Robe lighting helps rock Ghost & Volbeat’s 2022 arena tour

Ghost performing under the guidance of Lighting Director Erich Bertti. Photo: Ryan Chang

Robe lighting was used extensively in the performances of Scandinavian rock band titans, Ghost and Volbeat, during their 2022 arena tour.

Denmark-based Lighting Director, Niels ‘Niller’ Bjerregaard and Brazil-based Ghost LD, Erich Bertti tapped into Robe moving lights – specifically, MegaPointes, Spiiders and BMFL Spots – as the primary moving lights of choice for a run of live shows, supplied by Premier Global Productions. 

“The fixtures are reliable and feature-packed, the brand is big in the USA with the lights widely available, so that part of the decision-making process was very easy. MegaPointes are one of the few fixtures versatile enough to be able to provide a completely different set looks for the two shows,” Niller commented.

Around 30 MegaPointes and 50 Spiiders were distributed over five slightly raked orientated truss sections, each rigged with six MegaPointes which had the effect of making the rig look larger. 

Spiiders were dotted around these, creating depth essential to fashioning the video visuality of Volbeat’s show, together with the brightness of both fixture types they needed. The Spiiders were picked because of their flower and pixel ‘flow’ effects which he used extensively.

A total of 16 BMFL WashBeams were supplied with separate cameras to work with the four RoboSpot systems, with the luminaires rigged in banks of four. Eight – four a side – were on downstage trusses in side positions for close following, non-classical follow spot style, and another four-and-four were rigged on two offstage trusses just downstage of the back wall and the ends of the five ‘finger’ trusses. 

Having 16 follow spots enabled back lighting looks, including when the band moved onto the large thrust emanating from the front of stage, all of which worked for the camera / video aesthetic that Niller had crafted.

The four RoboSpot BaseStations and their operators were located wherever they best fitted in each venue, usually somewhere behind the stage, all the parameters were running through Niller’s main ChamSys MQ500M console.

“RoboSpot is convenient, versatile and allows you to be in full control, and it’s all about where the lights are and what they are doing that produces the impact,” he said.

There were no front lights at all apart from four conventional follow spots located out in the venues, and Niller informs us that these will be dropped for the band’s own headlining summer tour in Europe and replaced with RoboSpots.

Their main onstage video screen was 17m wide by 7m high, built from ROE Visual CB8 and the riser fasciae were also clad with the same product. The left and right side screens were 4m wide by 3.5m high, and the video kit was supplied by LMG out of Las Vegas. TAIT built their custom riser setup.

Bertti has been working with Ghost since 2018, initially put forward by Production Manager, Eddie Rocha. Bertti and Rocha had previously worked together on several other projects including Motörhead. Howeber, this was the first time that Bertti had used MegaPointes as a main fixture which worked brilliantly – “I really liked them – they are dynamic, durable and well-engineered,” he remarked.

His original floor package also contained a quantity of MegaPointes, but he ultimately chose 12 BMFL Spots which were deployed around Ghost’s multiple staircase and riser set. Changes have subsequently been made to the original set design to enhance its three dimensionality, so Bertti will use MegaPointes when the tour resumes in Europe in a couple of months as a smaller fixture is needed in these positions. Bertti programmed lighting for Ghost’s show on an MA Lighting grandMA3 console running in GM2 mode.