JARAGs blast Them Crooked Vultures!

Posted on Friday, February 5th, 2010


Them Crooked Vultures – the supergroup of Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stoneage, Kyuss), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) – has just finished an impressive Australian tour with a rig supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.

Lighting designer Dan Hadley opted for eleven Martin MAC700 profiles, nine Martin Atomic 3000 strobes with scrollers and six Martin StageBars as side lighting for the band plus an assortment of par cans and lekos.

“I normally choose Martin and I’m particularly fond of the MAC700 profile as it is compact, bright and the animation wheel is a nice option as opposed to just rotating gobos, commented Dan.

However the scene stealers on this show were the twenty-one JARAG-5 which lit up the stage in spectacular fashion.

Dan has used the Chromlech JARAGs on several previous productions the first being a TV show in France with the band MGMT.

”I really liked them so I used them with MGMT and also with Devo for a couple of shows,” he said. “I liked them so much I put six of them on Sonic Youth’s tour last year knowing I was going to be ramping up and putting them on this tour.

”You can get the movement and excitement of video without actually having to look at video which can be extremely distracting. I think it’s a shame that people spend so much of the day looking at their phone or their computer or their television and when they finally spend money to come to a rock show and we put them in front of another big screen playing video.

”Years ago I went to see The Who at Madison Square Gardens and although I was only ten rows from the stage, I caught myself looking at the video screen up next to the PA even though there was nothing going on. It’s bright and moves in an unpredictable fashion so I think that your eye is naturally drawn to it instead of watching the band play. With Them Crooked Vultures, people especially want to see the band play.”

As well as getting some movement from the JARAGs, Dan loves that he can use them to ‘light the living hell out of the band too’!

Eight JARAGs hang from the truss on wire rope forming an arch whilst the rest are mounted on stands. All are hung on the diagonal so Dan had to bitmap it at a 45 degree angle and program accordingly.

To do this Dan uses a MA Lighting grandMA, a console he decided to learn specifically to run JARAGs.

”The JARAGs and the grandMA work incredibly together, they’re great,” he remarked. “There are several different ways that I can program the JARAGs on the grandMA; my favourite is using the bitmap effect which behaves in its own way but I can set a fader to control the speed. So if it’s something in the show where I have to follow the band either speeding up or slowing down, then I tend to use the bitmap effect. I also find that I can use it running just with dimmer modulation which runs it in a more true HTP fashion.”