Splendor in the Grass


British pop rock band Supergrass recently completed a world tour supporting its fourth album, Life on Other Planets. Ali Bale has designed lighting and visuals for Supergrass since the band's early days in 1995. When the tour stepped up from theatres to arenas, Bale specified an assortment of automated and conventional lights, including 26 Martin MAC 2000 Profile moving lights.

Bale has been a loyal user of various Martin luminaires for some years, but this was the first time he specified the new 2000 range for one of his own shows. “It was a bold move, specifying lights I'd not used before, but I know the Martin brand is reliable, and the fixture's tech spec made it an obvious choice,” he says, adding, “The 2Ks have been excellent on the road.”

The MAC 2000s were joined by four Martin MAC 2000 Performance fixtures. Based on the original MAC 2K, the new luminaire is specially engineered for use in theatre and television. It incorporates advanced features such as a mechanized framing system and gobo animation module. Bale likes the abundance of features, the color-mix system, and the smoothness of movement on the MAC 2000, and he used them for a variety of effects, from mellow gobo moves to manic, uptempo iris and color-bump chases. Eighteen of the MAC 2Ks were mounted on a selection of different length mini-truss T-bars hanging down from the main trusses, and a further eight were positioned on the floor.

Other equipment included High End Systems Studio Beam PCs, Vari*Lite® VL5s, PAR cans and Molefays, Chroma-Q color scrollers, Strong Truss Trouper HMI 1200 followspots, Diversitronics 3kW strobes, Reel EFX DF-50 hazers, blue police beacons, Tomcat truss, and Columbus McKinnon Lodestar motors, all controlled by Avolites ART4000 dimmers and Avo Sapphire 2000 and Pearl 2000 consoles, plus innovative video visuals to produce a dramatic, colorful show.

Blackburn, UK-based Lite Alternative supplied the lighting equipment. Supergrass will tour the European summer festival circuit.