Matt Mills selects ‘versatile’ CHAUVET Professional fixtures for Mötley Crüe

The lighting design for the co-headline tour by Mike Cooper featured CHAUVET Professional STRIKE Array 4 blinders and Color STRIKE M motorised strobes.

Matt Mills ensured that Mötley Crüe was supported by dynamic looks, that reflected the multi-platinum band’s unique identity, while LD Kenji worked on Def Leppard. “I was one of the programmers when we did preproduction for this show last year at Lititz,” said Mills. “On this run of six shows, I filled in for Lighting Director, Michael Willingham running the Mötley Crüe segment. I had a blast taking the helm again.”

The process of creating distinct looks for each of the acts, plus special guest Alice Cooper, began with having two markedly different truss configurations. For the Def Leppard set, all the trusses were level with a bit of a rake. For Mötley Crüe, the truss structure created an asymmetrical look.

Mills accentuated this configuration in the Mötley Crüe show with his light angles and intensity levels. Much of the colour palette was determined by video content. “Our colour choices were made to complement what was on the screens,” he continued. “However, we also tried to stay with a brighter colour scheme for the songs earlier in the set. About half of each show took place right before sunset. Later on, we went to more of a darker saturated look. This was different for each of the bands from show to show, because Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard alternated who closed the concert.”

All but two of the shows on the tour took place in outdoor stadiums. The remaining pair were in domed stadiums. There were two identical stages, which leap frogged from venue to venue on the tour. “This was great; it made life a lot easier,” said Mills. “We had the same rig from one show to the next.”

A key part of that rig, which was supplied by Fuse Technical Group, was the STRIKE Array 4. There were 44 of the IP65 rated blinders flown on downstage, upstage and FOH truss structures. From these positions, the fixtures filled a variety of roles.

“We used the STRIKE Arrays for the obvious crowd blasts,” commented Mills “There were a lot of call-and-response moments in these shows, so crowd lighting was important. However, there was much more the Arrays did than that. They allowed us to create some unique chases with the individual cells. On top of that, they also served as tungsten strobes.”

Expanding the range of looks was the Color STRIKE M: “We had them all over the place on the rig,” he said. “There were multiple units of them on every truss. Every LD on the tour uses them in a unique way.”

Although 95% of the show was timecoded, there were moments when Mills was able to add improvised flares. “We had a lot of different effects on buttons that we could use with any song at any time,” concluded Mills.