Now there’s a brand new day for residents of Staten Island to mark on its November calendar. Officials in the New York City announced on the 9 November 2018 that the day was Wu-Tang Clan Day due to the 25th anniversary of their album, Enter the Wu-Tang.
Wu-Tang Clan then played a sold-out concert at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA. Lighting Designer, Freddy Thompson reflected the group’s iconic sound and emotive performance with a visual lights show that featured over 60 CHAUVET Professional fixtures, supplied by JDI Productions.
Thompson’s show provided eye-popping visuals to match the various moods on stage and also created a light bridge that connected the Wu-Tang Clan to their devoted audience. “There was a strong bond between this group and their fans,” said Thompson. “The start of the show was pretty intense. The crowd were all about seeing the group making their appearance on stage. So, naturally, we focused a lot on audience lighting.”
Thompson also connected the Wu-Tang Clan to the crowd by using a lot of bright static scenes on stage. “This was a decent-sized arena, so we didn’t want to rely just on audience lighting since it’s kind of hard to cover the whole crowd.” said Thompson: “I was also going for a lot of big looks and static scenes. I didn’t want the rig to be moving all over the place with no rhyme or reason.”
Colour also played a big role in setting the mood and creating the crowd connection for Thompson. “The group was looking for deep and saturated colours, so ambers, reds and yellows dominated this design.” he said: “But darker colour schemes with blue, lavender and congo combinations were used as well. Both of these colour combinations complemented the group’s stage presence and their famous logo.”
Thompson used 16 Chauvet Rogue R3 Wash, 16 Chauvet Maverick MK1 Hybrid, 12 Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash, 16 Chauvet Legend 230SR Beam, and 4 Chauvet STRIKE 4 fixtures for the show. The Chauvet Rogue R3 Wash fixtures were flown on the downstage truss and were used to light the group and their set pieces. Also on the downstage truss were the Chauvet STRIKE 4 units, which provided audience lighting. On the upstage truss, Thompson flew eight of his Chauvet Maverick MK1 Hybrids and an equal number of Chauvet Rogue R2 Washes. The remaining Maverick and Chauvet Rogue R2 units, along with the Legend fixtures, were positioned on 12’ truss towers stage left and right.
“We got some great looks out of the Mavericks,” said Thompson. “We wanted movement and intensity with some songs to balance the static looks we emphasised with some of the other songs. Aside from the aerial effects, specials and stage lighting, the Mavericks really gave us some excellent audience lighting. We got a lot of great comments on the looks we created and how they reflected all the different moods of this concert while we continued to engage the audience.”