Fleetwood Mac Go Their Own Way With VARI-LITE
Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010
Veteran rockers Fleetwood Mac have returned to Australia with their Unleashed tour garnering rave reviews wherever they perform. Their lighting designer Paul ‘Arlo’ Guthrie is a Melbourne boy who has lived in the United States for the past fifteen years lighting many influential artists such as Sheryl Crow, Chris Isaak, Kanye West, Crowded House, and Whitney Houston. Arlo has always favoured VARI*LITEs and this tour is no exception with a rig of 6 VL3500 Spots, 6 VL3000 Spots, 2 VL3000 Truss Spots, 8 VL1000 TS, 14 VL3500 Washes and 7 VL500 80V.
“I always prefer VARI-LITEs because I like their colours, the beam quality, their accuracy and the dimming; it’s very smooth which I always thought lends an organic feel to a show.” he stated. “I just like everything! The Fleetwood Mac show is mainly about rich layers and subtlety so those fixtures suit the requirements beautifully.”
For Fleetwood Mac the VL3500 Spots are used as key lights with the framing shutters whilst the VL3500 Washes are used all over the stage as a base wash layer.
“Because of the trim heights and throw distances I needed a super bright beam like the VL3500 Wash,” explained Arlo. “All of the VL1000 tungsten units are at the side on ladders to try and replicate an old school kind of feel with a tungsten colour temperature. The band really wanted something that was very simple yet classic and without any haze or atmosphere there was more focus on the quality of the light. So I took some of the band’s heritage as a springboard for the lighting design.
“I’m using the VL500 units as floor lights; I really like the way they dim and the tungsten bulbs, it’s like the good old days with floor pars.”
Arlo is also using 2 VL3000 Spots as truss spots which is an old trick of his.
“I disconnect the pan and the tilt, all of the programming is in the board so the operator just points them at the back of Stevie or Lindsey,” explained Arlo. “That way I can control all of the fades and colour changes so it’s all synchronised with the other lights. I’ve been trying for a long time to get VARI-LITE to make an actual truss spot!”