Robe Gets Into The Groove With Vitality Tour

GrooveBoston stages some of the most legendary dance parties in the US, and each year produces a college campus tour taking their unique, fun-loving atmosphere on the road for the full enjoyment of their enthusiastic audience. A massive part of creating that “electro-awesome” experience is ensuring that production values are high and that the design and technical elements of the show are equally as spectacular and memorable as the music.

Nathan Almeida from East Coast Lighting & Production Services (ECLPS) has had the honor, for the past eight years, of ensuring that all the energy and magic coming from the stage reaches right out and touches everyone in the audience… and this year he had the help of some Robe moving lights for the amazing GrooveBoston ‘Vitality’ tour.

This year’s ‘Vitality’ theme embraced life, liveliness and the general feelings of being in a natural state of euphoria. So, in the quest to find fresh new ways of presenting the event and getting away from conventional trussing configurations and a standard stage design, the set featured multiple curves, unique arches and circles with ‘claws’ reaching out above the crowd.

The lighting rig contained Robe Pointes, LEDWash 1200s and LEDWash 600s – 12 of each type, all from Robe’s ROBIN Series and supplied by ECLPS.

With each of the gigs on the tour effectively a custom build to suit the space, the positioning of the fixtures around the set and metalwork varied from date to date.

“I would say that ROBIN Pointes were definitely my favorite fixtures on this tour,” enthused Almeida.

As they often visit venues where power is limited, the lower consumption of the Pointes was a real bonus that allowed him to create potent full beam and aerial effects and dynamic ‘WOW’ factors that “you’d normally expect from a 1500 series fixture”.

The light weight of the Pointes – and of course, the LEDWashes – was another huge advantage, especially for ground support scenarios.

Almeida was also delighted with the colour wheel. “LDs paint with light and I use the Pointe as my ‘zinger’, as one of my college Scenic Arts professors would say!”

While he was busy zinging away with the Pointes, the LEDWash 600s and LEDWash 1200s provided the concentration of color he needed. Pastels were the essence of the ‘Vitality’ lighting design, to which he loved adding dramatic whiteout accents with the Pointes.

His approach to lighting the ‘Vitality’ event was a little different than other EDM-style shows. “I like to keep the energy bright and hard-hitting, rather than dark and mysterious,” he says, describing his oeuvre.  He adds that not only are the LED Washes fantastic for immersive color washing, “Having the individual ring control is a HUGE value-add!”

Almeida used the LEDWash 600s with their variable CTO for artist key lights - all of which was programmed and operated on a grandMA2. GrooveBoston uses a plethora of images and videos to promote their brand, so camera-friendly lighting of the artists was a vital part of the design and fixture selection.

In his lighting design work for the busy rental house ECLPS, Almeida has used Robe products for numerous applications and is overall very impressed with the brand and quality of the luminaires.  Having the Robe LED fixtures in their inventory – they also have LEDWash 800s – and now the Pointes, has substantially changed the way they develop their designs.

In addition to the lighting, the visuals, lasers and pyrotechnics are all carefully synchronized for the performance, and along with all-encompassing sound, produce the ultimate live music experience! 

Additional collaborators on this project included Creative Manager, Jason Slomovitz and Production Manager Ed Slapik.

Photo by Kelsey Knight

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