Fans didn’t stay in their seats for long when Breaking Benjamin took the stage on their recent tour with Alice In Chains. The multi-platinum rockers from Pennsylvania opened their show with a bang, or make that a blaze, when they appeared against an intense pyro display and broke into a full throttled rendition of Blow Me Away.
“Blow Me Away aways speaks for itself,” said Tyler Veneziano, who designed the band’s light show. “I wanted this song to look moody, with dancing pixel patterns for the verses and pre-chorus, then suddenly become explosive and bright for the chorus.”
Helping Veneziano create this level of energy for the opening song as well as the entire 16-song set were CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2X Wash and COLORado Solo Batten fixtures, which, like the rest of the rig, were supplied by Bandit Lites.
Veneziano used the same rig for Breaking Benjamin as lighting designers Scott Holthaus and Cort Lawrence, along with Video Director, Leif Dixon, worked with for Alice in Chains. However, the two design teams created distinctly different looks thanks to the rig’s versatility.
“Scott’s rig had fingers staggered with video panels that were quite low on the upstage end, which they used to incorporate some very beautiful looks into their show,” said Veneziano. “Their stage was also enclosed by beads. For my set we matched all of the fingers at the same height with a slight rake up on the down stage end. Our upstage trim was much higher than it was for Alice in Chains. This gave us room for our floor pods upstage left and upstage right. Carter Hopkins, the Bandit Lites crew chief, and Samuel Morgan, the dimmer tech, along with lighting techs Kristen Armstrong and Benjamin Boney, deserve a lot of credit for making this versatility possible for both design teams.”
Supporting Breaking Benjamin with what he described as “big and bold looks,” Veneziano had a three-tiered torms, each with nine beams create crossing patterns over the stage, and direct light into the crowd. “This band likes to see the crowd singing along, so there was an ample amount of audience lighting,” he said.
In keeping with the raw power of Veneziano’s overall look, he backed the band with intense lighting and an up-lit metal mesh covering that he covered with Breaking Benjamin gobos. “We didn’t go with a big video wall on this show,” he said. “Our vision was to go with a more industrial backdrop with the mesh covering and bright lights. I think that was more suited to what this show was all about.”
Helping to add an extra pop to the stage’s background were the rig’s 40 Rogue R2X Wash fixtures. The RGBW movers were mounted on six floor pods and arranged in two evenly divided rows, which they shared with moving beams. Drawing on the Rogue units’ wide (7.3ﹾ to 64.3ﹾ) zoom range, Veneziano was able to vary his background looks.
With an output as high as 8,149 lux at 5m, the Rouge R2X Wash provided his backdrop with plenty of punching power. “I ran this fixture beamed out to get the maximum visual force,” he said. “I’ve used different kinds of Rogue washes for a long time and know what they can do. I had to keep the R2X Wash’s horsepower in mind the whole time, because with their output they can wipe out the stage. So, yeah, they were a big part of the intensity we were after.”
Another thing about the Rogue R2X Wash that impressed Veneziano was their ruggedness. “The R2x washes are very road worthy,” he said. “Being out on tour for two months, we never had to swap one of them. They battled your average wear and tear of the road and pyro debris.”
Like everything else about the Breaking Benjamin rig, it seems, the rig’s Rogue fixtures “were very tough,” noted Benjamin.