Singer/songwriter Niall Horan may be best known as a former member of One Direction but the Ireland native can hold his own as a solo artist as well and is proving just that on his current “Flicker Sessions” tour. Special Event Services supplied lighting for a string of North American tour dates last fall, a package that included Elation Professional Chorus Line 16™ pixel bar wash luminaires.
Headlining his own show on a stage decorated with an “NH” backdrop, the “Flicker Sessions” tour is the artist’s debut outing. Playing more intimate settings than what he was used to with 1D, Horan is relaunching himself with more guitar driven music that is finding a broader appeal. Production, lighting and scenic design for the tour is by UK-based production design company Okulus with lighting direction by David ‘Bickie’ Lee. Creative direction for the tour was by Modest Management and Okulus.
The Chorus Line 16 pixel bar fixtures, 42-inch long (107 cm) color-changing pixel bars, played a special role from static positions behind the risers. Projecting high and low through the band or aligned to shoot above musicians’ heads, they gave what lighting director Lee describes as an unbroken blade-like look. “From behind the risers they provided a wall of light, a kind of break-through-the-musicians look,” he said.
The Chorus Line 16 houses sixteen powerful 40W RGBW LEDs that allows for use on large stage performances – like on last year’s Tears for Fears tour – and includes enough punch to compete with bright LED video screens. “I loved their intense power,” stated Lee, who worked with One Direction as lighting director for five years. “I don’t think there is another LED array about that can deliver the punch that these can.”
The Chorus Line fixtures (which are available in two different lengths) can fulfill a number of purposes in a single show and also have full pixel control for direct eye candy looks. Motorized zoom optics from 4° to 40° mean it can be used to light set objects and cycs and a 220° tilt motor function lets designers position or move the unit dynamically during a show.
“The zoom in the CL16’s is also killer,” Lee states. “You can take the fixture from full fluffy zoom to a super sharp almost pinspot type sharp hard-edge beam.” On Niall Horan, the Chorus Line 16s were floor-positioned 10 wide across the back of the stage as upstage as possible.
Horan embarked on the “Flicker Sessions” tour last August with a debut album “Flicker” hitting the streets in October. Special Event Services, which holds 30 of the Chorus Line 16 fixtures in stock, was audio and lighting vendor for the North American run (October 29 - November 22) of the tour. The company also had the dynamic pixel bars out September 22 - October 22 on a tour by American rockers PVRIS, where 24 units were used as back light and side key lights. The PVRIS tour was designed by Okulus and operated by Joe Watrach.
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