When Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band presented a one-night career retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on February 16, See Factor Industry, Inc., provided the lighting design and equipment to make the event spectacular.
Just two days before her 77th birthday, Ono's concert opened with a 15-minute film highlighting her lifetime achievements, after which she took the stage alone and sang her opening song, “It Happened,” a capella. As she finished the song, a blackout drop flew out to reveal her band, featuring her son, Sean Lennon, and musicians Yuka Honda, Keigo Oyamada, Shimmy Hirotaka Shimizu, Yuko Araki, Michael Leonard, and Eric Friedlander. The energetic first half of the program was performed against a wall of visual elements, comprised of moving lights, Thomas 4-light moles, and 4 x 4 white Plexiglas panels. The white panels were arranged in a checkerboard pattern in front of the moles, allowing for a soft, back light glowing effect and non-abrasive blinder looks. See Factor also provided a High End Catalyst media server to create the video and textures projected on the front of the Plexi panels.
For the second act, as Ono introduced special guests and showcased songs in her catalogue, custom video content was projected on a 30' x 60' plastic cyclorama, as well as additional bright contrasting colors and textures behind the band. The kaleidoscope of special guests included high-profile stars Paul Simon, Bette Midler and original Plastic Ono Band member Eric Clapton, and other well-known musicians including the Scissor Sisters, Justin Bond, Gene Ween, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Harper Simon, and original Plastic Ono Band members Klaus Voormann and Jim Keitner.
The original Plastic Ono Band from the 1969 Live Peace in Toronto concert reunited on stage for the first time in over 40 years to close the second act. Finally, all of the evening's performers joined onstage for a resounding finale of “Give Peace a Chance.” A six-camera crew captured the event for a possible DVD release at a time to be announced.
See Factor's Alban Sardzinski provided the event's lighting design, using equipment including a GrandMA full-size controller, 12x Robe 1200at spots, 6x Martin 700 spots, 10x Studio Color 575 automated luminaires, 60k Altman PARs in Thomas truss, and 10 Thomas 4-light moles.
The event was produced by Jared Geller, David J. Foster, Sean Lennon and David Newgarden, with assistance from BAM productions staff members Josh Escajeda and Dylan Nachand. Kelly Martindale served as production manager, and Frank Hartenstein was the concert stage manager.
More information about See Factor Industry, Inc., is available at www.seefactor.com.