When Thievery Corporation played a month-long tour in 2017, LD Luke Stratton turned to Elation Professional’s Platinum FLX hybrid moving head to visually complement the band’s music with a variety of textures and graphics.
Stratton, owner of Luke Stratton Designs, punts all his shows, a hands-on approach that allows him to better customise looks for a creative band like Thievery Corporation. Calling himself an ‘old Elation user’ and ‘a big fan of hybrid lights’ and the versatile design options they provide, Stratton has been using Elation gear for years, including the Platinum FLX on festivals.
Stratton worked a series of shows with Thievery Corporation in 2016 before being tabbed for lighting design and lighting direction for the 2017 tour. He came to the project late and when he saw a previous design that was heavy on beam fixtures, the LD wasn’t convinced they were the best choice for Thievery’s show. He subsequently dropped them and added a more flexible colour mixing fixture that could lay down a variety of visually interesting gobo textures while still providing beam looks and ample colour when needed – enter Elation’s multi-functional Platinum FLX.
On Thievery’s fall tour, Stratton alternated the Platinum FLX hybrids with 1000W short-arc discharge fixtures across up- and mid-stage trusses with more fixtures lined on the floor behind 3 upstage risers. With its 20,000 lumens of power, the FLX not only had no problem keeping up with the 1000W fixtures, the LD had to tone them down. “The FLX were so bright in beam mode I had to dial it back a bit by adding in gobos so they were more on par with the 1000W fixtures,” Stratton stated.
The FLX’s host of design features like CMY colour mixing, dichroic colours, 2 gobo wheels and dual prisms allow designers ample creative options while its independent dual optics can switch quickly between beam, spot and wash modes. Stratton says on Thievery’s tour he usually used the Platinum FLX in spot mode to lay down gobo pattern looks but occasionally dialled in wash mode to add more colour to the set or beam mode, which, as mentioned, he found extremely bright.
Stratton created the eye-catching visuals using gobos from the Platinum FLX and 1000W fixtures working in tandem. “There are some gobos in the Platinum FLX that I really like,” Stratton said of the fixture’s selection of 8 rotating-interchangeable and 6 static-stamped gobo. “They allowed us to create some nice saturated looks onto the cyc and unlike the 1000W fixtures we didn’t have a single mechanical problem with them the whole tour. They provided a degree of reliability that I wasn’t expecting.”
Other fixtures in the rig included compact LED moving head wash lights as well as Elation Cuepix Blinder WW2 white light LED blinders, which the LD had placed between the airborne FLX and 1000W fixtures as a crowd-hyping audience blinder. “I could hardly tell they weren’t a traditional blinder,” he said of the high-density output warm-white blinders that mimic the look of an incandescent source. American DJ Inno Beam Z19 fixtures were also used as ground lights.
Lighting vendor for Thievery Corporations’ fall tour was Atlanta Sound and Lighting.