Metronomy completed a year of touring their ‘Love Letters’ album with a show stopping gig at London’s Alexandra Palace venue with lighting and set designed by Ed Warren, one of an innovative ‘new wave’ of lighting and visual designers making an impact in the world of live stage presentation.
The floor lighting package throughout the tour had in fact featured Robe moving lights, and more were added for the finale show, making a complete count of 14 x Pointes, six LEDWash 300s, 39 x LEDBeam 100s, 17 x LEDWash 600s and 26 x ROBIN 600E Spots, all supplied by Southampton based rental company, GLS.
The stage design was based on a ‘futuristic’ 1970’s TV show concept, the visuality of which was partly inspired by the work of Ed’s two favourite light artists, James Turrell and Dan Flavin, and their experimentation with block colours and the bold vibrancy of neon.
The result was a stage with numerous colour-changing surfaces including keyboard fronts, riser fronts set pieces and backdrop; all elements that helped Ed change the complete sense of perspective of the environment.
The design – like any piece of live art - evolved and morphed over the year according to which section of the tour was happening and the format e.g. festivals, headliners, venue sizes, etc.
For Ali Pally, Ed extended the lighting out over the crowd as far as possible via two 40 ft trusses hung above the auditorium, the idea being that this would pull the audience into the gig and the onstage action … effectively making the vast space cozy and intimate just like a club.
Over the stage was a U-shaped truss upstage with two arms pointing forwards, and at the front of the stage was a V-shaped truss. A truss behind the backdrop was utilised for lights to skim up and blast through the double printed cloth … in addition to the floor package lighting. The Robes were positioned on all the trusses and on the floor.
The Pointes were primarily used to bounce and reflect light off multiple mirror-balls which were also part of the set look.
The LEDWash 300s back-lit the backdrop and set pieces and highlighted the band, while the LEDWash 600s were the principle wash lights up above in the trusses, and Ed also made the most of the individual LED ring control for special moments and effects.
Eight of the LEDBeam 100s individually up-lit the band, with the rest hung out above the crowd bouncing around the room illuminating the grandiose surroundings.
Six of the 600E Spots were rigged on the front truss for key lighting, and the rest were on the main truss for the show’s profile looks.
The Pointes were used as snazzy point-sources onto the mirror-balls and for skimming, scanning and playing into the audience, who did not stop dancing for the mammoth 24 song set.
Ed controlled all the lights from his own ChamSys MQ60 console + Fader Wing, and the unflappable Ian Turner from GLS who provided the lighting also Production Managed the gig.
“I’ve worked with Metronomy for 10 years now and it’s never been difficult, never felt like ‘work’. No other band’s music and aesthetic has been simpler to translate with such satisfying results. They’ve never been averse to spending a bit of money on making something special and their input into this is always valuable. I’m so fortunate to have spent the year with my good friends making our dreams come alive. Can’t wait to do it again soon!”
Photos : Carolina Faruolo