The world’s number one DJ Hardwell recently took his acclaimed ‘I Am Hardwell’ show to Brazil playing the 8,000 capacity Espaço das Américas in Sao Paulo where lighting rental company Apple Produçoes supplied over 100 Robe moving lights for a design by Dutch LD Andre Beekmans of The Art of Light.
Lighting for the show which is produced by Alda Events was operated by Tom Spaan from The Art of Light.
Apple, one of the country’s top rental companies provided 25 x ROBIN Pointes, 16 x ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 6 x ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 14 x ColorWash 1200E ATs and 42 x Robe 100 LEDBeams for the gig which was completely sold out.
The stage design includes a square LED screen behind the DJ booth with an additional frame of LED surrounding it which is integrated into the actual booth structure, adding a real 3-dimensionality to the set up. Either side of the DJ booth are three ‘wings’ of LED screen rigged in a shrinking perspective – with lighting filling in the gaps between these.
The ColorSpot 1200E ATs were positioned in the wings and on a front truss. The ColorSpot 2500E ATs were used for strong and dramatic back-lighting and front key lighting on Hardwell, while the ColorWash 1200E ATs were all on the front truss.
The Pointes were grouped into fives and rigged on the front and back trusses and also positioned on the stage floor … for maximum effect.
The little LEDBeam 100s were dotted all over the rig – in the wings, around the centre screen and also on some audience trusses flown out in the auditorium.
Each fixture had a different function in the show, and all of them were worked hard explains Spaan, who used a grandMA2 full size for control.
The ColorSpot 2500E ATs were used for lighting Hardwell himself. Three were on the front truss, their potent beams softened with a CTO filter for more ‘natural’ front illumination, and this light subtly changed between warmer and cooler hues to keep continuity with the look and feel of the video content, specially created for the show by Kijkbuiskinderen.
The other three ColorSpot 2500E ATs were used in static positions backlighting the superstar DJ, highlighting his head and shoulders and matching in with the rest of the lighting. “Theatrical back-light and the great effects it brings to the equation is often lost in dance shows” observes Spaan.
The ColorWash 1200E ATs were used for general lighting and for the warm up act. Many of Hardwell’s shows are recorded on camera or streamed on the internet, so he ensures that there is always some dynamic lighting on the audience, and that the whole space does not ever look like an uninviting black box!
Spaan describes the ColorSpots as an “all-time favourite” for basic lighting. The rotating gobos, shutter and iris effects make them ideal for filling the arena with a “Smooth, slow ambience” in combination with heavy strobing and iris bumps.
The small and hugely powerful LEDBeam 100s are great for their sheer simplicity he says. “They can move VERY fast and accurately, change colour and are really neat because of the white LEDs and the optical system. The narrow beams are highly effective even when fixtures are rigged really close to one another and “The output is concentrated and impressively bright for a fixture this small”.
Whenever LEDBeam 100s appear on their spec – which will vary from show to show and according to what the local lighting vendor has in stock – he uses them for heavy strobing effects, just like a conventional strobe!
Also for some of the ‘old skool’ scanner effects that are back in fashion with a vengeance on the EDM lighting scene!
He loves the Pointes for their “High impact” which also means that he uses them judiciously for the show’s epic moments, combining beams and spots. The wide zoom and linear prism are “Great additions” to this type of moving light and “More options means a more versatile lightshow and more astonishing effects”.
He adds that for dance music it’s also good not to move the lights all the time, as it’s possible to sculpt bold, definite pictures with light, and pump plenty of energy out into the room by doing complete songs just alternating parameters like (for e.g.) intensity.
Spaan has been working with Robe products for all of his professional career as an LD and programmer, and is always pleased when the brand is on the spec for a show, especially LEDWashes, LEDBeams and Pointes.
He rates Robe as one of the best and most innovative manufacturers ‘of the moment’ and one that “Keeps up with the constant high demands of designers and operators”.
Spaan - aged 27 - has been a musician and music teacher for over 20 years and a lighting professional for the last 10. He joined The Art of Light – a design collective known for its fresh and inventive approach to show visuals - and as a freelance operator three years ago, bringing the natural sense of rhythm, timing and innate musicality of his unique operating style to the party.