Leading UK lighting rental company HSL has made a substantial investment in Robe's new Digital Series products – including 6 DigitalSpot 7000DTs and 36 REDWash 3Ÿ 192s along with 16 REDBlinder 2Ÿ 96's – primarily for the Pussycat Dolls European “Doll Domination” tour, for which they were specified by LD Scott Warner.
HSL is supplying all lighting equipment and crew for the tour which also includes 60 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E AT moving lights, 40 Martin Professional Atomic strobes, a 12 way Kinesys automation system with Vector control plus over 60 motors and rigging. HSL also designed and commissioned several pieces of custom metalwork that were fabricated by TFL for the tour which is project managed for them by Mike Oates.
It's a complex lighting system to build each day, requiring lots of precision and tight teamwork. Mike Oates comments, “The biggest challenge is getting it in and up in a reasonable time each day, for which we did serious pre-planning to maximize the efficiency of get ins and outs.”
The slick, high-energy show is a colourful and fluid amalgam of classic pop lighting with plenty of attitude and dynamics. Warner makes an expediently sized rig – in terms of fixtures – go a long way with an inventive trussing design that includes four 2.5 metre â€˜Octopods', two of which move, a 4.5 metre circular moving truss and a semi-circle truss.
Each Octopod is loaded with 6 Robe ColorSpot 2500E ATs, three REDBlinder 2Ÿ96s and 3 Atomic strobes.
The front truss features 5 Vari*Lite VL3000 fixtures with their pan and tilt functions disabled which are used as follow spots. Warner has full control of the intensity and other parameters from his grandMA full size console, so all the operators have to do is point.
Below this are the two static Octopods, each rigged with 6 Robe ColorWash 2500s, 4 Atomics and four 9-lite Moles. Sitting below these – hung independently on their own trussing/motors - are two Robe DigitalSpot 7000 DTs.
Upstage is a T-shaped mother grid, from which the 2 moving Octopods are sub-hung, together with the circle and semi circle trusses. The semi circle has 3 Robe ColorSpot 2500s rigged to it, and the full circle has 4 plus 8 REDWash 3Ÿ192s. There's also a special PCD globe, built by ShowFX in LA with 13 dimming channels of 30W bulbs and two Robe REDFlash strobes.
Upstage left and right, diagonally orientated, are 2 heavily loaded 20ft runs of SwingWing truss, each containing 8 REDWash 3Ÿ192s, four REDBlinder 2Ÿ96s, six ColorSpot 2500s and 8 Atomics. Upstage of the centre-stage LED video screen is a back truss containing another 12 Robe ColorSpot 2500s, 6 strobes and 8 REDWashes.
The floor is kept relatively clear of lights. This is to preserve the integrity of the clean, clear lines that Warner and production manager Bryan “Froggy” Cross – set co-designers – wanted to define the performance space. There are 8 REDWashes as footlights across the front of the stage and four ColorSpot 2500s in â€˜shin-buster' positions stage left and right.
Warner is controlling all lighting from a grandMA full size console, with another running in full tracking back up. HSL is also supplying a grandMA Light as a technical desk, located in the dimmer area.
Another time saving HSL invention for the tour was the construction of a dolly, specially tailored to contain all the dimmers and distro. This is forked off the truck each day and positioned stage right, ready for mains to be connected.
One of HSL's famous A-Team crews is enjoying a bit of Doll Domination, chiefed by Eugene Benavidez who also operates the Kinesys system. He's joined by Dan Tiley (dimmers), Kinesys tech Steve Belfield, Jason Dixon, Rick “Avo” Butler and tour rigger Chris Harris, who is also flying Britro's PA as part of his HSL rigging duties.
It's the first time that Scott Warner or Bryan Cross has worked with HSL, and they are both very happy. Oates further comments, “Scott and Froggy are a joy to work with. They will listen to any suggestions we make, and they both have extensive experience of all levels of touring and production and have a very practical and intelligent approach to producing an excellent show. Ensuring a friendly and fun vibe on the road is also high on the agenda – we like that!”