LOS ANGELES – Since 1995, Rx Bandits has been blowing past musical boundaries, joyfully blending and twisting rock rifts here with reggae slants there, then adding a little ska or jangle to come up with a fresh exhilarating sound that’s hard to categorize, but very easy to love. Recently, for the group’s highly anticipated Gemini Her Majesty Tour, LD Sohail e. Najafi returned the favor by helping the convention-defying band enter a new lighting realm with some brilliantly pixel mapped Nexus 4x4 panels from CHAUVET Professional.
“Rx Bandits is always taking their music to new places, and they want this vision reflected in their lightshow too,” said Najafi of Najafi Design Group in Los Angeles. “Originally when the band's manager first contacted me for this tour, she had the concept of a flat LED curtain to create a ‘cool backdrop effect.’ Realizing that their vision was limited by the technology they were aware of, I immediately suggested growing the design into something more substantial.”
That “something” was an eye-tingling pixel mapped array of 20 Nexus 4x4 panels provided by 4Wall Entertainment. “We positioned the panels directly on the deck upstage to frame the band,” said Najafi. “The Nexus 4x4s were used to create a large dynamic monogram backdrop of the band's initials ‘Rx’ that changed with the music. Our design concept was to give the artist a dynamic and visually stunning piece of three-dimensional scenery that we could then use to accent and support their performance at all of the different types of venues on the tour.”
From the Best Buy Theater on Times Square, to the iconic Fillmore in San Francisco, the Gemini Her Majesty Tour thrilled packed houses across the US with its uplifting mix of music and captivating pixel mapped lightshow. “The band relied on each venue's house rig and operator for their main lighting rig,” said Najafi. “Our design pertained entirely to the dynamic LED backdrop created with the Nexus 4x4 panels.”
Najafi used Madrix as his control software for pixel mapping the Nexus panels. “We designed a wide-range of pixel-mapped effects including color morphing, flying text, motion, and image cues,” he said. “An added bonus was Madrix's integrated sound-activated effects engine that allowed us to create sound-controlled motion effects that drove the audience crazy; our sound-activated fire and audio waveform cues on the Nexus panels always made the crowd roar!
“Pixel mapping the Nexus panels allowed us to create incredibly detailed effects with extremely dynamic motion very easily and very quickly,” continued Najafi. “Without it, our design would have had to be substantially simpler and programming would have taken significantly longer. It was these extremely dynamic effects that made the design so engaging for the audience and ultimately so much fun.”
Since silhouetting the band was critical to Najafi’s design, he ran the Nexus panels from half to full intensity, using them as both audience blinders and set pieces. His design called for the panels to produce a rainbow of colors in keeping with the Rx Bandit spirit. “We displayed all color families, including several white looks,” he said. “I was especially impressed by the LED chipset in the Nexus because of its ability to mix a very believable white from just its RGB diodes.”
The Gemini Her Majesty Tour garnered rave reviews throughout its cross-country run. Some reviewers included a nod of appreciation toward the pixel mapped light show. “Throughout the tour, the band's manger was in constant contact, relating stories and comments from fans who were awed by the spectacle of the Nexus panels,” said Najafi. “Everyone we heard from could not get over how visually stunning the whole thing looked.”
Looking back, Najafi recounted how his journey with Rx Bandits started. “We were referred to the project by a close contact at 4Wall Entertainment's Los Angeles office, Jeff Mateer, Vice President of Business Development,” he said. “The band's manager had reached out to 4Wall LA, and Jeff felt we were a great match with the client, so he made the introduction.” Judging from the looks of this lightshow, Jeff was right on!
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Miller
For more information on Najafi Design Group visit www.najafidesigngroup.com
For more information on 4Wall Entertainment visit www.4wall.com
About CHAUVET Professional
CHAUVET Professional offers innovative professional lighting fixtures for the production and touring market as well as permanent installation in theaters, hospitality venues, cruise ships, clubs, television and architainment applications. For more information, please visit www.chauvetprofessional.com
Chauvet, headquartered in the USA, is a leading global manufacturer of professional luminaires, truss and related equipment, fulfilling the needs of various industry sectors. Chauvet has four main brands: CHAUVET® DJ, CHAUVET® Professional, ILUMINARC® and TRUSST®. They share Chauvet’s unified strategy to pursue every market segment where it has a competitive advantage in terms of value, innovation and performance, with an emphasis on LED technology. For more information, please visit www.chauvetlighting.com