Lighting designer/director Ali Bale had no hesitation in specifying an Avolites Pearl Expert console to control lighting for the current Kings of Leon “Only By The Night” tour. Bale is a big Avolites fan and has used Avo consoles for the last 15 years.
He's worked for KOL for the last four and a half years, since he was originally asked onboard by co-LD and the show's creative designer Paul Normandale. This latest tour is a co-lighting design between the two of them, on which Bale is also working extremely closely with video director Phil Woodhead and live visuals director & Catalyst (digital media server) programmer/operator, Phil Haynes.
The current arena tour design is an inventive and fluid fusion of video, movement and lighting that illustrates first hand the concept of “convergence” between the three visual mediums. It also sees Bale, Haynes, and more unusually, Woodhead all operating from the FOH position – to maximise synergy and communication for producing the show.
The lighting rig is based on 10 trusses, all moved into different positions throughout the set via a Kinesys automation system. This is operated by Yose Lawson and Andy Beller.
Each truss has a cluster of Element Labs VersaTUBE LED fixtures attached to the front of it which are driven by Hayne's Catalyst. The front trusses form a chevron shape and are clad with Barco MiTrix screen, crowning the top of the stage.
Lighting fixtures in this set up comprise 18 Martin Professional MAC 2 Washes, 20 MAC 700 Washes, 11 Atomic strobes, 23 4-lite Moles, 6 with scrollers, 8 Omni photo-floods dotted around the stage and four 4.5K Big Lites, two positioned either side of the drum kit and 2 upstage. In addition to these are nine 9-way Svoboda battens and 6 individual floor PARs. For the UK and European legs of the tour, all lighting kit is supplied by Blackburn UK based Lite Alternative.
All of this is controlled via the Expert, on which Bale comments, “It's a perfect sized desk for an arena tour of this size – offering plenty of power and options without being at all over-complicated”. The two rollers enable him to split the rig between moving and generic elements which is very convenient.
He first started using the Pearl Expert shortly after its launch at the end of 2007, initially on the Kings of Leon, followed by The Rifles. “Like all Avo desks, it's great” he comments, “quick, easy and intuitive to programme and operate”. He also comments that having the additional top row of 30 faders available makes “All the difference”, and it's also great to be able to work with a small desk and within a tidy footprint.
Bale always specifies Avo desks for his tours, and on KOL is fortunate enough to be able to tour his own worldwide. KOL have been on the road since June 2008, and the tour is currently scheduled to run until September 2009 …complete with Bale's 2 Pearl Experts.