Robe Battles with In Flames

Lighting and Production Designer Fredrik Stormby of creative practice Green Wall Designs AB utilised 156 Robe BMFLs; a cool mix of 102 BMFL WashBeams and 54 BMFL Spots for Swedish heavy metal band, In Flames’, most recent tour.

The band, which have built up a loyal international fan-base over time and tour extensively, are known for the passion and vitality of their live performances. The latest tour – with well over 100 shows played – was part of the 2016 Battles album cycle; with complete production design created by Stormby and his colleagues at Greenwall, along with lead singer Anders Fridén.

As a co-headliner, the last leg of the tour saw both bands play an 80 minute set using a shared top lighting rig, with different specials packages brought in ‘underneath’ to create distinctive looks for each. Practicality was a major consideration, as the daily schedule was tight, so the rig had to be quick, easy and with all the visual impact essential to make it heavy and rocky.

“For me the BMFL WashBeam was the key,” declared Stormby, having previously used them extensively on the In Flames summer festival / headliner tour. He took the base design from that rig as a starting point for the autumn-winter indoor arenas with input from Five Finger Death Punch’s LD, John Santos, who agreed with him that BMFLs were an excellent choice.

“I love that big fat beam and the fact you can zoom it out and still have all the power and punch right to the back of the arena,” said Stormby, who has worked for In Flames since 2011. He also liked the skin tones offered by BMFLs, the speed of the fixture, the renowned functionality which includes effects ideal for metal like fast strobing, and other features utilised in the show included fast-spinning gobos and highly defined key lighting for solos.

He also commented that it’s a reasonably priced fixture option for rental companies, which means they are in plentiful supply throughout most of Europe. He first used BMFLs properly during the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, where LD Fredrik Jonsson used 94 Robe BMFLs for long-throw key lighting of the performers and to light sections of the green room.

The Robe BMFLs were rigged on 4 overhead and 2 side trusses flown in the roof. The shared rig featured 84 Robe BMFL WashBeams and 54 Robe BMFL Spots evenly distributed, while the In Flames’ specials package included another 18 Robe WashBeams. Of the 18 specials, 10 were positioned upstage of the band and used for powerful back light and to shoot through the risers that were clad on 3 sides with 20mm LED screen – part of the set designed by Stormby and built by Soundforce – with 4 more WashBeams a side on flight cases to provide dramatic low-level cross lighting.

In Flames’ set also featured a large upstage LED screen as part of their specials. Stormby has always been a fan of the hybrid unit and liked the ‘small and infinitely useful’ philosophy of the Pointe. He specified 120 Robe Pointes for the 2017 Summerburst Festival in Stockholm. The In Flames video content was also co-ordinated by Greenwall, some of it specially commissioned for the tour from different artists and then animated by Stormby and his team.

Stormby was assisted during programming by Ishai Mika, who was also one of the lighting techs on the tour and ran the show on an MA Lighting grandMA2 full size. All the LED sources on the rig were mapped including 60 LED strobes, 24 4 bars and 18 LED wash lights, and other lighting included 42 beam lights and 16 8-lite Moles. He spent 6 days pre visualising ahead of this autumn-winter tour, assisted by Christopher Engström, followed by 3 days of production rehearsals at Black Box Music’s rehearsal facilities in Berlin.

Black Box provided all the lighting equipment for this European tour (Litecom DK had supplied the summer tour BMFLs). The video was delivered by Soundforce Sweden; the CAST Green Hippo media servers were from Morgan Brown; the drapes and scenery from ADV in Gothenberg, and the audio vendor was Go Audio out of Hamburg. The overall touring lighting crew chief was Mark Weil, and the Black Box crew boss was Carla Lumme. Head rigger was Till Bredhauer, Dominik Müller was in charge of the lighting system for Black Box working alongside 2 techs Rebecka Erixon and Markus Pittlik and closely with video tech Krister Hedgren.