The Bryan Adams world tour continues on its latest European leg with an Avolites Diamond 4 controlling all lighting.
The console is programmed and operated by Ewan McRobb with equipment supplied by Siyan. Bryan Leitch and Nick Whitehouse, who also specified the console with McRobb, created the lighting design.
Adams has been on the road since November 2006 and in that time has toured South American and the US. For these sections, they toured the Avo console throughout and picked up local rigs for each show. “The Diamond 4’s Fixture Exchange facility was invaluable,” states McRobb. “It made it very easy to re-programme the show each day.”
It is also an ideal desk to run the show for a performer like Adams, who has an extensive back catalogue of hits, and likes to keep both his band and crew on their toes each night by playing a different set list—and even varying that sometimes once the show gets underway. “You need a board that’s totally hands on in this situation,” explains McRobb. “I need to be able to grab and access looks, scenes, and fixtures instantly and to be able to improvise and go with the flow in real time—just as he does.”
The rig is based on three trusses and a back wall. The back wall contains 15 Skypans and twenty 4-cell Moles.
The rear truss features four Novalight High Ground searchlight fixtures and 8 bars of ACLs. The mid truss has another High Ground, 8 bars of ACLs, 2 Martin Professional MAC 2K Washes, and 2 Mole-arrays—a line array style hang of six 4-lite Moles. On the front truss, there are 6 Martin MAC 2K Washes, 3 Lycian 2K follow spots, and 8 Source Fours for key lighting.
The floor has 10 SGM Palco 3 LED wash lights, 15 SGM Giotto 400 CMY moving lights, and four bars of Studio Due CS4s.
There are two kabuki drops that peel away, changing the backdrop and revealing different layers of the stage set and lighting as the show progresses. The final upstage section has 8 pieces of upright truss at the back, alternated with 7 tightly stretched column-like scrims, both elements toned with the Giottos on the floor.
The eclectic mix of fixtures allows the creation of a really diverse range of scenes, rather then simply variations on a homogenized overall look. That, and having to work in a more improvisational style, McRobb finds very refreshing.
“Each song is fully programmed up” he says. “But things can chop and change randomly, and that’s why it’s really crucial for me to be able to get to everything I need quickly and easily, which is great on the D4 of course.” He adds that it has been his “desk of choice” for some time.
“The idea is to build the show gradually,” explains McRobb. “And not give away too much too soon.” A typical set will often last over two and a half hours and feature 25 to 30 songs, so he has to keep it fresh and interesting for the duration. The acoustic numbers are understated, subtle, and contrasted stylishly with a multiplicity of rock-out moments for the appropriate times.
There’s also a B stage in the middle of the arena, which is lit with some additional Palco 3s and the front truss wash lights. The set starts on this and features another B stage section towards the end.
McRobb is working with a Siyan crew of four: crew chief Iestyn Thomas, dimmer maestro Dave Mathieson, and technicians Tom James and Will Yapp.
The tour is currently scheduled to run till autumn including summer festivals.