Avolites D4 on tour with Alicia Keys

Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

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Alicia Keys kicked off her “As I Am” sold out world tour in Australia early December 2008, with an eye-catching lighting design by VisualLight (Nick Whitehouse & Bryan Leitch) touring with production services of Bytecraft Entertainment.

An Avolites Diamond 4 console was specified for the full world wide tour. All lighting fixtures were controlled from the D4 console, the choice of both Whitehouse and Leitch, “We all chose the D4 on this Tour because we know it’s a great desk and also because the tour will be visiting certain territories and using local production, so we needed a reliable console where it was easy to exchange the fixtures and update, because we are using a variety of different moving lights in the different countries we are touring to” confirms Whitehouse.

Experienced Lighting Director Chris Steel of Avolites was the lighting operator for the European and Australian leg of the tour. The show is run using the D4’s Cue List system, which also gives the latitude to use the instant access facilities of the desk for the improvisational moments of the show. The ‘live’ access capability is the kind of feature that Avolites are world famous for – hand on and fast operation for live performances.

Chris’s Cue Lists is arranged on the first set of 8 Masters faders on the bottom left-hand side of the console, and the generics including key-lights, Moles, etc., on the second. Then on the playbacks at the top of the desk, he has positioned his ‘busking’ section of instant access cues on individual faders.

The show is a narrative charting Keys’ musical journey, which is conveyed very effectively by video links. The performance is divided into distinct sections, and presented with a classy and stylish flourish, embracing a myriad of different styles and musical genres.

The main overhead lighting is rigged onto 3 straight trusses going from back to front, with 2 wing trusses off the side of the stage to the edge of the audience. These contain 36 Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, 30 Vari*Lite 3500 Washes and 14 ColorKinetics ColorBlast 12 LED units.

Twelve Source 4 profiles were used on the mid and front truss for key-lighting the band. On the mid truss there was a kabuki drape to hide the band for a reveal at the start of the show, and this also left the mid and front truss for support bands to utilize for their shows. All the visible trusses are toned by the ColorBlast 12 LED fixtures, producing tasty rich glowing effects. Supporting acts were Australian group LowRider and American Idol winner Jordan Sparks.

Chris says, “My next tour using the D4 is Il Divo starting in Europe in February 2009. It’s great to see designers specifying the D4 on these large shows. I love using the D4 myself as it’s extremely easy to use, reliable, and it’s easy to change things live if you need to.”