Dom Smith chose an Avolites Diamond 4 console to control the light show for Brit rock group Embrace’s recent arena tour. Artistic director Bryan Leitch designed the show, and he worked closely with Smith as lighting programmer and on-the-road lighting director. The equipment was supplied by leading UK rental company Siyan.
Embrace’s show kicked off with an element of high drama. The PA emitted a high pitched electrical squeal before apparently dying, then frantic backline techs rushed on the stage, simulating a major technical fault. The stage starts bare and dark, as if no lights are working. Throughout the show techs run around the stage trying to fix and adjust seemingly faulty technology. In reality, this is all part of Embrace’s show. The lighting increasingly becomes busier and busier, ending with the rig finally coming together in its entirety for the last third of the set.
Integral to the show’s chaotic performance was a team of student lighting techs from Rose Bruford College’s lighting design degree course. They “built” the rig as the show progressed, appearing to fix lights and bring more onstage as time went on.
According to Smith, the appearance of the onstage chaos was actually a very complex and precise operation, scripted from start to finish and difficult to achieve. The structure of Embrace’s show led to the show running to a slightly different pace each night, he explains, leaving room for improvisation which is where the D4 excels.
The stage was set with a box truss with two sub-hung moving trusses. The upstage moving truss featured eight SGM Giotto CMY400s and a series of 4-lamp Molefeys, and the downstage truss came in and out with a scrim for video projections by Mark Video. Off the front of the box truss were another four Giotto CYMs and some Studio Due CS4 moving battens. The front truss featured six bars of six PARS, 12 Martin MAC 600s, four truss-mounted spotlights and a 1.5m diameter ball.
On the deck (by the end of the show) were several 10’ truss towers on wheels, each rigged with a strobe and three PixelLine 1044 LED battens. CYM 400s were used for specials on top of four of these towers, the back of each yielded the letters E-M-B-R-A-C-E spelled out in DWE bulbs, turned around at a strategic moment in the set.
Also on the deck were Atomic strobes and eight PALCO Mobile LED moving lights–-more common to the architectural world–-located upstage right behind the backline, plus six standard PALCO (static) LED floods, moved onto the stage floor by the Rose Bruford crew during the set.
At the very back, slung off the rear truss was ‘Bryan’s Wall’, consisting of five 16’ scaff pipes rigged with Sky Pan fixtures–2K movie lights with large reflectors and round bulbs. The spaces in between the five scaff poles were adorned with festoons complete with super-sized globe light sources. These were only revealed later in the show by kabuki gauzes that fell away.
The Diamond 4 controlled all the light sources mentioned, totalling 115 dimmer channels plus moving lights and LEDs. “The power, flexibility, and usability of the D4 was perfect for this show,” says Smith who was also able to utilize the console’s instant accessibility and hands-on operation.