PHILADELPHIA – It’s been said that experience is what you get when you were expecting something else. Lighting designer Daniel Thibault definitely agrees. The North Carolina-based LD was at home when he got a call from Adventure Club asking him to hop on their tour bus for a trip to the spanking new Fillmore Philadelphia. The red hot dubstep duo was looking for someone to run the house lights when they got to Pennsylvania. Thibault happily agreed, even though he didn’t quite know what to expect when he got to the City of Brotherly Love. What he found was an awe-inspiring house lighting rig anchored by an army of Rogue fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
“It was like, ‘Wow,’ total amazement,” said Thibault, co-owner of Life Is Art Studios. “We got out of the bus in the pouring rain and ran into the Fillmore; then I see lines of fixtures running everywhere, going over the stage and the audience area. There were a ton of fixtures. I ran six universes and had 16 faders. The club is new; we were the third act ever to appear there. What they want to do is create a festival-like atmosphere in there, since they’re going to be hosting a lot of EDM acts. The feeling you get walking in is that you entered a tent at a big EDM festival with a lot of intense, fast-moving lights over the audience.”
Much of this movement and intensity was furnished by the 48 Rogue fixtures in the house rig. There were 20 Rogue R1 Washes, 12 Rogue R2 Beams and 16 Rogue R2 Washes flown over the stage and audience. “There were four Rogues hung on each electrical line throughout the room,” said Thibault, who controlled the rig using his own grandMa2 with four MIDI consoles. “I’m a big fan of the Rogues, but I never worked with this many before so I was in heaven. A really nice thing about Chauvet fixtures, including the Rogues, is that they work very well together, so I was able to create some cool coordinated looks.”
Thibault often worked those looks around the massive 26’ wide by 16’ tall video wall that Adventure Club brought with them on the tour. The Canadian group, which has topped the iTunes Dance Charts with hits like “Calling All Heroes,” also brought five large moving video carts with them to Philadelphia. “There was a strong video component to this show with killer scenes programmed by Melt Creative,” said Thibault. “We often matched the lights to complement the video wall scenes, so when there was a sunrise we flooded the audience with beautiful yellow from the Rogues. You had to be impressed with the output of the Rogues, since they showed up beautifully against the powerful video wall.”
Reinforcing the festival atmosphere of the club, Thibault favored wide beam angles in his design. “We often used the widest beam angles we could,” he said. “I like the look of the wide beams moving fast; it sweeps up the crowd, especially when we run them in the bright electric colors and nice crisp cool whites.”
The quickness of the Rogue fixtures also played a key role in helping Thibault achieve the desired results. “These fixtures are fast,” he declared. “When I black out and hit another position, the show changes in a millisecond. This allowed me to create some interesting looks for different songs. Also, we used only part of the rig for the opening acts. Then, when Adventure Club came on, we hit everything at once. The audience went wild. Everyone loved it.”
Looking back on his experience, Thibault calls it “a lighting designer’s dream come true.” Asked about the Fillmore Philadelphia, he says, “I can’t wait to get back there and light!”