Gearhouse South Africa tours with Rod Stewart

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Gearhouse South Africa supplied rigging, lighting, sound and video equipment and crew for Rod Stewart's recent South African tour, plus staging for the Cape Town and Durban stadium shows.

Lighting LD Mark Payne supplied 2 different plots for the tour – one for the outdoor shows in Durban's Absa Stadium and Cape Town's Newlands Cricket Ground and one for the indoor show at the Dome in Johannesburg, where the tour concluded in two sold out nights. Lighting Crew Chief, Jason Fritz, from GHSA Durban, and his team of 4 swung into action.

The Dome show consisted of 3 trusses, with a total of 24 Martin Professional MAC 2K Profiles and 24 MAC 2K wash fixtures spread between them, plus 4 Robe 700w fixtures on the floor for band illumination. The front truss also featured seven 4-lite Molefays for audience lighting.

Gearhouse supplied a total of 10 follow spots – 8 front-of-house (new 2K Supertroupers) and 2 on the upstage truss.

Three scenic trusses along the back were divided into 3 sections, each suspending white chiffon drapes. Each section was down-lit with a total of 40 i-Pix Satellite LED bricks.

Payne brought his own WholeHog 3 console to control all the lighting.

Additional fixtures for the 2 stadium shows were rigged on 2 left and right trusses, trimmed at 24 metres, and in front of the PA, which were also used to support the top of the PA scrims. On these trusses were 5 MAC 2K Washes and 5 Profiles, while the scrims themselves were up-lit with 4 Studio Due CityColors per side.

Rigging Rigging for the tour was overseen by Roy Wood from GHSA Durban, and once again there were slightly different versions – the outdoor gigs featuring additional ‘PA Wings' and Lighting/scrim trusses to be rigged.

Mark Gandy was in charge of Structures on the Durban leg of the tour.. Here, they utilised a 20 metre wide StageCo roof system, with 25m high towers for the PA wings which had to be lifted in 2 sections because they were so tall. Eight towers made up the main roof, with 2 extra towers per side for the PA bays.

In Cape Town, the stage was constructed using a TFL roof and lots of scaffolding for the 27 metre high PA wings.

Onto this was rigged lighting, PA, and 5 tonnes of Lighthouse video screen (which was the heaviest piece), hung by means of five 2-tonne hoists.

The weather proved a major challenge at both outdoor shows, - wind in Cape Town and torrential rain in Durban.

In the Dome, in Johannesburg, there were 35 hanging points and a total weight of nearly 11 tonnes. Rigging the screen was the biggest overall challenge, especially in the TFL roof, which was redesigned to bring the main towers closer together, sharing the weight between the 2 primaries.

In the Dome, the roof wasn't strong enough to take the screen weight, so they built a ground support structure from 2 Layher towers, traversed by a double run of TFL primary. Lighting and audio was all flown directly from the Dome roof points.

There was a touring crew of 2 on rigging, who worked alongside locals of varying numbers for all 3 venues.

Video LEDVision supplied a huge 65 square metre Lighthouse LED screen which was hung upstage from the band risers.

Video was looked after by Craig McGinn from Gearhouse SA and Lynton Allsop from Eventcam, who supplied 4 Sony BVP950 cameras in a flyaway kit. Two cameras were located at FOH with long lenses, as well as 2 in the pit using standard lenses. There were also 2 lipstick cameras onstage, mounted behind the kit and keyboards.

The IMAG mix was directed by Rod Stewart's touring director, Charlie Harris using a Snell & Wilcox DVS1000 mixer, with Allsop engineering the show. Playback sources were DigiBeta and laptop. For Cape Town and Durban, two side screens were added, fed by Christie 8K projectors.

Sound Gearhouse Audio supplied racks and stacks for this tour, with the complete FOH and monitor set ups supplied by Major Tom from the UK, whose Lars Brogaard also FOH engineers Stewart.

Gearhouse Audio's team was led by Revil Baselga. The L-Acoustics VDOSC rig varied in size, with Newlands being the largest venue, for which they used 48 VDOSC elements, 15 a side for the main hangs with two outer hangs of 10 a side plus 3 delays, 2 of dVDOSC and one of Kudo.

For the Dome, it was configured as 12 VDOSC a side with Kudo outer hangs, and dVDOSC downfills, infills and outfills – all driven by a networked LA8 amplifier system.

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