I had a chance to get my face rocked off this last weekend by both a band called The Disco Biscuits and High End's big ol' LED spectacular, the StudioPix. At Denver's Ogden Theatre, I saw two nights of the band and its very unique lighting, by lighting designer Johnny R. Goode. I promise this isn't another review of the show, because I already did one of those on my blog. This post is to show my new-found appreciation for the StudioPix.
I've lit and seen a whole metric holy crap-ton of shows in my life; many, many, many of them have been in little venues like the Ogden Theatre, that seats (more like stands crammed toe-to-toe) about a thousand and exist all over the world. The StudioPix used for the show - only four of them, mounted near the deck - played the roles of audience abusers, sidelight, architectural accents for the beautiful stage architecture at the Ogden, band accents, and huge blasts of color. LD Johnny R. Goode used them uniquely throughout both nights of shows, and they were an excellent compliment to the dozen or so Mac 2000's also stage mounted at varying levels behind the band.
One of the more exceptional qualities of the StudioPix was the ability to snap change color. Instantaneous is more like it; yes, I realize that they're LED, and yes, I realize that my photoreceptors are still going to be processing the color shift milliseconds after it really happens. You just can't comment on the brilliance of the fixture's illumination quality until your rods and cones have absorbed it.
Something that I never thought I would like from the StudioPix - the built-in animations - I actually very much appreciated during the shows. I was surprised at how bright they were as well, and I was surprised how good they looked both coming from the fixture, and from the affect they had on the line of the audience. It probably helped that the lighting designer knew which ones to use at the right time, too - you know, that crazy design sense! The intensity of the StudioPix' animations added a level of art to the overall picture that completely fit the music's intensity, and they were used well. The LED quality of light just adds such a "magical" quality to the atmosphere at a show, especially at such intensity; it may sound like an elementary thing to say, but LED light appears so worldly different than arc light to the audience. It vibrates; you have to keep the way the eye works in mind when designing, and the StudioPix (and similar LED fixtures) provides another quality of light to consider. "Otherworldy" works well as a descriptor - and I only had two beers!
Such bold, brilliant color - and StudioPix is the smaller of the two. High End, I was very impressed.