Green Day put the Martin MACIII to the test

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009


Green Day is currently on their mammoth 21st Century Breakdown world tour which started earlier this year and is scheduled to continue towards the end of 2010.

The band has just finished the Australian leg of the tour where they received amazing reviews for their professional, endurance-testing shows where anything goes. Also never missing a beat and behaving in the expert manner are the thirty-seven Martin MACIII spots featured in the lighting rig.

”The MACIII’s do a really good job for the throw distances that we have as some of them are very long,” commented Kevin Cauley, lighting director for the tour. “Our upstage truss is trimmed at 42ft off the ground so there are some very long throws required.

”This is the first show that I’ve used the MACIII’s on and I think they’re great. The effects wheel is awesome. It’s just a really good, heavy-duty light and the crew has had no real problems with them. We’ve found that the lamps in the MACIII’s are lasting a good five-hundred hours longer than Martin suggested. We were quite impressed by that.

”The colours are great and I even like the stock gobos! How often do you like the stock gobo set? The lamp strobe function is very neat and a new tool to play with.”

The rig has five fingers of truss as well as wing trusses to increase the breadth performance area and all contain MACIII spots. The lighting designer for the show is Justin Collie of Artfag.

The lighting intent for the show was to try to retain the old-school punk feel but to bring it into the current times with ideas such as LED elements. In true Artfag manner, fixtures are joined together to create a whole new lighting fixture within themselves in fact the most dominant fixture in the show is called the LED Fag Pod; two I-pix BB4 LED fixtures that sandwich a Martin Atomic Strobe with colour changer. A total of thirty-nine of these gems are distributed throughout the rig.

”They’re more of a visual element than casting actual illumination on the artists,” said Kevin.

For control Kevin is using a MA Lighting grandMA, a console he describes as his absolute favourite and that he has been using it for a long time as it’s also the choice of the Artfag guys.

”I love the way you can set up the interface to do whatever you want,” he said. “Because we have all the I-pix BB4 fixtures and they’re essentially a four cell fixture with individual control over each cell, we pixel mapped the whole thing to get some really cool looks out of them. That was one of my favourite things with the pixel map. Timecodes are always fun for when you’re just playing around and want to record something for playback. I’m a big fan of timecode and using that within a cue stack to do something you may be fiddling with and just decide to record it.

”One of the things I like the most about the grandMA is being able to change instrument types fairly easily and without much trouble. I’ve done a lot of club shows where this is so useful.

”The 3D visualiser is very cool, I love it especially the new one.”

All production and crew travel with the tour.