Sonic and visual mayhem on a big scale to match the big beat anarchy and sounds of the Prodigy, the UK’s favourite genre-defying electro anarchists, that was the goal for Lighting Designer Tim Fawkes.
Fawkes has worked for Prodigy since 2012 and been their Lighting Designer since 2017. He was fully embroiled in creating a lighting riot for the current No Tourists tour promoting the Prodigy’s seventh album which dropped in 2018 and immediately blasted straight to number one.
HSL was the Lighting Supplier, and the band were playing arenas and living up to their reputation for being an exciting and full-on live act. “I wanted to get away from the postage stamp look of some shows in arenas, where only a tiny part of the actual venue is involved,” Fawkes explained. In addition to feeling the energy and atmospherics of the lighting, the band wanted to embrace the whole audience and pull them kicking and screaming into the Prodigy live trip and lighting played an absolutely instrumental part in this process.
The set design was inspired by the album artwork involving the iconic Routemaster London bus so in the middle of the stage were two AEC Routemaster front-engined double-decker buses. Built by Brilliant Stages, Fawkes worked with The Prodigy Production Manager, Tyrone Brunton and Account Handler, Bullet to perfect the scenic elements.
The buses were filled with Martin Lighting MAC Quantum Washes, Martin Lighting Atomic LED strobes and Chroma-Q ColorBlock II LED battens to illuminate the scrolling signs on the front, with Cob FC LEDs for the headlights.
The four main 20 metre LX trusses above the stage were all lined with Martin Sceptron LED battens and there was a total of 136 of these on the rig.
The main general lighting fixtures were 58 Robe Pointes, 62 Martin Lighting Atomic LEDs and 32 GLP JDC1 strobes making a total of 98 strobes, plus the 16 Robe MegaPointes which were on the moving pods.
These were joined by 50 MAC Quantum washes and 12 GLP X4s which were on the band’s left and right-side booms, shooting across the stage.
Over the stage, there were four 4-metre sections of truss each suspended on two 500Kg Liftket motors running with Kinesys Elevation 1+ vari-speed units which added some more upstage madness, positioned between LX trusses 3 and 4, operated by Steve Major using a Vector system stationed on stage right with a spotter positioned on stage left.
These pod trusses were also lined with Sceptrons and each loaded with four Robe MegaPointes, five JDC1 strobes, five old skool PAR CP60s and four active Sunstrips, which all added to the maelstrom of light sources and visual options for Fawkes’ show, which was full tilt from the first to the last chord of the set.
The set list was always changing every night to keep the returning fans happy, so the pod movements varied each night depending on what was being played. When in their home position they were added to the zig-zagged lines of the roof.
“It’s been a tough one timewise” Fawkes commented: “but the rig definitely has the ‘bigness’ that I envisioned. I’m working with a fantastic crew from HSL who ensure everything goes up effortlessly each day and The Prodigy were a hugely dynamic band for lighting, so I have enjoyed evolving the show.”