The Dave Matthews Band (DMB) was on the road again in the U.S. promoting their latest album, Come Tomorrow with another visually provocative production design by DMB Lighting Designer and Director, Fenton Williams. Williams worked with Aaron Stinebrink from lighting suppliers TMS, on the lighting design, and the pair specified over 100 Robe fixtures to be at the heart of the show.
Williams has worked for DMB since 1991 while Stinebrink joined in 2003 and for this tour, they used; 40 Robe MegaPointes, 48 Robe Spikies, 16 Robe BMFL WashBeams and 10 Robe BMFL Spots to create the vibes for DMB’s dynamic and intricate live shows.
With an open brief and a theme based on intricate geode rock and crystal formations, Williams and Stinebrink were both keen on using projection and LED screen as video surfaces which produced the distinctive backdrop, comprising three layers of multi-faceted crystal inspired shapes. The central area was filled with 7 mm LED, the next ring out was made up of projection skins, and the final surrounding ring of crystals were scenic and bolted onto a scaffolding sub-structure behind to hold everything rigid and in place.
Then there are six vertically layered trusses and pods flown above and around the stage to provide the main lighting positions, and these were hung directly from the venue roof. 30 MegaPointes were dotted around the trusses and pods, with 10 on the floor. It’s the first time Williams and Stinebrink have used this fixture and they are both delighted with the results. The 48 Robe Spikies were all in the air, in or under the pods, and they were being used extremely effectively as piercing ACL-style fans. Used for their minuscule size and the fact that Williams and Stinebrink could sweep them out into the audience without blinding everyone or making them uncomfortable.
The Robe BMFL WashBeams were all in downstage overhead positions and a kabuki drop curtain was in for the first songs of the set before the video elements were revealed, and provided primary key lighting for the band on the main stage.
Williams enjoyed using Robe products and thought they were among the most reliable on the market. “With over 100 on the rig, I don’t think we had to service even one fixture during the first legs of the tour” he stated.
To supply the tour, TMS made a substantial investment in Robe and have steadily increased their stock of Robe’s newest technologies in recent years for DMB and all their other clients. They currently have BMFL WashBeams and Spots, Pointes, MegaPointes, Spiiders, Spikies and PATT 2013s in stock.