Canadian-band Arcade Fire embarked on the first leg of their lengthy North American Infinite Content tour, incorporating a range of fixtures from German Light Products.
Chris Bushell operates the light during the tour, working under the creative direction of Tarik Mikou of Canadian production company, Moment Factory. “Lighting wise, we wanted to be able to create structural walls and cages of light,” Bushell explained. “This, arranged around an even grid of more vintage tungsten lighting, was to blend in within a large four-sided Jumbotron to form a single solid piece above the stage.”
PRG Las Vegas are the lighting vendor during the North America leg of the tour, supplying large quantities of GLP’s award-winning GLP X4 Bar 20s and Bar 10s, and the new JDC1 hybrid strobe. “Support has been fantastic as always,” added the designer. Of his background working with GLP tools, he revealed. “I have used [GLP’s] X4 lensed fixtures previously, they are rich, bright and focussed, enabling them to complement whatever they’re mixed with.
“I also used the X4 Bar 20’s with James Blake so was aware of the unique presence they create. Although I was a big fan of the old Digital Light Curtains, they became harder to locate among touring vendors so I was delighted when a comparable LED version finally arrived,” Bushell explained.
Bushell also used the GLP X4 Bars on Arcade Fire’s festival run during the summer. As for the GLP JDC1’s, this had been his first experience. “I wanted a strong LED moving wash in the rig over the stage, but was after something different in functionality, rather than just eye-candy effects. This lighting design is very much embedding the fixtures into the set and making more of their output so the JDC1 fitted the bill as it also incorporated the mega strobe functions. This was extremely helpful with space above the rig above at such a premium.”
20 JDC1 fixtures are used as overhead flood and strobe fixtures, with a further 6 facing upwards within the video piece to create an aura within and above the solid Jumbotron. An additional 8 GLP JDC1’s are set in the automated towers outside the stage area to light and silhouette the stage set from the perimeter.
Meanwhile, the GLP X4 Bar 20’s (and a couple of Bar 10’s) are used to create solid light curtains that surround the stage and central riser, giving the appearance of a physical box of light, including an additional outer wall of 32 GLP X4 Bar 20s with 8 on each axis, and an inner square of 4 GLP Bar 20’s and 8 GLP Bar 10’s.
Bushall concluded: “LED strobes are normally an utter disappointment, but these get the distressing electronic/chemical flicker right and serve as a viable and more versatile alternative to conventional strobes. In fact, I asked Avolites to separate the fixture personalities for the JDC1’s so I have a separate strobe with tilt, strobing colour plate and flood, which is a big help with my ageing mind and archaic programming style.”
All show programming on the Infinite Content tour has been undertaken under the creative direction of Tarik Mikou and the Moment Factory team; this includes video, automation programming and the lighting design, developed in close collaboration with Chris Bushell.