Philips Vari-Lite VL800 BeamLine Delivers Colourful Punch for Glassjaw

Philips Vari-Lite's new VL800 BeamLines provided vibrant and versatile effects for Glassjaw at the O2 Academy Brixton (LD Hayden Borgars) © The Fifth Estate

Signify’s new Philips Vari-Lite VL800 BeamLine luminaire delivered a striking stage presence for US rock band Glassjaw at their recent show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

Lighting Designer Hayden Borgars used the dynamic, linear LED effects fixtures to deliver an atmospheric lighting design with a modern edge for this ‘post-hardcore’ band.

“I knew I wanted the main fixture to be a linear fixture, but one that could produce deep reds and blues, the two main colours in my design,” said Borgars.

“As soon as I was introduced to the VL800 BeamLine at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt this year, I knew it was the perfect fixture for what I wanted to achieve.”

The Philips Vari-Lite VL800 BeamLine creates a tight, bright, flattened light beam. Thanks to the individual control of its 12 LED cells and its continuous pan and tilt rotation, it also offers endless flexibility in the width, colour and direction of its beams. Arrayed on the stage in front of the guitar cabs and drum riser, they gave Borgars a wealth of dynamic design options.

“I was really impressed with the tight beam angle, and both the light and colour output, especially with how bright the reds and pinks were,” said Borgars.

“The individual pixel control was incredibly useful when running both dimmer and multiple colour chases across the fixtures. It also allowed me to create narrower beams of light, using just a couple cells at a time, rather than all 12 cells together.”

But when used together, the fixtures could create a substantial light curtain effect. “We decided not to use a backdrop for these shows, and the VL800s worked really well in creating a wall of light to add depth to the design,” said Borgars.

“I also used them as a strong backlight, to pick out specific moments within the song. This worked really well when I wanted the band silhouetted, creating a bold look with a thin layer of light coming from behind them.”