GLP Scores Super Bowl Show

Photo: Angela Weiss for Getty Images

Around 250 of German Light Products flagship LED products were deployed at the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The show featured a 12-minute set from Justin Timberlake that spanned the entire field.

For Lighting Designer Bob Barnhart, of 22 Degrees, for whom this was his 20th involvement in the event (and 9th as principle LD) the sub-zero temperatures were just one of the many challenges he faced. Collaborating with set designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc, Nick Whitehouse, Justin Timberlake’s designer; and Josh Zangen of Fireplay, he drew heavily on GLP’s inventory to help light Justin Timberlake’s show, which took place in 8 different performance positions.

Barnhart explained: “JT was turning in so many different directions throughout the show, one of the biggest challenges was just keeping him lit properly. We had many different ‘key’ light looks, but it was quite the process coming up with all the proper angles, especially when you consider that we had to pick our final spot positions way back in September.”

The show opened in a basement ‘Laser Lounge’, doubling as the underpinning of the 360° stage, before JT emerged down the catwalk ramp and used the full expanse of stage and then field (all of which were immersed in production lighting). With Tony Ward from PRG’s Los Angeles office again providing inventory (and acting as lead Gaffer), supported by Travis Snyder, GLP’s impression X1 was the first fixture to make its mark, with 67 of the tiny heads used in the initial club sequence. Then, as he emerged from the ‘club’ and onto the field of play, 30 impression X4 lined the bridge. Barnhart also made extensive use of GLP’s hybrid GT-1, deploying 74 in total on the main stage, with a further 20 X4 Bar 20 battens also mounted into the stage. Finally, 80 GLP JDC1 hybrid strobes were mounted behind the stage and set into the front of some of the stage panels.

Barnhart first got together with head of GLP, Mark Ravenhill, at the LDI Show in November to discuss fixture choice. “I told him I needed a small format light for the beginning of the show. So we looked at the X1 and I felt it would be a perfect fit,” he said. “Using a large amount of small fixtures I think helped to keep the room a little more mysterious and club like. The X4’s were used on the ramp because we were transitioning from the club and we felt that we should maintain the fixture style to help tie things together.”

As for the GLP JDC1, Bob Barnhart had first used GLP’s hybrid strobe at the 2017 VMA Awards. “Thanks to their colours, matrixes and the ability to tilt, these are much better then the traditional xenon strobe,” he explained. This time they were deployed on the face of the band stage, mainly for the dance breakdown midway through the show, as well as on the upstage field carts which also saw the majority of the GT-1. “JDC1 has a lot more to offer than we had time to show off in 12 minutes,” Barnhart added.

The GLP GT-1s were also used on lighting carts upstage of the band stage as well as on all the speaker carts that went around the field. Barnhart said they were chosen because of their weight advantage and lack of a ‘brain box’ attached to the yoke. “I like the GT-1, it is versatile and smaller and lighter than its cousins from other families. As for the X4 Bars these were mounted to the front of the band stage. There was a row at the bottom exclusively for the dance break. There was also a top row for the dance break that could flip over and become footlights on the band stage.”

The LD paid tribute to his co-designers and the creative collaboration. “Bruce [Rodgers] did a great job of taking Timberlake’s idea of being all over the stadium, while Nick [Whitehouse] was good at keeping us in JT’s ‘world’ and helping everyone understand what he and the band needed and liked. I should also mention Pete Radice, David Grill, and Jason Rudolph, our 3 lighting directors.”

Finally, Barnhart reflected on his relationship with GLP, and the various roles played by the company’s fixtures. “GLP has been a true partner in our continuing efforts to bring something new and evocative to our shows,” he concluded. ”They have become a very solid manufacturer in the lighting industry, and as for support I cannot say enough about Mark Ravenhill and his team.”