Blink-182 Rock with Robe for ‘California’ Tour

Courtesy of Dom Smith.

Dominic Smith from Neon Black delivered the full production design for Blink 182’s new California Tour, including lighting, video and set. The lighting rig includes 40 BMFL Blades which are being supplied by VER. Based internationally in the US and the UK, it’s the first time Dominic has toured with Robe’s highest powered BMFL moving lights and he thinks they are “a great light – bright, reliable and do everything I need in terms of effects and functionality.”

The rig has an interesting architectural appearance and shape comprising a series of interconnecting concentric diamond shapes, and the lights are arranged over a series of trusses. 12 of the BMFL Blades are used as key lights on the front of the band, and the rest as high-impact back lighting and effects. Dominic likes the quality of light coming out of the BMFL, the sharp focus and the strong and vibrant colours, which are in keeping with the punky essence of Blink-182’s music. He also finds the shutters smooth, accurate and easy to use.

The light show features lots of bold blocks of strong colour, manic movement and animated moments with lots of stab-and-accent cues to match the bold spikey attitudinal vibe of the performance. “It’s great fun to light a show like this, there are multiple things happening all the time and you really have to be fully concentrating” he elaborated, saying that the lighting will follow the hues and texturing of the video that was produced by his Neon Black business partner, Bertram Paré.

The upstage video screen is a 15mm pitch LED product 60ft wide by 13ft high and there is also 3mm LED surface cladding the front of the risers – so the lighting has to hold its own against this mass of brightness, which is an ideal live environment for the BMFL because of its incredible power. The creative challenge of crafting the show has been getting all the visual components to work harmoniously explained Dominic: “it’s not just about lighting as a stand-alone medium, but how it works with video and set as a coherent and appropriate visual platform.”

He thinks Robe products have definitely developed and become more innovative and interesting in recent years. “Robe has always been an acceptable brand,” he said, but he feels it’s now moved up several notches. This also reflects the great success of Robe North America in the last two years in establishing the brand and the BMFL in particular as one of the go-to choices for designers of major tours and events.