Felix Peralta sets stage for Café Tacvba with CHAUVET Professional fixtures

Lighting Designer and Programmer, Felix Perata had the opportunity to create an array of visuals when he lit Café Tacvba with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Peralta’s use of contrasting warm and cool colour tones played against the famed bandshell’s concentric arches, while the shell-like stage accentuated the venue’s Hollywood Hills surroundings.

Helping him create these looks was a 4Wall Entertainment supplied rig that included 24 STRIKE Array 4 multi-formatted units, 18 Color STRIKE M motorised strobes, and 20 COLORado PXL Bar 16 battens from CHAUVET Professional.

“We had been touring this show with an orchestra for a little over a year,” commented Peralta. “When the opportunity came to do our show at the Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic, I had to reimagine the production to fit within the known variables presented at the Bowl under these conditions. I wanted to preserve as much of the iconic look of the bowl, while still having enough of the ‘lighting tools and paint brushes’ to recreate the look and feel of what we had been doing previously on this production.”

Peralta described the challenge of adapting his tour design: “I had to strike a balance so I could convey the desired emotion and energy while still interpreting the ‘acoustic’ nature of the music arrangements on this show,” Peralta continued. “With this show, I took the inspiration for our colour palette from our normal ‘electric’ touring show and made it work in a different setting.”

The STRIKE Array 4 and Color STRIKE M fixtures in Peralta’s rig were key to helping him convey the warmth and colour of his iconic client’s performance. He positioned these fixtures on six 10ft trusses, an arrangement chosen because of the tight load-in schedule.

“I leaned on the Strike Array 4s to push the emotion called for by the songs,” explained Peralta. “The Strike Ms are like a snap, crackle, and pop fixture for me. I can use them to push colour. I can create delicate, nuanced effects with them. And I can be heavy-handed and use them to push hard with strobing.”

While STRIKE Array 4 and Color STRIKE M were being used, the rig’s COLORado PXL Bar 16 linear units added a structural element to the design. Lining the stage apron, they helped Peralta define space, which enhanced the looks of the show for the live audience.

Peralta and his team, led by Production Manager, Dante Gudino and Lighting Crew Chief, Andrew Gonzales, never took their eyes off of fundamentals like key lighting. “We lit the orchestra with a high side treatment and a steep fill wash,” commented Peralta. “This made it easier for the orchestra to read their music sheets without any distractions. Tacvba is more forgiving. They let me light them in multiple ways. For this production, we used a combination of footlights, side lights, high sides, steep fills and a more ‘flattering’ side front wash on occasion to ‘lift’ them up.”