Chicago's alternative radio station Q101/FM celebrated ten years of its Twisted Christmas holiday shows on December 6. This year's event, billed as Twisted 10, took place at Allstate Arena in Rosemont and featured such groups as AFI, Dashboard Confessional, 311, Korn, and Jane's Addiction.
The event was once again supplied by Upstaging, Inc. Working with a mandate to incorporate the number ten into the production, Upstaging came up with the concept of using a combination of circular and straight trusses to create “Q101” over the stage (below). With the Q101 truss rigged at a slight pitch, lighting director Nook Schoenfeld used a variety of effects to emphasize the number ten, which naturally appears in the Q101 logo.
As is the case with any radio show, the big challenge was to provide a lighting system that accommodated all the bands and also met the tight production schedule. To cope with this, Upstaging provided a system comprised almost entirely of moving lights. The system included High End Systems Turbo Cyberlights, chosen for their speed. High End Studio Beam PCs were used to wash the stage and also for beam-shaping and strobe effects. To create that distinctive rock-and-roll light-beam look, Schoenfeld used the Coemar 1200 Spot fixture. For front light, large washes of all colors were available from the Coemar Panorama Power Cycs. The system also include Diversitronics 3K strobes, Upstaging's custom “X”-Lite Mofefays, and a small number of ETC Source Four PARs (used as truss toners) and ellipsoidals.
The automated system helped Schoenfeld save a great deal of time, but, with five acts and limited programming time, he went to Upstaging's WYSIWYG studio to get a head start. Using WYSIWYG, he pre-focused all of the lights in several truss-trim positions, also programming various looks for individual designers to use or modify, according to their needs. Programming for all of the Q101 looks, including the opening and the between-acts periods, was done in the studio, which left more time for programming the acts onsite.
For Korn's set, LD Joel Rieff used Upstaging's motion-control system to flatten out the truss structure. This revealed a large screen behind the band, which was lit by front projection. However, the Q101 truss still acted as the lighting element. For Jane's Addiction, LD Seth Robinson flew the truss back down and a silver backdrop was hung for a totally new look. The truss provided the only station identification in the show, in addition to emphasizing the tenth-anniversary concept. Our only question: What will they do next year for the 11th show?