SEATTLE – During the 1990s, the name Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café resonated in the hearts of grunge fans everywhere. Located in a nondescript brown building in Seattle’s hip Capitol Hill district, the club didn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it was a cauldron of new musical expressions. Neil Young first collaborated with Pearl Jam here. Mirror Ball, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Garbage all got their start on the club’s stage. Moe’s closed briefly, but was given new life in 2003 when it was relaunched as Nuemos (pronounced “new moes”). Today bands from a new generation are drawing shoulder-to-shoulder crowds at the rechristened club, performing under the lights of an almost all-LED rig comprised of fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
LED fixtures, of course, were not available during the legendary club’s earlier incarnation in the ’90s. This makes Nuemos even “cooler” — at least thermally speaking — than its iconic predecessor. “During the summer months, the club was getting incredibly hot,” said Lindsay Smith of Morgan Sound (Lynwood, WA), which recently installed the new lighting rig, along with a new sound system, at the club. “Without a doubt, the LED fixtures have been a great help in bringing the temperature down – not to mention they also freed the client from having to change gels on the old lamps.”
Power draw was also a factor that led to the installation of the new LED-centric system. “We had a limited number of circuits available for the lights, since the old power drops had been salvaged to accommodate the increased need for more power to the sound system,” said Smith. “So the efficiency of the LEDs was a huge plus.”
However, it was more than temperature control and efficiency that drove the decision to install a new lighting system. Like its predecessor did a generation ago, Nuemos is featuring rising cutting-edge acts that teem with vibrant musical energy, and the club wanted a lighting rig that could match the intensity of the artists on stage.
Smith, fellow project manager Stephen Weeks and the rest of the Morgan team led by company president Charley Morgan created such a rig, while staying well within budget by drawing on a combination of 42 CHAUVET Professional fixtures. This mix includes 6 Next NXT-1 moving LED panels, one Rogue RH1 Hybrid (the only non-LED Chauvet fixture), 6 Rogue R1 Spots, 22 COLORado 1-Quad Zoom Tours, 6 Ovation F-165WW Fresnels and 1 Amhaze II water-based haze machine.
“We chose the NXT-1 because of its Wow! factor,” said Smith. “This fixture gives you big concert looks on stage and opens a lot of possibilities to create movement and chases. When you work them with Rogues you get a lot of intensity, which is in keeping with this venue.”
The COLORado 1-Quad RGBW par style fixture is used to deliver lush color washes to the stage, while the Amhaze II provides atmospherics and accents the output from the NXT-1 and Rogue fixtures. Nuemos uses the Ovation Fresnels primarily as a front white stage wash. “They can also be zoomed in and used for specials, which gives them double duty,” said Smith. “The club is primarily known as a rock venue, but they feature a wide range of other acts and events as well.”
Nuemos’ existing truss structure was used to fly the new LED rig. “There were an upper and lower row of truss along the back of the stage, as well as truss on each side plus a pipe 3 feet downstage from the front lip of the deck,” said Smith. “We thought these existing hanging locations were good, so we didn’t attempt to add to them or move them. I did the initial layout of all the instruments and then met with the club’s lighting people when we made adjustments.”
A COLORado 1-Quad Zoom Tour is positioned on either end of the FOH pipe. Next to each of these par-style fixtures is one Rogue R1 Spot. In between are the six Ovation F-165WW Fresnels. Nearby is the Rogue RH1 Hybrid, positioned next to a giant mirror ball. This combination provides a varied mix of front lighting for the stage.
The upper truss bar that runs over the rear of the stage includes five small LED house lights left over from the former rig, as well as the Next NXT-1 moving LED panels, a lone strobe fixture and four remaining Rogue R1 Spots. While this line is used to deliver eye candy to the audience, the lower rear truss colorizes the stage with 14 COLORado 1-Quad Zooms positioned evenly across it. Additional color is provided by three more COLORados positioned on either side of the stage.
“We’re getting some really great looks on the stage with the new rig,” said Smith. That’s a really good thing too. With acts like The Shins, The Raconteurs, Muse, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fleet Foxes and The Avett Brothers appearing on its stage, Nuemos has established a cult-like following beyond Seattle. Now with is new lighting rig, the club is as cool as its reputation.