West London based lighting and sound rental house Entec is supplying lighting, rigging and part of the visuals package, including a new Green Hippo Grasshopper HD media server (said to be the first in the UK) , to the current Australian Pink Floyd Show tour.
The band’s lighting designer is Phil White and the show is considered to be the definitive tribute show to the legends of progressive/psychedelic rock. Entec has been involved with supplying the band since 2004.
“We are very pleased with the evolving seven year relationship we’ve had with the band and crew on this show,” said Entec’s Noreen O’Riordan. “Every night, each department delivers a high quality, faultless performance with a consistency that is very hard to beat ….. no wonder they have stolen the hearts of “Pink Floyd” fans worldwide.”
The lighting rig design is based on Pink Floyd’s seminal 1994 “Pulse” tour and the visuals element of the show uses both 3D and 2D projections, featuring a completely new set of material following a new band line up, ‘rebirth’ and new management deal.
The 3D projection is at the visual core of the new show, with bespoke content produced and created by video artist and guru John Attard played back on a 6 metre circular screen centre stage. The 2D material for an arch screen upstage of the circle was created by Phil White and Lydia Baker, and also includes some 2D footage from Attard, which is derived from, and related to, his 3D material playing on the circle.
The arch is 60ft wide arch and filled with matt white projection screen. In front of this is the circular truss filled with a special HD projection screen supplied by Harkness via Hangman, and the 3D projections kick in during the second half of the show, providing narrative accompaniment to the songs. They are projected onto the circle via a playback system provided by XL Video.
The arch features an assortment of high impact 2D ‘backing’ visuals and ambient content which is stored on Entec’s Hippo Grasshopper and triggered from White’s grandMA full size lighting console running over ArtNet. The arch projections are fed from 2 Barco R12 projectors, one covering each side.
To give the stage a new sense of depth and dimension and a totally different look from the last tour, 12 sections of individual 3 metre upstage/downstage truss are flown at varying heights on ProStar motors. These are collectively also in a spherical shape format – in front of and framing – the white screen of the arch. “We wanted to introduce a real 3D feeling to the stage to compliment the 3D visuals,” explains White.
Whilst certain elements of the original Pink Floyd show are mimicked and replicated exactly, the dynamics of the TAPF show enable new visual material and ideas to be introduced all the time, ensuring that it’s a constantly evolving work rather than a static environment.
Entec purchased their new Grasshopper from A.C. Video, the specialist video division of A.C. Entertainment Technologies, specially for the tour, and this follows the purchase of several other Green Hippo products from AC-ET. It was specified by Entec’s Ryan Brown who also set up and fine-tuned the system before it left their Northolt base.
The lighting equipment supplied by Entec includes 40 Clay Paky Alpha Spot 300 HPEs, 24 of which are positioned on the 12 trusses around the arch and 16 around the perimeter of the circle.
There are also 6 Martin Professional Atomic strobes on the arch trusses and 12 x 2-lite Moles, with each section of truss internally lit by an i-Pix Satellite LED ‘brick’ tucked into the corner.
In addition to the 16 HPEs on the circle are 8 x 2-lites, and the trussing itself is also internally lit with another 16 Satellites to match the mood lighting of the arch trusses and accentuate the architectural look of the stage.
Further downstage at either end of the band space are 2 vertically mounted truss sections, each rigged with 4 x Vari*Lite 2500 Spots, which are used for powerful back-of-stage lighting, and dramatic low level cuts-and-sweeps.
On the front truss are the 2 x Barco 20K FLM projectors which are feeding the circular projections and the 2 x Barco R12s feeding the arch, together with 5 x V*L 2000 Spots used for all the key lighting. Also up there are 3 x MAC 700 wash moving lights, utilized for general high level stage washes.
On the floor are 10 x V*L 2500 Spots, 2 x Nova Flower 2.5K flower effects and a splattering of LED floor PAR cans.
At the front of the stage are 11 Chromalech Jarags, and these are used specifically to mimic the 10 x 10 Raylite matrix that featured on the Pulse tour and was programmed to produce patterns, symbols and text key words. The Jarags offer a 5×5 bulb format, and they are also used as mega-bright audience blinders!
One of the aesthetic directions that White discussed with the band at the start of the tour was how to make it brighter than previous years. This was addressed by introducing the ‘double arch’ architecture, facilitating lighting positions that allow aerial/audience effects to be happening whilst the band are bathed in light from fixtures on the arch and side trusses.
White builds the show gradually, at the start everything is minimal and there’s no projection, just stark, stripped-back lighting – similar to the vibe that it would have been during the band’s early career in the 1960s and 70s. Next, the arch is revealed as the show starts to gain more of a technical look, and then 2D projections onto both arch and circle start, with the 3D kicking in at the start of the second half, At this point, the band look like they are floating in space in an iconic Pink Floyd look.
After this, the show builds to an electrifying crescendo with 3D projection and all lights blazing, right through to the final chords of the scary, mob frenzy inciting “Run Like Hell”, which ends the show.