HSL supplied lighting equipment – including 12 newly purchased i-Pix BB7s LED wash light fixtures and a myriad of custom bracketry and fixings - and crew to LD Jonny Gaskell for Kasabian's recent shows, which culminated in a Sunday night headline slot at Creamfields 2008.
All video production for the shows – including 6 Stealth screens, 10 minicams and Catalyst media server control was supplied by XL Video.
The two companies collaborated closely with Gaskell and his business partner Nick Gray to set up the Kasabian shows – Gaskell's hectic summer schedule included working festivals with Prodigy and Groove Armada. They ensured that their kit worked together to realise Gaskell's seamless creative fusion of video and lighting sources that produced an epic show for the UK rockers.
Gaskell worked to a loose brief to make it more psychedelic and mind bending in keeping with material from the forthcoming new album and a departure from any previous â€˜standard' rock â€˜n' roll aesthetics. The core stage look was based around a multi-layered mix of video, digital and conventional lighting and LED sources.
While Gaskell's shows are renowned for being anything but â€˜standard', on this one he really rocked with a full-on visual spectacle that also included lasers. HSL's project manager Mike Oates says, “It's always a great pleasure working with Jonny. His designs are different and challenging, with fantastic end-results – and that's what we enjoy the most”.
Lighting, the 6 Stealth video surfaces and 144 VersaTUBES were based around being hung from three trusses in the roof.
Two vertical drops of Stealth on the downstage edge measured 8 metres high and 2 wide. On the mid and rear trusses were 4 diagonally rigged Stealth surfaces, ranging between 6 and 10 ft wide. XL made bespoke frames for the Stealth, allowing the screens to be hung either straight or diagonally with the insertion of a corner piece.
The sides of all the screens were framed by VersaTUBES, and lining the roof of the stage were another four 10 metre runs of VersaTUBES.
Gaskell's company, Renegade Lighting, commissioned cutting-edge media specialists onedotzero to produce all the screen playback content, which included black and white graphics-orientated footage and plenty of colourful psychedelic video madness!
The Minicams were dotted all over the stage, focussed on various band members and fed into the Catalyst where they were treated and affected before being output to the screens. Gaskell was particularly impressed with the depth and definition that this element brought to the whole visual equation. The cameras also made an exciting and evocative contrast to the playback material.
All video content was run via Catalyst timecoded and triggered by a Hog II console supplied by XL and run by Richard Stembridge.
XL's project managers were Phil Mercer and Jo Beirne. Gaskell says, “XL were brilliant. As with HSL, everyone was incredibly helpful in finding solutions to a complex design in which positioning and juxtaposing video and lighting sources was key”.
At the centre of the lighting rig were 16 High End Showguns, chosen for the brightness and power of their output and also for the very cool ring of LEDs around the nose of the fixture, which tied in with his overall LED stage look. These were used to blast the stage with big beams, aerial effects and â€˜presence'. Eight Showguns were on the floor and 8 in the air. He also utilised 10 Robe ColorWash 1200E ATs and 8 Robe ColorSpot 1200E ATs for more conventional moving light duties including some key lighting, with 4 of the ColorWash's downstage on the floor to low level cross-wash the band's 2 singers.
The 12 BB7s were positioned on floor-based pipes – their petal shape the perfect architectural compliment to the LED circles of the Showguns – even when not illuminated! They were used as seriously bright PAR-can style wash lights covering the band, and Gaskell included them in the rig after using them very successfully on the Prodigy this summer. HSL also supplied 8 BB16s, four of which were rigged in the air and 4 on the floor, the latter used to silhouette the band and blast some serious retinal burn out into the audience!
Other lighting included 40 2-lite Moles, framing the screens and scattered across all the trusses and upstage at low level, plus 12 Source fours, 8 on the front truss and 4 on the mid truss. The rig was completed with 26 Martin Professional Atomic strobes.
For lighting control, HSL supplied a WholeHog II and a Wing operated by Gaskell, who comments, “Nothing was too much for HSL, specially in fabricating all the barrels and fixings needed to attach the Atomics and the 2-lites to the sides of the Stealth screens. Their gear was also in immaculate condition”.
Lighting crew chief was HSL's Eugene Benavidez who worked alongside 3 technicians - Matt Bright, Jake Jevons and James Cooksey.
Lasers were supplied by ER Productions and operated by Ryan Hagan.
Kasabian's new album is due out at the end of the year, and they will be touring in 2009.