Nick Gray of Renegade has blended cool, contemporary and classic in a massive lighting and set design for Kasabian's â€˜Velociraptor!' world tour, which is currently storming the UK arenas, with a large, no-compromise, full-on rock aesthetic to the delight of fans - oodles of energy, brightness, power, sub bass and attitude.
Gray is known as one of the most innovative â€˜new generation' UK visual designers whose work is intelligent and original. On this he collaborated closely on the stage look with the band's creative director Aitor Throup, who also designs the stage clothes through to the merchandise on sale, ensuring a creative – but flexible - coherence.
The stage design is highly architectural. Upstage is a massive ellipsoidal shaped LED dome, which is made up of nearly 100 square metres of BT-12, a 12 mm LED screen product which has been custom manufactured for suppliers Colour Sound Experiment.
In front of this is an impressive 20 metre wide by 10m structural high arch which is raked forward, fabricated by Lite Structures, and rigged with 134 x 1.5 metre lengths of Barco MiStrip LED, supplied by XL Video.
The lighting elements are physically integrated with the video structures throughout the whole stage set, and this was one of Gray's specific aims – to have no visible trussing supporting the lighting. Combined like this, these two mediums form a complete and encompassing dynamic visual environment for the band to perform.
Gray explains, "The clean, clear, strongly defined lines of the arch and the video dome set a distinctive look and feel for the show. The band can get onstage and perform, backed by big, bold, expressive visual â€˜blocks' that match the energy of the music”.
He chose the smallest, brightest capacity lighting fixtures available to fit the space, be unobtrusive and provide the base layers of the multi-level design, including Martin Professional MAC Auras, Clay Paky Sharpies and a splattering of single cell Moles.
Fixture placement was crucial to the look. While the lighting is big, bold and bright, when video playback is running on the Dome, the vibe subtly changes to allow footage its space and place onstage at the centre of the visual equation. The custom video content was created by Silent Studios.
Rigged off the Dome's scaffolding support structure behind – so they protrude through the surface - are ten customised lamp bars, each fitted with two Sharpies, a MAC Aura and an Atomic strobe.
Attached to the perimeter of the arch are 29 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s, ten Atomics and 12 single cell blinders.
The front / advanced truss, the only piece of conventional overhead metalwork, is loaded with four Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs and ten Alpha Wash 1500s, used to light the band and blast into the arena, reaching out to the audience and drawing them into the stage action. Either side of the advanced truss and in line with it are two â€˜wing' trusses for more audience lighting interaction, loaded with eight strobes and ten Sharpies between them.
Continuing the layered theme, Gray has designed a substantial â€˜floor package' element into the rig. The backbone of this are five 2.5 metre truss towers, all on castors for quick roll-on-roll-off deployment, each with two Alpha Spot 1500s on top and more strobes and blinders on scaff bars that are outrigged both sides of the towers.
In front of the towers are six 4K Big Lites adding to Gray's arsenal of high impact light sources, but used sparingly for maximising their WOW factor!
It's basically a very beamy, potent rock show mix with some ravey infusions with huge strobing moments - 40 Atomics on the rig, strobes create one of a number of special signature looks. The 40 single cell Moles are another, and these are scattered around for twinkly moments. There is plenty of mood and drama in the show but even the reflective moments are lit with assertion and presence!
“Ultimately it's designed to support the band's performance and get the audience on its feet, adrenalized and moving in harmony with the vibes coming offstage,” states Gray. The all-action set storms through classic Kasabian hits and crowd pleasers through to and material from the critically acclaimed new fourth studio album.
Lighting contractors Neg Earth are also supplying two FOH follow spots and plenty of smoke!
The lighting is being operated on the road by lighting director Paul "PK" Kell using a Hog 3 console, which is also triggering a Catalyst media server streaming video into the MiStrips.
Neg Earth's lighting crew are chief Steve Arch, Ben Howell, Erwin De Gans and Ben Morgan.
Gray and Kell visualised a fair proportion of the show in advance in Renegade's WYSIWYG studio, so they arrived for production rehearsals at LS LIVE in Wakefield well prepared.
The Velociraptor! tour is currently scheduled to continue well into 2012, and dates confirmed for the immediate future include Australia's Big Day Out, shows in Asia and tours in Japan and the US .
For more press information on Renegade, please call Louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888 or +44 1865 202679 or EMail : [email protected] To contact Renegade direct, please call Nick Gray on +44 7795 095427 or check www.renegadedesign.co.uk.