The Wrecking Ball World Tour kicked off in the U.S. this spring in support of The Boss's 17th studio album, "Wrecking Ball." Springsteen's lighting designer Jeff Ravitz, of Intensity Advisors, selected 28 Sharpy fixtures for his inventory after having seen them last fall.
"In putting Bruce's tour together I thought the Sharpys would be an excellent replacement for the lights we had been using inside the set platforms to push light through custom openings we created," he explains. "I thought they'd be a nice change with a really defined and distinct look. The Sharpys also allowed us to design with some interesting gobo patterns.
When Ravitz added Sharpys the idea came up of using hazers to paint the air and enhance the lights' sharply-defined beams. Adding the singer-friendly MDG AtmosphereAPS hazers that Ravitz chose -- to help create interesting visual compositions--was a first for a Springsteen tour. "The haze really helps to show off the Sharpys," Ravitz reports.
He positioned 16 fixtures below the stage shooting up through plexiglass windows that replace part of the deck on the custom-built Tait Towers stage plus 6 fixtures each, on two vertical side trusses shooting from left and right. The Boss's shows have typically been designed to be very horizontal to allow for maximum sightlines from every angle. But for Wrecking Ball Ravitz decided to add some Sharpys to a powerful vertical truss for a "very dynamic look."
He says, "We're having a lot of fun with the Sharpys. Sometimes they're used with no color, sometimes with deep color and sometimes we even ballyhoo them. We feel we've found the right balance."
The Sharpys are proving to be rugged and reliable on the long tour schedule, Ravitz adds. "The crew tells me the Sharpys are pretty bulletproof and are working great every day."
A.C.T Lighting is the distributor for Clay Paky in North America.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, "We're so pleased to see our Sharpys on this high profile and very popular tour. Mr. Ravitz is an excellent designer and it shows in the projects he works on. We're glad to be able to help with our innovations."