Kings of Leon, Kings of Lighting

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011


Renowned for the quality of their live shows Kings of Leon haven’t disappointed on their current Australian tour. Whilst the Tennessee quartet delivered a powerful wall of sound, lighting designer Paul Normandale and lighting director Ali Bale produced one of the most innovative and visually stunning light shows seen on the touring circuit for a while.

Paul had amassed a giant wall of assorted old battered conventional lighting fixtures and strapped them together in flying carts. It looked like a giant pile of junked lights randomly stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Interspersed were more conventional fixtures such as forty-two Martin MAC2000 Wash XB, six MAC250 Wash and sixty GLP Impressions.

“The band basically likes a retro feel but I combined it with some new fixtures in old clothes,” commented Paul. “The band plays in a very tight club like situation but I needed to create a stadium show so a progression of screen and video feel was the basic idea.”

Specific features of the MAC2000 Wash XB that Paul likes include its “sheer punch. They are very, very bright and compact,” he says. “And reliability has been really good.” Paul has them spread across the top for washes as well as on the floor.

“All the fixtures have been excellent,” he continues. “The MAC250 Wash is a surprisingly good light.”

The bank of sixty GLP Impressions across the back of the stage was used to great effect especially when combine with Martin LC Panels through which they created effect.

“I call it the forest of the evil lollipops,” said Paul. “It’s just half an idea that seemed to work. Part of the idea was trying to give depth and almost a 3D element to the LC Panels by animating and interweaving the lights and video. The show is a progression of introduced ideas trying to give all the visual elements there moment.”

Dominating the stage set up are the thirty-nine 2000w 18″ MoleBeam Projectors which are large organic warm tungsten lights that provide a sharp contrast to the LED lighting. Some have been reinvented with three PARs and called affectionately ‘MolePARs’ by Paul.

An MA Lighting grandMA is the console of choice due to its pixel mapping ability and, according to Paul, the fact that it is a robust reliable platform.

Some of the lighting was shipped with the band whilst the rest was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.

Close up shot: Troy Constable