Production designers Robert Long and Sooner Routhier of SRae Productions, along with associate designer Ashley Zapar, specified the Vari-Lite VL6000 Beam luminaire to add a bold and dynamic presence to their show design for the farewell tour by legendary rock band KISS.
The band’s End of the Road World Tour, which continues through 2019, features all the unmistakable rock and roll theatrics that fans expect of a classic KISS show, described by Long as “Equal parts of the fire, lasers, metal, leather, and controlled chaos”, but with a modern edge.
“KISS requires an old school light show with simple cueing that accents the music but aren’t overly embellished,” said Long, discussing the KISS show style and their choice of lighting fixtures. “The music is simple, four on the floor, rock and roll with heavy guitar riffs. We need lights that reflect that, but in a modern, elevated way.”
To help achieve this, they specified 44 VL6000 Beam luminaires, one of the latest innovations from moving light pioneer Vari-Lite, a brand of Signify, the world leader in lighting. With their powerful, colour-changing beams and retro appeal, the large-format, searchlight-style fixtures are an ideal fit for the show’s requirements.
“The lens of the VL6000 was our primary draw to the fixture,” said Long. “It has the feel of an old- school ray light. We also love the size; it has a presence in the air that a lot of fixtures can’t match.”
Adding a striking punch to the show’s visuals, the VL6000 Beams are suspended from large pantographs above the stage, and on trusses running stage right and stage left above the audience. “We use the pantographs to ‘poke’ out from behind the video pods, lowering them in and out to create different positions above the stage,” said Routhier.
“One of our favourite VL6000 Beam moments in the show is during the Paul Stanley guitar solo at the top of Black Diamond,” said Long. “The pantographs come down in a song-specific automation move that really showcases the fixture.”
“We love the look they add to the show,” added Routhier.