international superstars with Japanese rockers L'Arc~en~Ciel.
Entec provided lighting, rigging, sound equipment, and crew, plus site and local co-ordination services for shows at Le Zenith in Paris and Indigo at the O2 Arena in London, and arranged pyrotechnics, video, trucking and buses.
L'Arc~en~Ciel, formed in 1991, have sold over 13 million albums and 16 million singles and are completing a monumental world tour celebrating 20 years at the very top of Japanese pop / rock.
Entec's project manager Noreen O'Riordan received the call from the band's production director Richard Ames. His relationship with the company dates back many years, and Entec handled full production and co-ordination for him on two massive X-Japan shows last year.
As well as supplying sound, lighting and rigging directly, O'Riordan co-ordinated video requirements via Bluman Associates and special effects from MANIC, trucking by Fly By Night and buses from Phoenix.
She comments, “It is always an interesting challenge to co-ordinate a project with decision makers spanning several continents and time differences adding to the logistics of the confirmation processes. It was my first time working under the direction of (New York based) production manager Tom Hudak, which I enjoyed immensely.
“Both venues were incredibly helpful and the support given to us by Allen Spriggs for the London show and Pascal Larre for co-ordinating Paris was superb”.
Entec's Ryan Brown crew chiefed this element of the production and dealt with the various challenges of fitting L'Arc~en~Ciel's complex stadium spec'd lighting rig into the Zenith, for which they were sent a plot by LD Yasumasa Yuasa.
The starting point was an overhead mother grid constructed from 30 cm Thomas Supertruss which provided the main overhead lighting positions.
The moving lights were 50 GLP Impression XLs (the super-sized version of GLP's LED wash light with 240 LEDs), plus 20 x Vari*Lite VL3000 Spots.
These were joined by a large array of PAR cans. Twenty-four bars of 6 PARs were wrapped around the back of the stage for a full-on â€˜wall of death' effect, and in front of these was a 6 metre high by 20 metre wide Stealth video screen – supplied by Bluman Associates.
The front truss featured more PARs and a scattering of 8-lites for audience blinding.
There were 22 x 4-lite Moles with scrollers, 10 in the air and 12 on the deck, plus 12 Atomic strobes and 12 Martin Professional MAC 700 Profiles on the floor.
There was no set as such, just a bare stage with risers and a substantial amount of lighting to fit onto the stage space at Le Zenith.
Meticulous phase-balancing of the dimmers was required to ensure that the rock-tastic enthusiasm of using such a large conventional rig worked harmoniously within the venue's power supply.
Another challenge was the low ceiling. However, with some clever bridling and lateral planning, the eventual headroom for the rig was just 17 centimetres below their standard stadium trim height!
Entec brought in Nic Burlace as production rigger who worked closely with the Zenith crew to achieve these results. The total rig weight (including the Stealth) was 19.2 tonnes, just fitting the 20 tonnes maximum limit!
Richard Hutton looked after dimmers and Andy Emmerson also joined the lighting crew, getting in the day before show day.
For Indigo, there was slightly less pressure, with 12 GLP Impressions supplied as floor â€˜specials' together with a small amount of Stealth. Other than that, they utilized the house rig.
Yasumasa Yuasa brought his own grandMA console to run the lighting, together with their own media server to feed the video.
Entec's Ed Hammond took care of sonicality at Le Zenith, with a large d&b racks-and-stacks system, into which L'Arc~en~Ciel hooked their own control and monitor system, featuring an Avid Profile console for FOH and a Yamaha PM5D onstage.
The main arrays each comprised eight d&b J-8s and two J-12s speakers a side, with eight Q-1s left-and-right for the side hangs and six J-SUBS a side, ground stacked.
Two d&b Q-7s were used for infills, but with the crowd barrier being quite far back from the stage, most of the lower areas of the arena were easily covered by the main arrays.
The system was controlled with Dolby Lake processing and driven by d&b D12 amplifiers.
It was designed by Hammond based on CAD drawings of the venue, seating stands, etc. and modeled in d&b's ArrayCalc. The aim was to have good, even and loud coverage all around the venue and they spent time ensuring all ranges including the sub delays were nice and even. Live, the system worked very similar to how the ArrayCalc had predicted!
Hammond was joined on the crew by James Kerridge, and they worked closely with band engineers Seiji Yokose (FOH) and Takatoshi Sugimoto on monitors, both of whom were delighted with the results.
Just prior to this show, they had used a d&b J-series PA for a concert at Madison Square Gardens, which went down spectacularly, so they were happy to use the brand again. The MSG show was the first time a Japanese headline act has played the iconic venue.
For the Indigo show, Entec's sound division supplied the same premium grade service although the kit list - at one wedge and three transformers – was slightly reduced, as the band rocked with the house JBL VerTec system.
Richard Ames says, “Noreen again was fantastic with attention to detail, great co-ordination and communication, keeping everyone in the loop and continually updated”.
L'Arc~en~Ciel's world tour finishes this summer with shows in the Nissan Stadium and Universal Studios Japan and two in Hawaii. Their twelfth album, Butterfly, was released in February.
For more press info on Entec, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email â€˜[email protected]'. To contact Entec direct, call +44 (0)20 8842 4004 or check www.entec-soundandlight.com.