An Avolites Diamond 4 Vision console is rocking its way around the world with Def Leppard on their current Songs From The Sparkle Lounge tour. They have just finished a two-month UK and European section.
Def Leppard were one of the most successful top selling rock bands throughout the 1980s, selling over 65 million albums worldwide, including over 35 million in the US alone. They still tour to packed arenas eight months out of the year, putting as much enthusiasm and vitality into their performance and production as ever.
Tokyo-based lighting designer Kenji Ohashi has worked with Def Leppard for the last six years, and has used Avolites control right since the start of his professional career at Japanese rental company, Lighting Big 1. In that time, he's programmed and run virtually every type of Avolites console, and particularly likes the D4. He operates Def Leppard’s high energy, hard-rocking show very much hands-on” saying, "I can get to everything I need immediately and quickly. This is absolutely vital.” Although he's tried other desks along the way, he affirms "Avolites is definitely my first choice of console every time."
Ohashi works closely with lighting crew chief Seth Conlin from Nashville-based US rental company Premier Global Productions. All kit for the UK section of the tour was supplied by West London-based Entec Sound & Light. It's exactly the same rig as they are using in the US, arranged across a master grid of trussing with gently sloping down side wings.
The D4 is controlling a total of 88 Martin Professional MAC 2K luminaires: 56 Washes and 32 Profiles, plus a selection of conventionals including 8 and 4 lite Moles with scrollers, single PARs with scrollers, 9 strings of ACLs, and over 60 PARs. There are also Atomic strobes with scrollers in the rig and on the floor, plus 6 Coemar SuperCycs.
Stylistically, Ohashi is basically replicating classic big rock show elements from the 1980s with a modern rig, simultaneously adding his own contemporary twists. It’s not an overly large rig but he makes it look massive and the perfect compliment to Def Leppard’s many anthemic moments with head-banging stompers like, “Armageddon It,” “Sugar,” and “Hysteria.”
There are plenty of strong single color looks, lots of white and plenty of movement, all cemented together in a heady cocktail of awesome beam looks, while ensuring that the band are also well lit and clearly seen. He spent considerable time studying archive video footage in the quest to create a unique contemporary-retro lighting texture for their ongoing work.