Fleetwood Mac tour with Clay Paky, GLP and MA

Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

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Fleetwood Mac are currently touring the country with their “On With the Show” tour and Aussie LD and production designer Paul “Arlo” Guthrie has once again delivered a stunning design.

The stage is dominated by a large upstage video wall, three above-the-head ribbon video walls and twelve lighting pods. The design also includes Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights and Sharpy Wash lights, GLP Impression X4 and Volkslichts with a grandMA2 console for control.

“Designing for Fleetwood Mac is always a challenge since you’re dealing with five different personalities,” says Arlo.  He began by giving them “the biggest, cleanest, most open stage set up I could, so every single seat in the house gets a clear view of the stage. I made sure to remove clutter so everyone can see the band members.”

A dozen B-EYE K20s are on the audience side of the pods to light the fans.  “They do pixel effects and perform very quick, easy and huge washes from 12 watts – they can light the entire audience,” Arlo says.  “We don’t use smoke or haze so we don’t really use beam effects.  But we do use a lot of pixel animation.  For some songs the fixtures replicate what’s happening on the videowall.”

Arlo was introduced to B-EYE K20s at LDI last year. “This is the first time I’m using them.  The colours, dimming and patterns are great.  The idea that we have 12 lights we can switch on and then light up the entire arena is great!”

Lighting Director Chris Lose adds, “The things that impressed me the most about the B-EYEs was their ability to act like an LED fixture and then with a simple flip of a channel behave just like an incandescent fixture. Most LED fixtures on the market are missing that warmth and glow.”

Three Sharpy Washes are mounted on each pod for a total of 36 fixtures. “They serve as the workhorse overhead wash light,” Arlo explains. “Because of their brightness we get a little bit of a beam effect even with no smoke. That’s a real bonus.”

Arlo first used Sharpy Washes for Fleetwood Mac last year then subsequently deployed them for Nine Inch Nails.  “I like the fact that they don’t dim like an LED: Their mechanical dimmer is fantastic. I like the size, speed and colours – it’s a great little workhorse light.  There’s still room in my shows for lights that actually light stuff, and with Fleetwood Mac, we have to see the band and the stage, not just millions of pixels in your eyes.”

Arlo opted for a grandMA2 console to run all the lights, media servers— even a heater for drummer Mick Fleetwood. “The whole show is cue-to-cue, no timecode,” he reports. “The grandMA2 is a nice stable and familiar work surface. It’s great to have something you can trust. While this is a straightforward show, it’s still important to have a system you can rely on. The grandMA2’s networking capabilities are also awesome; they enabled me and lighting director Chris Lose, who is touring with the band, to program simultaneously.”

Lose adds, “Simultaneously programming with Arlo on the grandMA2 is very easy. His vision was made very clear when he could dial up a look he wanted on his desk and then I could implement his looks into the show in a way that worked with the cue stack.”

ALIA is running a backstage tour of Fleetwood Mac’s lighting with Chris Lose next Thursday November 12th. To find out more go to http://www.alia.com.au/wordpress/?cat=61&paged=1#post-15476