Rising British rock band Don Broco have finished a UK arena and club tour, and now head to the States. Dominating their stage production has been impression X4 Bar 20 LED battens from GLP, specified and programmed by Ben Inskip.
Ben was asked to join the band’s team in 2017 when they announced a one-off show at Alexandra Palace to kick off their new album campaign, which at the time was the biggest full production show they had done. “Since then we have done shows of all shapes and sizes, but this arena tour was another big step up for them and a fitting end to the Technology album cycle.” says Ben.
In keeping with the Technology name, the LD set out to give the shows a futuristic look throughout the cycle “using a lot of straight lines to create interesting shapes.” Taking the campaign artwork as a reference he came up with this idea of a portal to another dimension (think Stargate). “The design evolved over many revisions to a point where I had plenty of high impact looks and tons of versatility at my disposal,” he reports. “The X4 battens were at the top of my list when choosing fixtures. There really isn’t anything comparable for highlighting the shape of the production as well as having the ability to get those really cool sheets of light and a substantial stage wash at times too. “
In fact, Ben Inskip has turned to GLP for his solutions many times over the years, dating back to the original GLP impression 90. “I’m a big fan of the entire X4 range as well as the JDC1 [hybrid strobe].” But for this project he admits to “blowing my budget on as many X4 Bar 20s as I could get”, sourcing 76 from Siyan.
With variance in venue size the lighting package was scalable. “However, the routing of the tour actually worked out quite well in this regard, as we started in the smallest venue on the tour and scaled up a bit every day. The design scaled vertically and horizontally while maintaining the main shape, which is where the X4 Bars really helped give continuity to each show no matter the size. “
As a regular user of the X4 Bar 20 he is familiar with the vast number of looks that can be achieved. “They are perfect for what I’m trying to do with the Broco show so they were always going to feature in the design however it ended up,” he admits. “I have used batten-style fixtures through the campaign, each for different applications, but when it comes to bigger shows, I needed something that could offer more versatility. Of course, the classic sheet of light the X4 Bar creates when zoomed in was something no batten offers and the ability to move them to create different shapes and scenes—almost like moving walls around the stage—was pretty awesome with the quantity I had to play with.“ He ran all the X4 Bars in Single Pixel HR mode, and instead of pixel mapping through a media server, used the FX engine and timeline on his Vista L5 desk to get all the looks he wanted.
As for the rig itself, he had four overhead trusses in a 45-degree chevron shape and some returns on the back truss at the same angle, giving three distinct chevrons all traced with X4 Bars. “The riser arrangement on the stage mirrored the shape above so I had X4 Bars running down each ramp and on the podium risers also. This gave me some pretty good layers and definitely made the shape of the risers and trusses a stand out feature of the design.”
Ben Inskip handled his own programming, a challenging undertaking when running the X4 Bar 20 in Single Pixel mode due to its large channel count. “But having this much control over the units meant I could use them a lot throughout the show while still making them look different each time we see them.”
After another successful tour of duty Ben Inskip is unlikely to replace the X4 Bar 20s anytime soon—in fact he has already specified them on future designs. “The versatility they provide is what makes them stand out,” he exclaims. “Going from vertical walls of light all over the stage to a massive zoomed out audience effect with the same fixtures as well as being responsible for giving the entire production its shape made them critical to this design’s success.”