Robe Spikies and BMFLs for Pretty Lights Tour

Courtesy of Taylor Wallace for aLIVE Coverage.

Lighting Designer Greg Ellis used 36 Robe Spikies and 14 BMFL Spots in his lighting rig for rising star DJ and music producer Pretty Lights with whom he has worked for the last seven years.

The Episodic Festival Tour comprised five two-day experiences staged over different weekends at interesting locations around the U.S. – including Telluride in the Rocky Mountains, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, both in Colorado, as well as Chicago, Nashville and New Hampshire. The rig didn’t change but the idea was to embrace the different surroundings each time and Greg’s task was to give each one a special and significant ambience.

The Spikies were arranged in clusters of four – ACL style – 24 on six ground-supported towers upstage, with three more four-way clusters on the video trusses, all effectively creating a giant box around the band. A key approach to lighting the show was that every instrument should multi-task. Spikies fitted the bill perfectly being able to do beams, washes, aerial flower effects and illuminate the cyc.

The BMFLs – also multi-functional – were positioned on the over stage trusses which were four small fingers, a middle and upstage truss and a header truss – with some BMFLs on the floor. The design split most of the different types of lights up in their positioning to give a cleaner and more effective look.

Much of Pretty Lights’ music is rooted in hip hop and deviates from a more standard EDM format; there are plenty of up-tempo, soulful and introspective moments which make it dramatic and interesting to light. There were lots of opportunities for subtle and smaller effects to make a big difference onstage.

Lighting was supplied by the DSI Event Group based in Denver, with whom Greg has a long working relationship. Greg also designs and operates video – running via three separate media servers – for the shows plus lasers. Upstage a 30 by 10 ft video wall introduced a cinematic element, and all the flown trusses – four for lighting and two for media – were clad with video headers. This was made up from Roe Hybrid 15, a 15mm pitch product with a layer of integrated 150W LED light-sources that can also be fed with video, so light-scapes as well and ‘conventional’ video playback can be created utilising the same video material.

Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) has a passion for filming and material from his vast library of touring footage over the last few years was edited into special clips for this show. Greg himself has been experimenting with filming lights and lighting effects in dark rooms, so for this run of shows, they ditched any computer animations for this more organic visual material sourced completely from ‘real life’.