In mid-2022, pop musician Alice Merton released her second studio album, S.I.D.E.S. After a few dates in the USA, she began her European tour in mid-July to promote the new work live. LD Tobias Schwietz took 12 GLP impression X4 Bar 20 with him on the trip.
The idea behind the lighting and stage design was primarily about creating as tidy a look as possible, with little visible technology on the stage. As the designer explains: “We basically worked with the three classic layers of light – of ‘alley’ light (side lighting at head height), backlight and backdrop lighting so we could give depth to the stage, and create three-dimensionality in the backdrop. The whole show is characterized by strong backlighting, silhouettes and strobe effects. The backdrop – featuring a coloured sky with Alice’s initials in front, made of two-metre-high wooden letters – form one of the main elements. The show starts off very dark and gets brighter and happier as it progresses. This is intended to illustrate different phases of life – from panic, fear and madness to light-heartedness and happiness.”
The impression X4 Bars are used by the designer to illuminate the entire surface of the backdrop, but also as backlight and alley light. The backdrop is provided by eight X4 Bars placed in a row on the floor, while two vertically stacked Bars each on the left and right near the edge of the stage create the side lighting. Tobias Schwietz explores all the possibilities of this GLP classic in single pixel mode.
“For the flat backdrop illumination, I pull the zoom all the way up,” explains the designer. “With the help of the single pixel control, movement can be brought into the sky, so that the impression of animated clouds is created. The Bars offer a contrasting look when they shine in the opposite direction and with a narrow or wide zoom in the direction of the audience. The narrow zoom creates a modern look, which also reveals a certain mysticism through slow tilt movements. On the other hand, with the zoom open, there is a super even wash across the entire width of the stage.”
Schwietz also plays with the creative diversity of the impression X4 Bars in the alley lighting: “In the dark beginning part of the show, the devices only produce narrow, symmetrical walls of light in order to put the artist in the spotlight. Various dimming effects create further drama. Later in the set, I zoom in more and more, so that the band is also illuminated and everything seems brighter and more joyful. With a very narrow beam, the X4 Bars placed on the side also serve as a blinder/effect light in the direction of the audience.”
Unsurprisingly, it is precisely the versatility of the GLP Bars that the designer particularly appreciates: “The narrow zoom and the resulting light walls are definitely my favorite in the design. The really impressive, flat wash also makes the X4 Bar a great hybrid device, which showed me completely new possible uses on this tour. When it comes to color effects, the simple rainbow remains an eye-catcher and still provides ‘wow’ moments. The X4 Bar is a classic that is still exciting because of its quality and the abundance of design possibilities.”
As part of the album promotion, a live stream show also took place in the summer, for which lighting designer Patrick Rabus used 16 impression X4 Bar 20, 11 XDC1 IP Hybrid and eight JDC Line 500.
Paul Grauwinkel, the artist’s manager and lighting designer himself, says: “The collaboration with GLP and Andi Brandt has grown over the years, so that we quickly get new products on the screen. With the JDC1 and impression X4 Bar, GLP has set the bar very high for fixtures that can be used universally. It is, of course, interesting to see what new developments follow. The JDC Line 500 can also be used very flexibly and the output is considerable. The new XDC1 also makes a powerful impression with its enormous output. Thanks to the IP certification, they can be used even more flexibly and served us well during the rainy outdoor live stream show. I certainly look forward to seeing these fixtures in an Alice Merton set in the future.”