A line up of Martin by Harman lighting fixtures illuminated acclaimed metal band Mötley Crüe’s final tour. Lighting Designer Matt Mills deployed Mac Viper AirFXs, Mac Quantum Washes and Atomic 3000 MDX strobes in a light show intended to dazzle huge arena crowds.
Mötley Crüe’s LD for their final tour, Matt Mills, who has previous worked with Nelly Furtado, 3 Doors Down, Disturbed and Linkin Park, stated that the band wanted to pull out ‘all the stops’ for this latest tour.
“The band wants no ambiguity,” he said. “After 30 years, Mötley Crüe was going out with a bang and wants to treat audiences to an unforgettable light show.”
The tour began in July 2014 and has covered more than 80 cities across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The tour wrapped up with a three-night run at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, culminating in a final show on New Year’s Eve.
The stage concept centred around drummer Tommy Lee’s famous ‘Crüecify’ drum kit, which was attached to a platform and fastened to two metal tracks, nicknamed the ‘Tommy Coaster’. The drum kit was welded to plates on the track, with secondary attachments for the individual parts. Lee’s drum solos began from the stage before he and his drum kit moved slowly up the track, rotating 360° during the ascent and going as high as 60ft above the stage before descending. Mills said the Tommy Coaster drew huge applause from audience. “Tommy wanted a look similar to airport runway lights,” Mills said. “The Crüecifly has two runs of truss, each approximately 200ft long, that support Tommy’s drum kit during his solos as he slowly rides on the tracks, starting on the stage and ending up at a landing platform behind FOH. It’s pretty wild.”
With the goal of creating an extravagant light show, Mills selected 36 Martin by Harman MAC Viper AirFXs, which provided huge aerial looks and rich textures for the stage setup. He also noted the MAC Viper AirFX’s zoom capabilities and gobo package, which he said allowed him to experiment with lots of over-the-top lighting designs.
Mills added 10 Martin by Harman MAC Quantum Washes to the trusses to provide adequate front wash for supporting act Alice Cooper. “We wanted a powerful wash light, which is what we got with the MAC Quantum Washes,” he stated. “On top of that, we added 66 Martin by Harman Atomic 3000 DMX strobes. It was a true lighting explosion.”
Mills also said that another key benefit of Martin by Harman lighting fixtures is their flexibility when it comes to placement. In this case, the fixtures worked alongside a huge pyrotechnic show.
“We actually had to make sure the fixtures wouldn’t get engulfed in flames, which meant figuring out how to fit them into tight spaces,” he said. “We knew no matter what the stage setup was, we could get the Martin fixtures situated in the right spots.” Mills cited the reliability of Martin by Harman fixtures as the primary reason he has used them for more than a decade. “First and foremost, the rig has to work and, with, it always does. Plus, our vendor, Christie Lites, is a large Martin rental house that keeps the gear in great condition, so reliability is never a concern for me. The feature sets are great, but the confidence I have in the fixtures working night after night is why I’m still a Martin customer after all these years.”