Robe Spiiders Step Up for Halsey Tour

Photography by Todd Moffses.

Sooner Routhier and Robert Long of SRae Productions, the brainchildren behind illuminating Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom world tour, utilised a myriad of Robe fixtures to achieve the perfect balance.

A total of 54 Robe Spiider LED wash beams, a brand-new investment by DCR Nashville, lighting vendors for the US legs of the tour, are a vital part of the lighting rig.

Sooner and Robert both noticed how “incredible” Halsey is at negotiating stars during a show. They felt “she needed a unique performance space” so the giant staircase set was born – an elegant and dynamic triple decker construction, with each level connected by smaller flights of stairs. Upstage of the top stair featured 2 large LED screens.

When it came to specifying lighting kit for the tour, lighting director on the road Craig Rutherford – who has worked with Halsey in this role since the latter stages of the 2015-16 Badlands tour campaign to promote her ground-breaking debut studio album – suggested Robe Spiiders.

“I’m very much a ‘right tool for the job’ type of person” stated Craig. “For a mid-sized LED wash light, they pack an impressive punch and the flower effect is a unique look giving us some mileage in the show. The pan and tilt are fast too, but it’s the brightness of that beam that really does it for me.”

Overall, 24 Robe Spiiders are positioned all over the overhead rig on 3 flown trusses staggered to mirror the shape and depth variations of the large steps on the set below. Four are positioned above the band with another 8 behind them for effect.

The balance are is the deck, lining the sides of the steps and stairways, where they can wash across the whole set and side light the artist as well as create some stunning overall pixel effects. The final 8 Robe Spiiders are within the B-stage structure at FOH.

All the Robe Spiiders are running in wide mode to enable an array of fluid kinetic pixel effects that are used to accent and highlight some of the intricacies in the music.

As the primary wash light, they are constantly in action. The stair units are utilised for side lighting and effects from the lower cross stage angles, occasionally turning to beam out toward the audience for aerial effects.
The fixtures in the overhead rig produce multiple looks throughout the show including rings, shapes and other effects, so they’re not always being used as a straight wash.

The flower is used sparingly as a unique gobo look to really WOW the audience at strategic moments. “We play extensively with the pixel effects, and really maximize the visual variety that can be achieved” confirmed Craig.

“It was a very cool experience to find out the people at the top have as much technical knowledge as their engineers and designers. That sort of technical expertise at the executive level adds immensely to the culture of a company and is very much appreciated by all those of us who do this for a living out on the road.”

Technical production specialist DCR Nashville has been supplying lighting for the tour since April 2018 and are extremely happy with the decision made to buy the Spiiders says general manager John Schirmer.

Apart from the fact their client – SRae – thought they were a good investment, Schirmer commented: “We’ve learned since then that Spiiders are rock solid, which keeps costs down and profits up through the lifetime of a tour.”
He observed that the fixtures are also a very flexible choice generally for programmers and designers.