The Next Rig Thing Part 2: The Joint is Jumping


Just by virtue of its location in Sin City, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas tends to get a steady flow of A-list performers on its stage, such as Morrissey, Rufus Wainwright, Blondie, P.O.D., Alanis Morrisette, and Sting, who was so impressed with the new lighting rig that he left his automated fixtures in the truck. Among the new fixtures brought in for the update were 14 VARI*LITE VL3000 spots and 10 VL2000 washes.

The 8,000 sq. ft. theatre handles both seated and SRO crowds, and patrons are treated to two fully staffed, self-contained bars as well as catering services. For the elite who want to keep the focus on the stage, there is a VIP area on the upper level away from the packed crowd. If the crowd is too intense, there are a variety of video monitors throughout the space, along with two 42'×50' plasma video screens that bring the stage alive. The centerpiece of The Joint — the stage itself — is an 800 sq. ft. performance space flanked by 25' tall speaker bays. No wonder it's the preferred spot of rock ‘n roll elite when they hit the Vegas strip.

When the new fixtures were installed, it was the first time in over a decade new lights had gone into the venue's rig, according to Hard Rock's LD Louis Pelkey. “The lights that were in there were 11 years old, and they had been worked really hard,” he says. “It seems like I spent more time repairing them than they actually worked. It got to be too expensive to repair, and the parts were too difficult to find.”

When Pelkey was shopping around for new lights, he came across the VARI*LITE fixtures and was impressed by their features. “The intensity is phenomenal,” he says. “The color mixing is nice, and the zoom is incredible. The Joint has 18' ceilings, and it is awesome to see them fill the place with light. I can wash the entire room with just four fixtures.” Aside from the VLs, Pelkey also brought in eight High End Systems Studio Colors to replace eight PAR cans. “The Studio Colors are ideal for sidelight,” he added.

The VL3000s in the house are 40' away from the stage, and Pelkey can cover the entire stage with one fixture because of its 4:1 zoom ratio. He added that the group A Perfect Circle, like Sting, left its overhead rig in the truck and only brought in ground lights.