Vari-Lite VL1600 Profile works psychedelic effects into El Monstero’s Pink Floyd tribute

Chip Self uses Vari-Lite VL1600 Profile luminaires from Signify as part of psychedelic lighting design for El Monstero’s Pink Floyd tribute. Photo: Keith Brake

The much-loved St. Louis-based Pink Floyd tribute group El Monstero played seven sold-out nights at the city’s The Pageant Theater in December, backed by a fittingly psychedelic lighting design by Chip Self using Vari-Lite VL1600 Profile luminaires from Signify.

Self, who is the founder of Midwest lighting production specialist Logic Systems, has been working with El Monstero for more than eight years, and has seen the band rise to Christmas period stardom in St. Louis. “The December 2022 shows were very production intensive, incorporating audio, video, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics,” said Self. “Logic Systems invested in the VL1600 Profile last year, and I wanted to use them on this show because I needed a high CRI key light fixture that could keep up with the overall intensity of the show and maintain a stable look in a very wide variety of colors and light levels.”

Vari-Lite launched the VL1600 at Prolight + Sound 2022, noting that it offers a high CRI tunable white source and the same CMY colour mixing system found in the VL2600 Profile, along with high output and excellent colour rendering and creative effects capabilities.

“The primary features I took advantage of were the variable CTO, variable frost and the effects wheel,” adds Self. “I was most impressed by the CRI. I have tried a lot of different fixtures in that key light position and found that they all tended to change perceived skin tone color depending on what the surrounding colours were. The VL1600 did exceptionally well holding a solid colour regardless. The difference from the others was noticeable.”

Self’s design included maximalism effects and hugely saturated colours for some of the most standout setlist tracks. “This can often make it very difficult to render skin tone,” he says. “But the VL1600 did so extraordinarily well. The effects wheel combined with colour mixing allowed me to create an old school projection feel that was really cool. I try to push the limits of just how saturated and dramatic I can make a look, and the net result is some gorgeous overall looks.”

El Monstero is made up of musicians from several bands, and they have been performing tribute concerts to Pink Floyd since 1999. The Pageant Theater is one of the most successful venues in America’s Midwest, and celebrates its 23rd birthday this year.